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Air flow above the ground

nickg5 used Ask the Experts™
Kite flying for the kids at church. If it is too windy it won't work well. Trying to catch a slightly windy day and access to kids will be a very hit and miss. So, on a non windy day, I know from my younger years that the air flow and movement of air is above the ground. If you can run with the kite string until you get the kite high enough it will progress higher.
So on a non windy day how many feet high would the kite need to be before the air flow takes the kite to higher levels. I once had a kite so high you could barely see it with the naked eye.
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Principal Software Engineer
Depends on the winds aloft.  Once above 1000 feet the FAA winds aloft forecast is reasonably accurate.  Below 1000 feet it depends on what obstacles are in the area.  Certainly once I get 100 feet off the runway in a Cessna I feel the winds aloft taking effect.

So I suspect if you can get 100 feet up it should get a kite into the prevailing wind unless there are some tall buildings or really big trees in the area.  Coanda effect doesn't apply to most terrain (disregarding deserts and stadium parking lots) so as you say, it's necessary to get the kite up a ways.
Ben Personick (Previously QCubed)Lead SaaS Infrastructure Engineer

To truly get consistently blowing wind would take much more high then you'd reach by just running the kite on a windless day.

 Thus the old adage of not wasting your time trying to fly a kite on a windless day based on kids wasting their time running their kites all day and never learning they won't fly as a pejorative term for someone wasting their time.

  That said, if you have some technology to get it up 100 feet or more you'd probably be able to keep it up pretty consistently, but not fool proof.

  However that is far outside your limits as a human running around.

  I would say for a decent chance of getting the kite flying often in a less windy day you would need to get up at least approximately 30 feet or so to have a chance of the kite catching some wind.

 However, even getting the kite up more than 15 feet can be very hard by running it, if it's on a windless day because you need to have the angle just right and it changes as the kite moves further along in order to catch enough air to push against the kite and overcome friction on the increasing string length in york running in order to keep the kite up and ascending.

In part this is why you end up running backwards a lot, and then hit a good stride turn run get some hghight and the kite does a nose dive suddenly, where as if you only run backwards you will hit times when you can't run fast enough (but if you can get passed them then you can again).

  About this, I recall someone having a contraption they made to extend their arm and keep the kite at a good angle that worked really well years ago when we were at a park somewhere, I'll google it to see if I can find any info on that. (Despite googling, I can not find what I am thinking of, perhaps it was something that was for professionals, or thier own experiment, I was a kid so maybe I am even miss-remembering this as it was like 25 years ago I thought I saw something that could do that, more I think about it the more I think it was someone experimenting and not able to get it to work :/.).

You can find a lot of information on Wind Gradient and how to calculate them, and what factors to take into place, enough to make your head spin.

But, I think if you can use some technology to launch the kite up into the 30+ foot range though you might have a go of it.

One thing to remember as well si to look into the weather reports as wind will alwaYs move from a high pressure system to a low pressure system, and if you are in the center of the low pressure or high pressure system you might not be able to find any wind no matter what you do at heights that kits may reach.

 But if you can determine where the high low pressure system is and make sure you launch your kite to catch wind blowing towards that direction it would be helpful.