Correction I would like to point out that there are some errors in the report below.
1) Richard Synergy’s broke the altitude record in 2000 not in 1995.
2) Robert Moore did not plan on or make a record attempt on the same day. Mr. Moore’s attempt is scheduled for April of 2007 and not April 2006.
I would like to thank Robert Moore for bringing this to my attention.
Good article in the North Platte Telegraph about a new kite altitude world record.
You can find out more information about the current record holder, Canadian Richard Synergy at the Toronto Kite Fliers site.
Australian Robert Moore will be attempting to break the record at the same time on the other side of the world. Here is a post I made about his last attempt Kite Altitude Record Still in Tact
MILLIKEN, Colo. – The world record for kite flying height is 13,509 feet, but on Labor Day weekend, it may be broken. Milliken, Colo., resident Richard Crawford plans to set a new record of 15,000 feet at the Callaway Kite Flight.
“It’s all up to God and mother nature,” he said. “I’ve got the tools, the gizmos. All I need is the wind. It’s kind of a crap shoot.”
The current world record is held by 1995 by Canadian Richard Synergy.
The 43-year-old Crawford is a production chemist at a Boulder, Colo.,-based custom chemical manufacturing company. He’s been flying kites for 18 years and custom builds kites in a hobby he calls “Stitched by Rich.”
When asked why he decided to go for the record, Crawford said, “I wish I knew.”
After studying the world record numbers, he said to himself, “Wow, that looks pretty doable.”
“I thought, ‘It’s kind of high, but it’s not that high,'” Crawford said.
Callaway Kite Flight has been a destination spot the last three years for Crawford. He’s been practicing getting his kite up to extreme heights.
Last year he made it to a little more than 5,000 feet.
“The winds (at Callaway) have always been dynamite,” he said. “Getting to 5,000 feet was very easy.”
The perfect day for achieving his goal would include ground-level winds at 15 mph, gradually increasing to 35 mph at 15,000 feet.
“If I’ve got that, I’m there. It’s a done deal,” he said. “Something close to (those conditions) might get the job done, but either way I’m going to have a lot of fun.”
“That’s another reason I go to Callaway,” Crawford said. “These people are a blast.”
He plans to be in Callaway by Friday noon when he will scout out the kite flight area and set up his equipment at Foster Smith Field, four and a half miles southeast of Callaway.
He’s bringing an eight-person support team with him to help. There will be dangers associated with attempt, so Crawford and his team will launch from way in the back of the field. He said his group would bring their own sound system, video cameras to record the history-setting event and walkie-talkies to provide updates to the announcer near the spectators.
Before he was able to plan his adventure, Crawford was required to get proper authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration.
“You let the FAA know what you’re doing, where you’re doing it and how high you’re doing it,” Crawford said. He was given an FAA-cleared notice to airmen that warn pilots the fly space is being used and he was given a waiver for marking his kite string.
Instead of the general requirement that places a marker every 50 feet on his kite line, Crawford will only have to mark his line every 1,000 feet. He will need about 30,000 feet of line, he said and marking it every 50 feet would have been quite an obstacle.
The kite string Crawford will be flying is a very fine line called aramid fiber. He said the high tensile line is about four times the tensile strength of steel.
He will have a global positioning system on board his kite along with wireless telemetry that will be wire flight information down to his laptop computer on the ground.
His kite is a self-designed 26-foot wingspan Delta. Since he’s the designer, Crawford believes he has eliminated any failure points that would keep him from reaching his goal and causing the kite to rip apart.
Crawford is lucky enough to have found sponsorship for his world-record attempt. Twin Line, a company in Boulder, will be supplying the line and MaxStream, a wireless company is providing the communications to his computer.
It would have cost Crawford more than $2,000 just for the kite line.
“I was ready to pay that if I had to, but had been putting feelers out and was lucky to find a sponsor,” he said.
A winch with a 6.5 horsepower engine will be used to reel the kite back to the ground.
Although Saturday morning is Crawford’s target launch time, he is prepared to try again on Sunday if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
To verify that Crawford does set a new world record, he is required to have three signatures from witnesses to the event. One of those will be Don Murphy, the regional director for the American Kite Association.
On the same weekend, a fellow kite-flyer in Australia plans to attempt the world record as well. He and Crawford have been in contact by email.