Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Does A Kite Fly - Kite Parts

Kites are aircraft by definition, a heavier than air craft consisting of a wood or fiberglass frame which is covered by light fabric, paper, or plastic. To this craft is attached a string, which is held by the flier on the ground. How does a kite fly? The kite achieves flight by virtue of its resistance to the wind provided by the string held firmly by the flier, and lift provided by the flow of air over and around the frame.

All kites, although different in appearance, have parts which can be identified and which are common to most kites. The parts of a kite are few and easy to learn. The nose is the top point of the kite. The center stick is the vertical support stick which determines the kites height. The bridle line is the line to which the tow, or kite line, is attached. The bridle line is attached at the nose of the kite and also at the base of the center stick. The tow line is the line held by the flier. It is attached to the bridle line at the tow point, which is the point on the bridle line at which the kite is perfectly balanced, allowing it to fly.

1. Tow Point
2. Leading Edge
3. Trailing edge
4. Bridle Line
5. Keel
6. Cross Stick
7. Nose
8. Center Stick

The launching field for your kite should be a fairly open space. Houses, trees, and towers love to eat kites. Especially avoid utility poles due to elecrocution hazard. Good places to fly kites can be found at athletic fields, beaches, and parking lots. City, county, or state parks may also have areas ideal for kite flying.

To fly the kite you will need wind. Pretty basic. But winds can vary, and kites are different in the amount of wind they will need to fly. A slight wind which can be felt on your face and cause trees to lightly rustle will be about a five mile per hour wind. Mini kites and delta kites will fly in this wind.

A gentle breeze of about six to ten miles per hour will extend flags and put tree leaves in constant motion. Now you can fly delta kites, dragon kites, and diamond kites.

When the wind begins to lift dust and small papers off the ground, it is classed a moderate breeze at about eleven to fifteen miles per hour. You may fly parafoils, large diamonds, and stunt kites.

When small waves form on inland lakes and pond, the wind is about sixteen to twenty miles per hour and is called a fresh breeze. Stunt kites, diamonds and deltas will fly in this type of wind.

At twenty-one miles per hour and above you have no business flying a kite. Find a *hole and crawl in!

Light Breeze - 0 - 5 MPH
Wind felt on face, leaves rustle
Fly - Large delta kites
Gentle Breeze - 6 - 10 MPH
Leaves and small twigs in constant motion, wind fully extends flags
Fly Delta, Dragon, Big Wing Stunter Kites
Moderate Breeze - 11 - 15MPH
Raises dust and small paper, small branches move
Fly- Diamond, Cellular, Parafoils, Soft Stunter Kites
Fresh Breeze - 16 - 20 MPH
Small leaved trees begin to sway, crested whitecaps on inland lakes
Fly Small Stunt Kites
Strong Breeze - 21 MPH +
Large branches move, umbrellas difficult to control
Kites should not be flown in this kind of wind

You don’t have to run a marathon to launch a kite. The easiest way to launch a kite is to tie it to a rocket, launch the rocket and play out the line real fast! Just kidding. If the breeze is strong enough, you can stand in place and play out the line slowly as the kite gains altitude. A good kite will go right up. Another method is to have a friend take the kite about fifty feet downwind, and hold the kite aloft. Pull the line taut while your friend lets go of the kite. Pull the line toward you hand over hand. Play out the line as the kite gains altitude.

Kites are decidedly low tech, so problems are few. Most problems seem centered around the need for a tail. Not all kites need a tail, but most kites can benefit from the stability offered by one in high winds. Tails can be for fun or decoration. Good quality kites will include a tail with the kite if one is needed.

If the kite won’t gain altitude either the wind is too feeble, the tail is too heavy, or the tow line may need to be adjusted. Move this 1/8 inch at a time, up or down, to adjust.

© 2012 Hobby Hobnob Back to All About Kites

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