Vol du cerf-volant - Flying a kite

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le vol
Un cerf-volant ascensionnel vole correctement lorsqu'il reste en équilibre en gardant son angle d'incidence par rapport au vent. Lorsqu'il a trouvé cet équilibre, Il peut être amené à tanguer légèrement mais reprend rapidement sa place initiale et semble piqué dans le ciel.
N'oubliez jamais que votre cerf-volant représente un obstacle dans l'espace aérien. Sachez doser son altitude et contrôler ses éventuelles sautes d'humeur.
Un coup de vent brusque peut le déséquilibrer et l'envoyer s'écraser à plusieurs centaines de mètres de là, sur une ligne électrique que vous aviez pourtant jugée très éloignée.
Ne laissez jamais votre cerf-volant sans surveillance. Si vous ne souhaitez plus tenir votre dévidoir à la main, assurez vous qu'il est correctement ancré dans le sol.
Il est nécessaire de savoir corriger certains défauts qui peuvent survenir en cours de vol. Apprenez à en analyser les causes  afin de pouvoir y remédier : voir en détail le chapitre "scénarii de décollage problématique : défauts, causes, solutions"

Flying your kite
This is the part to enjoy! Some kites will fly steadily, others may require constant attention.

The Basics
As your kite begins to rise steadily pay out line to gain altitude. If the line slackens, take in line. Letting out line will allow the kite to go lower and further away. Taking in line will bring your kite higher and closer.
Gaining Altitude with a Combination of Release and Pull To coax your kite higher, try a combination of long pulls with letting out line. Each time, try to let out more than you pull in. After doing a few of them, check their effect. You may need to try another series to achieve your desired altitude. The higher altitude may provide faster flowing air that may sustain flight. The amount of line you can pull in and release depends on the stability of the kite.

Gaining altitude by pumping the line
Another effective way of raising a kite higher into the sky involves pumping the line. This is helpful when winds at the surface are minimal. A series of sharp pulls on the flying line increases the speed of the airflow across the sail that will increase the lift and raise the kite to a higher elevation. A series of sharp pulls separated by short periods of little or no line movement is more effective than steady movement. Larger kites require longer pulls. The actual speed and the length of the pull depend on the wind, the size of the kite and the style of the kite so the proper rhythm is best determined by feel.
Note: The highest kite is not the best kite. As kites get higher they look smaller to spectators and take more work to reel in at the end of the day!

Reacting to wind drops
A kite will stay aloft as long as the wind is sufficient and the kite remains stable. Should it begin to fall or glide toward you, the wind is insufficient. If the kite begins to fall, pull in the line! If it continues falling or gets closer to the ground, pull in line quickly using the hand-over-hand method.
When the wind gives out, kites will vary in the rate they will sink to the ground. This is usually determined by their shape and weight. For instance, box kites sink rapidly yet they respond to a long line launch as well as any other kite. Whether or not a kite stays up depends upon the wind speed at their flying altitude. In general, the lighter the kite, the easier it will be to fly when the wind is less than optimum.

Managing your line
When flying your kite, you'll be handling your line much more than the kite. You'll have to release and take in line to avoid knots, twists and tangles. During periods of light wind your line may droop toward the ground. Reel it in. When the wind picks up, you may want to release line quickly to take advantage of better wind at higher elevations.

A spool will help. When using a spool, always take line off the spool from the same side from which the line was put on the spool. As you wrap the line on the spool you put a twist into the line but as you remove the line the twist comes back out of the line. If you remove the line from the wrong side you will accidentally double the twists in the line.
Tip: Experienced kite fliers usually pull in kite line hand-over-hand laying the line on the ground in a zig-zag pattern. Once the kite is disconnected from the line it can be easily wound onto a reel or spool under little or no tension.

Experienced kite fliers usually pull in kite line hand-over-hand laying the line on the ground in a zig-zag pattern. Once the kite is disconnected from the line it can be easily wound onto a reel or spool under little or no tension.
  • If you pile kite line on the ground, many small piles are better than one big one.
  • If you try to pull the line out from the bottom of the pile you'll create amazing knots. Instead, always remove the line from the top of the pile.
  • When your line gets tangled, don't pull on it. That will only tighten the knots. Instead, carefully loosen the tangle and pull out the loops.
Untangling wrapped lines
If two kite lines become wrapped around each other, they should be quickly unwrapped. The correct actions will prevent one line from cutting the other. To bring the tangle down to your hands, walk quickly to the side of the other kiteflier and hold your lines together. The wrap will slide down the lines to where you can reach it. Unwrap the lines until you're free then move quickly away from the other flier. You may want to move further away than before to prevent a future tangle.

Add tails to fly in heavier winds. Tails help to stabilize kites by creating drag below and in-line with the kite. To do this, tails are often attached at the bottom of the spine. Drag can compensate for the instability created by higher wind or by intentional or unintentional design features of a given kite. Bear in mind, the lighter the tail, the better because tails should add drag, not weight.
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