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A kite train is one kite with multiple wings in its tether set. Often a kite of n# of wings in it is talked about as a train of n# of kites.

Breakaway kite trains ARE dangerous. 
Take every precaution to have a safe system and operation.

See: Cluster Kite Systems









Kite trains and kite stacks  
snakes, trains, dragons, centipedes, chains, beads, stairways to the sky, ladder to the heavens, in-line stack,

Train kites have multiple wings in the kite all using the same tether set. Tether above a wing provide some tension in the tether where a particular wing is set. Each wing contributes to the final tension that will occur at the kite's anchor set. The entire complex forms one kite, a system of many wings. The train may have one anchor or two or more.  The tether set of a train may be of one tether or many tethers; some of the tethers may be for specialized control. Control may initiate special movements in the train parts; the movements vary from angle of attack of the whole set of wings or just a segment of wings.   Special care to prevent breakaway of a train must be taken; inspection of the tether set is paramount for safety. Tether sets may be tapered, but the uppermost wing's close tether segment is to respect upper wind strengths. Tethers may be unbroken through-put lines; or tethers may be made of connected or connectable segments. Each segment might hold one or more wings.

Wings of a train may be of varied shapes and sizes and types. Some organizations restrict some records for trains to specialized definitions, but one is free to establish new categories of train kites. For example, one org might want to restrict trains to having identical same-sized and type of wing for all the wings of the train;  that restriction then forms a train category. Feel free to explore your own categories of trains. Perhaps another wide-view org will open record categories for each type of possible train kite! Keep things open, interesting, creative.  Perhaps someone will want to have every wing in a train be of a unique type and of a distinct size. Perhaps another person will construct a train that tapers sizes with a big wing near the ground and a tiny wing at the top in order to give the illusion of reaching the heavens with the segments seeming to disappear; not everyone needs to know that the upper wings are tapered to tiny!!! Fun.

Discuss: AirborneWindEnergy/message/9941

In a train, the question arises about the wings involved: Would the specific wing fly on its own or not? 

Turbined train kites may have a working generating electric turbine as the tail of each wing in a train. The turbine would stabilize the wing while making useful electricity; the wings would keep the turbines lofted for such work.

See differently kite trees, kite coteries, kite arches, kite clusters, gatherings, formations, collections, flowers, simultaneous multiple singles ...

Train of arches? Two wide set trains?
  • Split wing for add ons
  • Line stoppers
  • Hip harness, not chest.
  • AoA vs loop downing line
  • R-C  train?
  • Two-line trains
  • Three-line trains
  • Four-line trains
  • Kite organized. Keep tails clear. Keep lines untangled.
  • Padded handles
  • Two-line control stacks: land to the edge of the wind window.
  • Consider piezoelectric tails
  • Consider generating turbine tails
  • Consider Pierre Benhaïem  for groundgen
  • Edge locks or edge connects.  Consider split bottom for mid-connect. Just add wing to existing lines.
  • Faust described in AirborneWindEnergy about downwind kite train arches in contrast to crosswind arches.  And some variations all the way to dome meshes of kites.
  • Various schemes of using kite trains in energy production systems.
  • Ladder to the sky for skydiving and hang gliding.
  • Stunt trains
  • Yo-yo Train to drive ground-stationed electric generator or pump or saw or grinder.
  • Train to pull generation cabled-constrained cart
  • ?
Explore experimental
  • Side-by-side single-line trains. Film the interactions and tangles.  Explore two trains at set distances. Then go to three trains. Then four. then five. Explore whisker spreaders. Explore veering sets within the stable sets.
  • Two-line train of foam plates tensed with major lifter wing. Aim for no tailing for the plates. Film the result. Tether tension increases to control the lower plates.   How will the aggregate plate challenges affect the whole system?
  • Needle and thread: sew into main tether a loop of line which holds a bead. Slip a split wing onto the tether; let the bead will be a stopper preventing the wing from sliding u tether. The wing might have a snap receptor to snap grasp the bead.  Explore this more.  This leaves main tether without knots or loops. [ ] CARE FOR THE CHAFING WEAR OF THE MAIN TETHER FROM WING PARTS; PERHAPS A SHEATH IN THE AREA; Slip a helically split piece of vinyl where the bead and wing spars would rub the main tether. PROTECT THE MAIN TETHER FROM WEAR. .
  • Faust Stack Control Bars:  Circle Bar.   Long bar, say 12 ft. to hold multiple line collectors. Mount multiple trains along theCircle Bar or along the Long Bar.  Observe he traffic and interference in different winds and with different pilot wings. Also, consider hoop lines used between trains in the train groups.   August 10,2013.   Joe Faus. Give oer to public domain arts.
  • Various ways to have tapered tethers. Segments is one way. original manufacture is harder. Some rule on segments: Say every 20 wings, increase the tether  to maintain a safety factor.
  • Segments of line. Segments may be of slightly stronger line than the segment down the line. But be aware that the topmost segment is to have a safety factor relative to the reduction of knotting and the stronger upper winds.  The macro picture results in a tapered tether. And a particular wing with its segment tether could be changed out easily.
  • Classroom-count Team Train. Say 20 or 24 or 30 or 40.  Each student decorates a wing for the train kite.
  • Kite train for HG lifting-launching. The ambient wind is already facing the pilot. Split the tether to open the frontal window for the pilot. Release down away from the meeting point of the two tethers.  First set the Lifter Train into skyhook mode; have split tether to two anchors. Have AoA control of the wing set for downing the system; have also a second downing safety line from the upper wing to a third anchor for mitigating breakaways.  Once the system is flying well, then pull the hang glider with pilot up into the air by use of a cord through a lofted pulley.   This is different from dropping from a free balloon, as in a free balloon, the hang gliders do not experience an ambient wind.  Assurance that the hang glider pilot can stay weathercocked during the ascension in the kite train system is important.   
            A second method is to have a kite train lift a runway ramp. Have the system flying and then pull up the hang glider to the ramp.  Then the pilot runs the ramp into the ambient wind and launches almost normally. The ramp will be perforated to let air through, so some "slope lift" will be absent.
         A powered winch could help lift the hang glider and pilot to altitude.  Or a team of club members.  If a set of pulley was used to reduce the tension needed to left, then one person could run the line to lift the hang glider and pilot.
  • There is the very real challenge of a kite train experience more wind than wanted!
    Recall that unless a system has an angle-of-attack control or some other means to de-power the wings, then reverse
    reeling may put the system under even more stress. Consider also whether one has room to run towards the wing set to
    depower. Consider walking down the system rather than reeling in the wings; have a fixed anchor and then walk the line
    down; consider depowering the wings brought down. Also, consider an upper drop line that brings down the upper wings in
    a downwind arch; then depower the wings from the top down once the top wing is pulled down. Consider also radio-control
    devices that would lower the power of each wing in the wing set. Stay aware of weather changes. Bring the system down
    before urgency occurs.
  • Stack of Revolution kite 3:23
    Seven wings in the stack. Wings are tailed for visual effects.
    Four-line control. Two lines per separate handle.
  • A Very Special Kite!
    This very unusual kite which was being flown at the Marina Barrage delighted many who were enjoying a day out in the sun.
  • Three Radian delta kites
  • Sky Delta kites     Three wings in train.
  • Light Hearted Kites    Six Revs in stack.
  • Amazing Kite Control I      Five Revs in stack.
  • 25 Flexifoil Stackers 6' by Paul Thody - Portsmouth 2008
  • 2012 B2 Stack Play      Five Revs stacked.
  • Consider one control bar hold two trains, three trains, four trains, five trains.
  • Consider one control bar that holds a set of trains. First train: one wing. Second train: two wings. Third train: three wings,
  • Consider one control bar that holds a set of trains, say seven trains where the far left and far right trains have seven wings in each stack; then the next matching pair have five wings; then the next matching pair have 3 wings; and then the center train of 1 wing.
  • Consider one control bar with sine wave set of trains: 7, 5, 3, 5, 7, 5, 3, 5, 7
    Consider one control bar with a set of 10 trains of 10 wings each; have in the decoration a programmed design of kixels that say something or shown something.
    Cosider free-flight inhabited of a stack of 10 wings with controls.
  • Revolution kite stack - xmas wrapping paper - Frejus2007       Three Revs in stack.
  • World Record Flight of Micron Kites Vid: 6:57     Fifty wings in the two-line stack.
  • 3 great Flexfoil Power kites stacks - Team Impossible - at the Berck Vid: 4:21  Three pilots near each other have a stack kite of seven Flexifoil wings.
  • Flying the Micron 5 stack SINGLEHANDED !      Vid: 1:10
    One hand on control bar. Two-line sport kites in stack. Five wings.
  • Hawk's Stack of Single Point Jessy Kites       Vid: 1:16      Four wings.
  • Jumps with 4 stacked Flexifoil powerkites      Vid: 1:52
  • http://www.papirsarkany.hu/images/sarkany.jpg   Still photo of train

Some still images:

AWES and trains A. van Gries promoted trains and coteries for lifting turbines. See full patent and discussion. AirborneWindEnergy/message/5112

Tailed turbines in Train  AirborneWindEnergy/message/9904

Samuel Perkins  
Found in August, 2013
Failure modes explored and mitigations also Bi-Conductive Dual-Tether Kite-Stack Major Failure-Mode
Posted By: santos137     Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:02 pm |

The AWES Forum has covered the subject of kite stacks (a close-spaced train) in AWE in numerous messages. We trace our modern era to Dave Culp's Flexi-stacks pulling Tornado catamaran decades ago. He found stacks a nightmare, and came to champion giant mono-kites to pull ships. Since then, many AWE stack concepts have been shared and some tested (note PierreB's OrthoKite Bunch), with single trains now giving way to arches and domes. Expect to see many short stacks under arches, if the evolutionary trend in our R&D circles holds.

The primary failure mode of a two-tether kite-stack, with each tether as one of a conductive-pair, is a twisted-tether short-circuit. Tall stacks are not very stable and tend to dance harmonically to the extent the kites have mass, are closely-spaced, and similar. In rising wind, this "crosswind-strum" builds, and an irresistible twist is probable. Stacks are also quite hard to launch and land by automation, but Doug is welcomed to solve this bottleneck, if he thinks he really can.

Here is one of my personal Kite Masters, Gary of the Detroit Windjammers, the team that gave me great hands-on stack training, like this video can do for you-
Advanced stack flying  
[[ Gary Maynard as PIC ]]


  • The challenges mentioned may be opportunities. Exploring possible mitigations and alternatives will reveal new opportunities.
    • The wings of a kite stack need not be of the same mass or same flying characteristics.
    • Dave Culp's stacks did not seem to have a remote upper lifter; the purpose of his stacks seem to have been traction.
    • The "closeness" of wings in a stack is relative; the distance could be less than a span of a wing involved or more than a span, etc. All options may have interesting qualities.
    • Kite stacks need not be flown cross-wind.  If a stack is itself the lifter of WECS where the WECS have elements flying to crosswind, then new avenues open.
    • Look for how to face thermal-caused twisting in trains and stacks. Could a stack be controlled to avoid thermal-initiated twists. The tornado-like helicities might be flown out of or maybe even mined for twist; I am leaving open this realm for study.
    • By "conductive" usually means electrically conductive unless otherwise noted. Conducting mechanical translation or torsion are two other ways energy may be conducted in tether lines.  Also, lines might conduct gases or liquids or high-frequency mechanical vibrations.
    • v
    • v
    • v
France's Captain Dorand's kite trains ????  [ ]  and more.
England's early kite ascensions ??? [ ]
Terms used in kite trains pilot kite, head kite, carrier kites, top of train, bottom of train, arch trains,
Jacques-Théodore Saconney
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques-Th%C3%A9odore_Saconney
  • Cerfs-Volants Militaires: Théorie pratique de cerf-volant cellulaire et des trains de cerfs-volants. Berger-Levault : 1909
  • Title Cerfs-volants militaires...
    Author Jacques-Théodore Saconney (Général.)
    Publisher Berger-Levrault, 1909
    Length 94 pages                                       NO EBOOK YET.
Aerial Military Photography
by Kites and Balloons
1902 - 1915
Some train items


  Al Hargus

The Aeronautical Journal, Volumes 1-7


  Welcome to KiteTrains
This room is for appreciating and advancing the kite-train sector of kiting. Purposeful kite trains are importantly part of the rumble as kite energy faces the need for clean and sustainable renewable energy. Working loop trains or loop laddermills have yet to show themselves. Methods of train handling is a growing sector. Over-pressure strategies will challenge developers. "Flying rope" beckons mastery. And much more!

Centipedes, segmented dragons, tight trains, sparse-wing trains, single-line trains, two-line trains, three-line trains, four-line trains, n-line trains, wide trains, narrow trains, tapered trains, hybrid trains, branching trains, trees, coteries, n-anchored trains, loop trains, cross-winding trains, train turbines, inhabited trains, ... and more invite mastery from which may give birth to successful task achievers and energy providers.

Share what you know. Show your projects. Ask questions. Help others with answers. Stay safe. Protect others' property and life. Have no breakaways. When flying FFAWE trains have the smarts and airspace permissions needed for a fully safe flight. Form teams to cover contingencies. Tell us about your successes and incidents.

Best of drags and lifts,



Drachen Foundation on Eiji Ohashi