Kites are given mooring by many methods. Watercraft and aircraft traditionally have the term "mooring" applied to making the watercraft or aircraft fast to some external object. The kite has two parts: wing and kite line; the kite essentially needs mooring to either a mobile or fixed object in order to develop the tension in the kite line that gets converted to lift and drag to have the kite fly in its media (air, water, gases, plasma, soil, ice). Governments frequently have regulations about the mooring of atmospheric balloons and atmospheric kites that are operated in governed airspace. The United States Federal Aviation Regulation Part 101 regulates the mooring of qualified kites and balloons in airspace that the U.S. governs; those regulations do not apply to ungoverned spaces and special ambient flying media.
Kite lines of a flying kite moored to a non-moving object (tree stump, ground soil anchor, kite anchor, rock, fence, pole, non-moving car, resting person, ...or any non-moving object, then the kite is statically moored. People are still responsible for kites that they moor to static objects under moral responsibility and under regulations of some governing body. Mooring kites to static objects occurs for various reasons. The tension in a kite line may be so great that the kite line pulls off its mooring or breaks the mooring; injury to property and people may result when a kite or kite system is improperly moored; a kite may drag its mooring inadvertently so that unintended consequences occur---in such instances the mooring is no longer holding the kite fast as might have been intended.
Dynamic or mobile mooring
When a recreation kiting person is holding a kite line in his or her hand to moor a kite, then the hand moves, even if slightly; but the hand may move greatly to control the kite in kite fighting or stunt-kite flying. Also, the person may walk windward or oppositely for various reasons. That all is an example of a well-known mobil kite mooring. Other well-noted mobile kite moorings include a towing scooter, a towing bicycle, a skate board, a wave-moved surfboard or kiteboard, a cargo-ship, a boat, a horse, a dog, a raft, ...and many other moving vehicles or machines. Some kiters moor a kite to a floating object and let the kite tow the object across ponds, lakes, bays; some persons moor themselves to kites and let the kite tow them across water bodies, sand expanses, and grass fields. Others have historically found ways to safely moor themselves to kite lines where the kite is a very large wing while they jump off hills and mountains to fly their kites in the special kiting mode that is then called hang gliding; since the pilot is mobile, then the mooring is a dynamic mooring. U.S. FAR 101 covers the dynamically moored manned hang gliders without using the word "mooring" in the regulation; some hang gliders are not kites; some hang glider are kites. The engineering challenges for mooring cargo-ship moored kite system are daunting. Mooring the war time barrage balloons and kytoons challenged engineers and operators. Accidents in mooring have killed people.
Soil mooring of kites
To fulfil the responsibility of safely mooring kites, when a person decides to moor a kite to the soil, they have used various kinds of anchors. Some kite stores sell stakes for kite anchoring (mooring). The literature has noted that dog-parking helical metal stakes make good soil anchors for some kites; the wind strength and kite line tension would be estimated with some safety margin in order for there to be a safe operation.
When flying a world-record-sized recreation kite, a famous professional kite flier lost his life as he became an accidental mooring of the large kite. When extreme-sport kitesurfers are themselves the dynamic mooring gone astray, they sometimes slam into rocks, buildings, people, thorns, trees ...that end up in minor to fatal injuries. The kite system called paraglider has the human pilot as the dynamic mooring; when collapse of the kite's wing occurs too near the ground and there is not time to use a parachute, injury results to person and property. When a statically moored kite-type hang glider is moored improperly, gusts sometimes lift the kite and the kite hang glider gets into a lockout condition and slams into the ground, breaking itself and sometimes causing injury to persons and other property. Mooring kites so the kite can reach electric high voltage powerlines can cause outages in electrical service and sometimes injury or death to persons. Most every recreational kite sold has a tag that refers to where to fly the kite; this is implicitly telling the operator to keep the kite moored in a safe manner. Humans are responsible for the kites they anchor or set into free-flight. One of the downsides to the war-time use of barrage balloon (kytoons) involved cut tether cables that dragged into power lines causing loss of production of other needed goods. See the safety list at National Kite Month:
Reels, winders, line keepers, line baskets, line balls, heaping, bagging, boxing
Kite lines are stored in a mooring situation; a storage devices or reels become part of the mooring. When a human kite operator holds a reel, the kite line may be let out or wound back onto the reel; the kite operator is the mooring, yet the reel is part of the mooring situation; the reel and the reeling of the kite line has many parameters that make for successful kite operating. Similarly, the kite lines for large cargo-ship kite systems need to be carefully designed to hold and operate the kite lines; huge pressures on the reels require that reels be designed to fit the task. Kite lines may be damaged when improperly reeled; twist to the kite line may increase or decrease unwantedly when kite line let out and replaced on the reel incorrectly. The pattern of keeping the kite line on reel cores is given attention by kite operators. De-tensioning kite lines before storing on a reel is done when such is needed for safety and maintenance of kite line integrity. Avoiding excessive twist, burn, pressure accumulation, cutting, tangles, knotting during mooring are important aspects of kite operating; injury and death have resulted from inadequate care for handling kite lines. Lines moored to control bars, masts, poles, stakes, anchors, reels, hooks, etc. mean that the mooring being operated needs to have such parts mechanically sustain integrity during kite operation. A chain is as strong as its weakest link; the mooring of a kite system requires the line holding mechanisms to be fully able to stay properly operating during all anticipated contingencies of flight sessions. Reels themselves are sometimes involved in special applications like generating electricity. When kiting hang glider for pay-out launching, timing of the reel's release of kite line is very important. Reels powered by scooters are kiting manned hang gliders off flatland.
Kite reel patents
- IMPROVEMENT IN REELS FOR CLOTHES-LINES AND KITE-STRINGS Durene K. Norton, 1874.
- KITE REEL Wong U. S. Patent:3652027 filing date: Oct 8, 1970.
- U.S. Patent number: 282620 Filing date: Feb 3, 1883. This mechanism handles a water kite or underwater inverted kite.
- Reel for flying kites. John C. Gunn. U.S. Patent 274490 of 1883.
- Reel by Albert M. McGuire. U.S. Patent 850236 Filing date: Aug 28, 1908
- Kite reel. U.S. Patent 1067643
- Combination kite control and reel device U.S. Patent: 4796827 Filing date: Aug 26, 1987.
- Kite-string holder. U.S. Patent 1296268 of 1919.
- KITE REEL by George D. Wanner, 1921. US Pat. 1414237 - Filed Apr 18,1921.
- Wind drive apparatus for an aerial wind power generation system by Gaylord G. Olson. US Pat. 7275719 - Filed Feb 9, 2007