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Circular flight kite tests: converting to standard results

  • J. C. Stevenson (a1) and K. V. Alexander (a2)

Kite testing by flying in a horizontal circle, was developed in order to address the inevitable accuracy problems inherent in pre-existing kite measurement techniques. However the raw results from this circular flight method are not directly comparable with traditional kite performance measurements. To enable direct comparisons to be made, modifying equations have been developed to convert the raw circular flight results into the traditional measurements of lift to drag ratio, and lift coefficient. This paper derives the modifying equations, and presents experimental results comparing traditional measurements with both the raw and modified circular flight results. The modifying equations are applied to an example set of results to assess the sensitivity of the test environment parameters. It is concluded that for many cases, the discrepancy between the raw circular flight test results and traditional measurement techniques is small enough to ignore. Alternatively, the modifying equations given in the paper may readily be encoded so that traditional results may be quickly obtained from this novel test method.

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1. Stevenson, J.C., Traction Kite Testing and Aerodynamics, 2003, PhD thesis, University of Canterbury.
2. Stevenson, J.C., Alexander, K.V. and Lynn, P., Kite performance testing by flying in a circle. Aeronaut J, 2005, 109, (1096), pp 269276.
3. Alexander, K.V. and Stevenson, J., A test rig for kite performance measurement, 2001, Proceedings of Institution of Mech Engineers, 215, Part B, pp 595598.
4. Geola, J.S., Somu, N., Abedinzadeh, R. and Vijakumar, R., Wind loading effects on a caternary, J Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 1985, 21, pp 235249.
5. Hoerner, S.F., Fluid Dynamic Drag, 1965, USA.
6. Alexander, K.V. and Stevenson., J.C., Kite Equilibrium and bridle length, Aeronaut J, 2001, 105, (1051), pp 535541.
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The Aeronautical Journal
  • ISSN: 0001-9240
  • EISSN: 2059-6464
  • URL: /core/journals/aeronautical-journal
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