s. [ [http://www.kitelife.com/magazine/issue39/altitude39/content.php Flying High, Down Under] When the kite line broke, the kites still received tension from the very long kite line.] The anchor point of the kite line may be static or moving (e.g., the towing of a kite by a running person, boat, [ [http://cires.colorado.edu/science/field/kites/ Science in the Field: Ben Balsley, CIRES Scientist in the Field Gathering atmospheric dynamics data using KITES. Kites are anchored to boats on Amazon River employed to sample levels of certain gases in the air.] ] or vehicle [ [http://uboat.net/technical/bachstelze.htm The Bachstelze Article describes the Fa-330 Rotary Wing Kite towed by its mooring to the submarine. The kite was a man-lifter modeled after the autogyro principle.] ] [ [http://www.drachen.org/journals/journal22/Journal-22/TalStreet.pdf Kite Fashions: Above, Below, Sideways. Expert kiter sometimes ties a flying kite to a tree to have the kite fly for days on end.] ] ). Kites may be flown for
recreation, artor other practical uses. Sport kitescan be flown in aerial ballet, sometimes as part of a competition. Power kites are multi-line steerable kites designed to generate large forces which can be used to power activities such as kite surfing, kite landboardingor kite buggying. Kites towed behind boats can lift passengers [ [http://www.kite-enterprises.com/articles/Texas.htm Deep In the Heart of Texas by Dave Broyles] Boat kiting] which has had useful military applications in the past. [ [http://collections.nasm.si.edu/code/emuseum.asp?style=browse¤trecord=1&page=search&profile=objects&searchdesc=Wagtail&quicksearch=Wagtail&newvalues=1&newstyle=single&newcurrentrecord=1 Focke-Achgelis Fa 330A-1 Bachsteltze (Water Wagtail) Kite is preserved in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum] ]
The kite was first invented and popularized approximately 2,800 years ago in
China, where materials ideal for kite building were readily available: silkfabric for sail material, fine, high-tensile-strength silk for flying line, and resilient bamboofor a strong, lightweight framework. Alternatively, kite author Clive Hart and kite expert Tal Streeter hold that kites existed far before that time. [ [http://www.drachen.org/journals/journal10/journal_10.pdf Drachen Foundation Journal Fall 2002, page 18. Two lines of evidence: analysis of leaf kiting and some cave drawings] ] The kite was said to be the invention of the famous 5th century BC Chinese philosophers Moziand Lu Ban. By at least 549 AD paperkites were being flown, as it was recorded in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission.Needham, Volume 4, Part 1, 127.] Ancient and medieval Chinese sources list other uses of kites for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signaling, and communication for military operations. The earliest known Chinese kites were flat (not bowed) and often rectangular. Later, tailless kites incorporated a stabilizing bowline. Kites were decorated with mythological motifs and legendary figures; some were fitted with strings and whistles to make musical sounds while flying. [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-215106 (2007). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved March 29, 2007, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online] ]
After its appearance in
China, the kite migrated to Japan, Korea, Thailand, Burma(Myanmar), India, Arabia, and North Africa, then farther south into the Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, and the islands of Oceaniaas far east as Easter Island. Since kites made of leaves have been flown in Malaya and the South Seas from time immemorial, the kite could also have been invented independently in that region.
One ancient design, the fighter kite, became popular throughout Asia. Most variations, including the fighter kites of India, Thailand and Japan, are small, flat, roughly diamond-shaped kites made of paper, with a tapered bamboo spine and a balanced bow. Flown without tails that would hinder their agility, these highly maneuverable flat kites have a length of cutting line coated with an abrasive attached to the bridle, which is then tied to a light cotton flying line. Although the rules of
kite fightingvaried from country to country, the basic combat was to maneuver the swift kite in such a way as to cut the opponent's flying line.
Although the rules of
kite fightingvaried from country to country, the basic combat was to maneuver the swift kite in such a way as to cut the opponent's flying line.
Kite flying began much later in
Europethan in Asia. While unambiguous drawings of kites first appeared in print in the Netherlandsand Englandin the 17th century, pennon-type kites that evolved from military banners dating back to Roman times and earlier were flown during the Middle Ages. Joseph Needhamsays that the earliest European description of a kite comes from the "Magia Naturalis" written in 1589 by the Italian polymath Giambattista della Porta(1535–1615). [Needham, Joseph. (1986). "Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Part 2, Mechanical Engineering". Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd. Page 580.]
During the 18th century tailless bowed kites were still unknown in Europe. Flying flat arch- or pear-shaped kites with tails had become a popular pastime, mostly among children. The first recorded scientific application of a kite took place in 1749 when
Alexander Wilsonof Scotlandused a kite train (two or more kites flown from a common line) as a meteorologic device for measuring temperature variations at different altitudes.
The next year, in 1750,
Benjamin Franklinpublished a proposal for an experiment to prove that lightning is electricityby flying a kite in a storm that appeared capable of becoming a lightningstorm. Benjamin Franklin wisely never preformed his experiment, but on May 10, 1752, Thomas-François Dalibardof France conducted Franklin's experiment (using a 40-foot (12 m)-tall iron rod instead of a kite) and extracted electrical sparks from a cloud. [ http://www.mos.org/sln/toe/kite.html ] [ http://www.amazon.com/Bolt-Fate-Benjamin-Franklin-Electric/dp/1891620703 ]
Kites typically consist of one or more spars to which a paper or fabric sail is attached, although some, such as
foil kites, have no spars at all. Classic kites use bamboo, rattanor some other strong but flexible woodfor the spars, paper or light fabrics such as silkfor the sails, and are flown on string or twine. Modern kites use synthetic materials, such as ripstop nylonor more exotic fabrics for the sails, fiberglassor carbon fiber for the spars and dacronor dyneemafor the kite lines.
Kites can be designed with many different shapes, forms, and sizes. They can take the form of flat geometric designs, boxes and other three-dimensional forms, or modern sparless inflatable designs. Kites flown by children are often simple geometric forms (for example, the diamond). In Asia, children fly dried symmetrical leaves on sewing thread and sled-style kites made from sheets of folded writing paper.Fact|date=February 2007
Designs often emulate flying insects, birds, and other beasts, both real and mythical. The finest Chinese kites are made from split bamboo (usually golden bamboo), covered with silk, and hand painted. On larger kites, clever hinges and latches allow the kite to be disassembled and compactly folded for storage or transport. Cheaper mass-produced kites are often made from printed
polyesterrather than silk.
Tails are used for some single-line kite designs to keep the kite's nose pointing into the wind. Spinners and spinsocks can be attached to the flying line for visual effect. There are rotating wind socks which spin like a
turbine. On large display kites these tails, spinners and spinsocks can be 50 feet (15m) long or more.
Modern acrobatic kites use two or four lines to allow fine control of the kite's angle to the wind. Traction kites may have an additional line to de-power the kite and quick-release mechanisms to disengage flyer and kite in an emergency.
Kites have been used for military uses in the past for signaling, for delivery of munitions, and for observation, by lifting an observer above the field of battle, and by using
kite aerial photography. Kim Yu-Sin (or Kim Yushin), a Korean general, in 637 C.E. rallied his troops to defeat rebels by kite lofting a burning ball. [ [http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Ow-Sh/Park-Linda-Sue.html Linda Sue Park Biography] ] Kites were also used by Admiral Yiof the Joseon(1392-1910) Dynasty of Korea.Fact|date=May 2007 During the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-1598), Admiral Yi commanded his navywith kites. His kites had specific markings directing his fleet to perform his order. Admiral Yi was said to have over 300 such kites.Fact|date=May 2007 The wareventually resulted in a Chinese and Korean victory; the kites played a minor role in the war's conclusion.
In more modern times the British navy also used kites to haul human lookouts high into the air to see over the horizon and possibly the enemy ships, for example with the kite developed by Samuel Franklin Cody. [ [http://www.aero.lr.tudelft.nl/~frits/cody.html Cody kites] ] Barrage kites were used to protect London as well as the Pacific coast of the United States during the last century. [ [http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze26db3/Miscellaneous/Warkites.htm Kites On The Winds of War By M. Robinson] ] [ [http://www.sole.org.uk/saulkite.htm Barrage Kite] ] Kites and kytoons were used for lofting communications antenna. [ [http://www.worldkitemuseum.com/exhibits.html World Kite Museum] ]
Submarineslofted observers in rotary kites. [ Focke Achgelis Fa 330] The Rogallo parawing kite [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=BKTuTXrXQu0C The Parachute Manual: A Technical Treatise on Aerodynamic Decelerators By Dan Poynter] ] and the Jalbert parafoil kite were used for governable parachutes (free-flying kites) to deliver troops and supplies. [ [http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/issues/2001/Aug/Army_Aims.htm Army Aims for More Precise Ways to Drop Troops, Cargo] ]
cience and meteorology
Kites have been used for scientific purposes, such as
Benjamin Franklin's famous experiment proving that lightningis electricity. Kites were the precursors to aircraft, and were instrumental in the development of early flying craft. Alexander Graham Bellexperimented with very large man-lifting kites, as did the Wright brothersand Lawrence Hargrave. Kites had an historical role in lifting scientific instruments to measure atmospheric conditions for weather forecasting.
Radio aerials and light beacons
Kites can be used for radio purposes, by kites carrying antennas for MF, LF or VLF-transmitters. This method was used for the reception station of the first transatlantic transmission by Marconi. Captive balloons may be more convenient for such experiments, because kite-carried antennas require a lot of wind, which may be not always possible with heavy equipment and a ground conductor. It must be taken into account during experiments, that a conductor carried by a kite can lead to a high voltage toward ground, which can endanger people and equipment, if suitable precautions (grounding through resistors or a parallel resonant-circuit tuned to transmission frequency) are not taken.
Kites can be used to carry light effects such as lightsticks or battery powered lights.
Kites can be used to pull people and vehicles downwind. Efficient foil-type kites such as
power kites can also be used to sail upwind under the same principles as used by other sailing craft, provided that lateral forces on the ground or in the water are redirected as with the keels, center boards, wheels and ice blades of traditional sailing craft. In the last two decades several kite sailing sports have become popular, such as kite buggying, kite landboarding and kite surfing. Snow kiting has also become popular in recent years.
Kite sailing opens several possibilities not available in traditional sailing:
*Wind speeds are greater at higher altitudes
*Kites may be manoeuvered dynamically which increases the force available dramatically
*There is no need for mechanical structures to withstand bending forces; vehicles or hulls can be very light or dispensed with all together
The German company
SkySailshas developed ship-pulling kites as a supplemental power source for cargo ships, first tested in January 2008 on the ship MS Beluga Skysails. [cite web| url=http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/look-its-a-freighter-its-a-sailboat-its-both/ | title=It's a freighter, it's a sailboat - no it's both | author=Andrew Revkin] Trials on this 55 m ship have shown that, in favorable winds, the kite reduces fuel consumption by up to 30%. This system is planned to be in full commercial production late 2008. [ [http://skysails.info/index.php?L=1 Skysail ship pulling system] ] Kites are available as an auxiliary sail or emergency spinnakerfor sailing boats. Self-launching Parafoilkites are attached to the mast.citation needed|date=February 2008 MS Beluga Skysailsis the world's first commercial container cargo shippartially powered by a giant computer-controlled kite (160 m² or 1,722 sq ft). The kite could reduce fuel consumption by 20%. It was launched on 17 December 2007and was set to leave the northern German port of Bremerhavento Guanta, Venezuelaon January 22, 2008. Stephan Wrage, managing director of SkySailsGmbH announced: "During the next few months we will finally be able to prove that our technology works in practice and significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions." Verena Frank, project manager at Beluga Shipping GmbH, SkySails GmbH's partner further stated that "the project's core concept was using wind energy as auxiliary propulsion power and using wind as a free of charge energy". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7201887.stm BBC NEWS, Kite to pull ship across Atlantic] ]
A conceptual research and development project by
Makani Power, based in Californiaand funded by Google.org, is investigating the use of kites in harnessing high altitude wind currents to generate electricity. [ [http://www.makanipower.com/ Makani Power website] ]
Delft University of Technologyproject has used a 10 m² kite to generate 10 kilowatts of power. [cite news |url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/aug/03/renewableenergy.energy |title=Giant kites to tap power of the high wind |publisher=The Observer |date=2008-08-03 |author=Alok Jha |accessdate=2008-08-04]
Kite festivals are a popular form of entertainment throughout the world. They include small local events, traditional festivals which have been held for hundreds of years and major international festivals which bring in kite flyers from overseas to display their unique art kites and demonstrate the latest technical kites.
Kite flying is popular in many Asian countries, where it often takes the form of '
kite fighting', in which participants try to snag each other's kites or cut other kites down. [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9045682 Kite.(2007) Encyclopedia Britannica Online] ] Fighter kites are usually small, flat, flattened diamond-shaped kites made of paper and bamboo. Tails are not used on fighter kites so that agility and maneuverability are not compromised. In Afghanistanthis is known as "Gudiparan Bazi". Some kite fighters pass their strings through a mixture of ground glass powder and glue. The resulting strings are very abrasive and can sever the competitor's strings more easily. The abrasive strings can also injure people. During the Talibanrule in Afghanistan, kite flying was banned, among various other recreations.
Vietnam, kites are flown without tails. Instead small flutes are attached allowing the wind to "hum" a musical tune. There are other forms of sound-making kites. In Bali, large bows are attached to the front of the kites to make a deep throbbing vibration, and in Malaysia row of gourds with sound-slots are use to create a whistle as the kite flies.fact|date=April 2008
Indian festival of Makar Sankrantiis devoted to kite fightingin some states. This spring festival is celebrated every January 15, with millions of people flying kites all over northern India. The states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, some part of West Bengal, Rajasthan , and the cities of Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Dhanbadand Hyderabad are particularly notable for their kite fighting festivals. Kite flying in Hyderabad starts a month before the official kite flying festival (Sankranthi). The thread used to fly kites in Hyderabad is known as 'Manjaa'. Highly maneuverable single-string paper and bamboo kites are flown from the rooftops while using line friction in an attempt to cut each other's kite lines, either by letting the line loose at high speed or by pulling the line in a fast and repeated manner. In some Indian cities kite flying/fighting is an important part of other celebrations, including Republic Day, Independence Day, Raksha Bandhan, and Janmashtami.
Pakistan, kite flying is a popular ritual for the spring festival known as Basant. However, kite flying is currently banned as some kite fliers engage in kite battles by coating their strings with glass or shards of metal, leading to injuries and death. Kite fightingis a very popular sport in Pakistan, mainly centered in Lahore. Kup, Patang, Guda, and Nakhlaoo are some of the kites used in fighting and they vary in balance, weight and speed through the air. Weifang, Shandong, Chinapromotes itself as the kite capital of the world. It is home to the largest kite museum in the world, which has a display area of 8100m². Weifang hosts an annual international kite festival on the large salt flats south of the city. There are several kite museums in Japan and others in England, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA.
Greeceand Cyprus, flying kites is a tradition for Clean Monday, the first day of Lent. In the British Overseas Territoryof Bermuda, traditional Bermuda kites are made and flown at Easter, to symbolise Christ's ascent. Bermuda kites hold the world records for altitude and duration.fact|date=April 2008
Chile, it is very popular, especially during Independence Day festivities (September 18).
The Kite Runner", a 2005 novel by Khaled Hosseinidramatizes the role of kite fightingin pre-war Kabul.
Peanutscartoon character Charlie Brownwas often depicted having flown his kite into a tree as a metaphor for life's adversities.
General safety issues
There are safety issues involved in kite-flying, more so with power kites. Kite lines can strike and tangle on electrical power lines, causing power blackouts and running the risk of electrocuting the kite flier. Wet kite lines or wire can act as a conductor for static electricity and lightning when the weather is stormy. Kites with large surface areas or powerful lift can lift the kite flier off the ground or drag them into stationary objects. In urban areas there is usually a ceiling on how high a kite can be flown, to prevent the kite and line infringing on the airspace of helicopters and light aircraft. In
Asia, specially in the Indian subcontinentthe twine is coated with powdered glass to cut opponent's lines and these deadly strings known as Manja are reported to kill number of pedestrians or motorcyclists each year all over the region. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3491057.stm Kite deaths mar Pakistan festival] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2978988.stm Pakistan tackles killer kites By Shahid Malik] ]
Types of kites
Arch kiterotary two-anchor rainbow arch and static two-anchor rainbow arch
* Cellular or box kite
* Foil or
Inflatable single-line kite
* Rogallo Parawing kite
* Stunt kite
* Water kite The kite pioneer
Domina Jalberttold Tal Streeter that water kites are hardly different from air kites and could have many applications. [ [http://www.drachen.org/journals/a10/Domina-Jalbert.pdf Page 42 of Drachen Foundation Journal Fall 2002] The pioneer kite inventor Domina Jalbert spoke emphatically about the water kite.]
Types of kite line
* Manja or Manjha, Hindi word for the glass powder coated kite flying & fighting string from Indian subcontinent and surrounding regions
* Kite shape (geometry)
Kite aerial photography
* Conceptual kite wind generator
* Bali kite festival
UttarayanThe kite flying festival of northern India
List of books about kites
Remotely operated vehicleSome tethered ROVs are kited with remote controls on fins for underwater kiting. Ships tow the ROVs; the tether often has communication cables in it.
* [http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/shortk.html Mathematics and aeronautical principles of kites]
* [http://www.kitefestival.org Smithsonian Kite Festival] An annual event that features kitemaking competition and other events, held on the
National Mallin Washington, D.C.
* [http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/kap/carrizo/ Kite aerial photography] USGS San Andreas Fault
* [http://www.archive.org/details/kitecraftkitetou00milliala Kitecraft and Kite Tournaments (1914)] A free public domain e-book
* [http://www.carnetdevol.org/ Kite and Airship History]
* [http://www.best-breezes.squarespace.com/ Best-Breezes Kite history] Including timelines of kite history
* [http://www.blueskylark.org/zoo The Virtual Kite Zoo] descriptions and pictures of many types of kite
* [http://plans.kitez.com/ Kite plans] link set
* [http://www.haryana-online.com/kite_flying.htm Fighter kites of India]
* [http://www.drachen.org/see_kites.html List of notable kite museums and international festivals]
* [http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/ocean-kites-top-10-green-ship-designs/ Kites pulling ships]
* [http://www.fletc.gov/about-fletc/glynco-nas-history/lighter-than-air-craft U.S. Civil War kytoons] kites lighter than air used
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.