Kite

Kite

Overview

A kite is a tethered aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

. The necessary lift
Lift (force)
A fluid flowing past the surface of a body exerts a surface force on it. Lift is the component of this force that is perpendicular to the oncoming flow direction. It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the surface force parallel to the flow direction...

 that makes the kite wing fly is generated when air (or in some cases water) flows over and under the kite's wing, producing low pressure above the wing and high pressure below it. This deflection also generates horizontal drag
Drag (physics)
In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

 along the direction of the wind. The resultant force vector from the lift and drag force components is opposed by the tension of the one or more lines
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

 or tether
Tether
A tether is a cord, fixture, or signal that anchors something movable to a reference point which may be fixed or moving. There are a number of applications for tethers: balloons, kites, tethered wind-energy conversion systems, anchors, tethered water-flow energy conversion systems, towing, animal...

s.
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Encyclopedia

A kite is a tethered aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

. The necessary lift
Lift (force)
A fluid flowing past the surface of a body exerts a surface force on it. Lift is the component of this force that is perpendicular to the oncoming flow direction. It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the surface force parallel to the flow direction...

 that makes the kite wing fly is generated when air (or in some cases water) flows over and under the kite's wing, producing low pressure above the wing and high pressure below it. This deflection also generates horizontal drag
Drag (physics)
In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

 along the direction of the wind. The resultant force vector from the lift and drag force components is opposed by the tension of the one or more lines
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

 or tether
Tether
A tether is a cord, fixture, or signal that anchors something movable to a reference point which may be fixed or moving. There are a number of applications for tethers: balloons, kites, tethered wind-energy conversion systems, anchors, tethered water-flow energy conversion systems, towing, animal...

s. The anchor point of the kite line may be static or moving (e.g., the towing of a kite by a running person, boat, free-falling anchors as in paragliders and fugitive parakites or vehicle).

Kites are usually heavier-than-air, but there is a second category of lighter-than-air kite called a kytoon
Kytoon
A kytoon is a kite with a significant amount of aerostatic lift from a lighter than air gas carried within.The primary advantage of a kytoon is that it remains up and at a reasonably stable position above the tether point, irrespective of the wind.The kytoon has been used in peace and war...

 which may be filled with hydrogen, hot air, methane, or helium; these stay aloft with or without wind; at calm they float; at wind they receive lift from buoyancy and aerodynamic lift. Kytoons have been made in toy-scale as well as military large scale.

Kites may be flown for recreation
Recreation
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be "fun"...

, art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 or other practical uses. Sport kites can be flown in aerial ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

, sometimes as part of a competition. Power kite
Power kite
A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull to the user.They come in three main forms: foils, leading edge inflatables and supported leading edge. There are also rigid-framed kites and soft single skin kites. There are several different control systems used...

s are multi-line steerable kites designed to generate large force
Force
In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a change in speed, a change in direction, or a change in shape. In other words, a force is that which can cause an object with mass to change its velocity , i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform...

s which can be used to power activities such as kite surfing, kite landboarding
Kite landboarding
Kite landboarding also known as Land kiteboarding or flyboarding, is based on the ever-growing sport of Kitesurfing, where a rider on a surf-style board is pulled over water by a kite. Kite landboarding involves the use of a mountain board or landboard, which is essentially an oversized skateboard...

, kite fishing, kite buggying and a new trend snow kiting. Kites towed behind boats can lift passengers which has had useful military applications in the past.

History


Kites were used approximately 2,800 years ago in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, where materials ideal for kite building were readily available: silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 fabric for sail material; fine, high-tensile-strength silk for flying line; and resilient bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

 for a strong, lightweight framework. Alternatively, the kite authors Clive Hart and Tal Streeter hold that leaf kites existed far before that time in what is now Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, based on their interpretation of cave paintings on Muna Island
Muna Island
Muna is an island in the South East Sulawesi province of Indonesia with an area of . It is located just southeast of the island of Sulawesi....

 off Sulawesi
Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

. The kite was said to be the invention of the famous 5th century BC Chinese philosophers Mozi
Mozi
Mozi |Lat.]] as Micius, ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC), original name Mo Di , was a Chinese philosopher during the Hundred Schools of Thought period . Born in Tengzhou, Shandong Province, China, he founded the school of Mohism, and argued strongly against Confucianism and Daoism...

 and Lu Ban
Lu Ban
Lu Ban was a Chinese carpenter, engineer, philosopher, inventor, military thinker, statesman and contemporary of Mozi, born in the State of Lu, and is the patron Saint of Chinese builders and contractors. He was born in a renowned family during the Spring and Autumn Period when China was...

. By at least 549 AD paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 kites were being flown, as it was recorded in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission. Ancient and medieval Chinese sources list other uses of kites for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signalling, and communication for military operations. The earliest known Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 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.

After its introduction into India, the kite further evolved into the Fighter kite
Fighter kite
Fighter kites are kites used for the sport of kite fighting. Traditionally most are small, unstable single line flat kites where line tension alone is used for control, and an abrasive line is used to cut down other kites....

 known as the patang in India. In India annual kite running competitions are held every year on the day of Makar Sankaranti.

In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and in Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

 at large, the people have had knowledge and use of the kite since prior to 1600 CE. It is possible that it diffused from China across the islands of the South Pacific. Alternatively, it is possible that it was independently invented in Polynesia. Anthropomorphic kites made from cloth and wood were used in religious ceremonies to send prayers to heaven. Polynesian kite traditions are used by anthropologists get an idea of early "primitive" Asian traditions that are believed to have at one time existed in Asia.

A kite is a tethered aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

. The necessary lift
Lift (force)
A fluid flowing past the surface of a body exerts a surface force on it. Lift is the component of this force that is perpendicular to the oncoming flow direction. It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the surface force parallel to the flow direction...

 that makes the kite wing fly is generated when air (or in some cases water) flows over and under the kite's wing, producing low pressure above the wing and high pressure below it. This deflection also generates horizontal drag
Drag (physics)
In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

 along the direction of the wind. The resultant force vector from the lift and drag force components is opposed by the tension of the one or more lines
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

 or tether
Tether
A tether is a cord, fixture, or signal that anchors something movable to a reference point which may be fixed or moving. There are a number of applications for tethers: balloons, kites, tethered wind-energy conversion systems, anchors, tethered water-flow energy conversion systems, towing, animal...

s. The anchor point of the kite line may be static or moving (e.g., the towing of a kite by a running person, boat, free-falling anchors as in paragliders and fugitive parakites or vehicle).

Kites are usually heavier-than-air, but there is a second category of lighter-than-air kite called a kytoon
Kytoon
A kytoon is a kite with a significant amount of aerostatic lift from a lighter than air gas carried within.The primary advantage of a kytoon is that it remains up and at a reasonably stable position above the tether point, irrespective of the wind.The kytoon has been used in peace and war...

 which may be filled with hydrogen, hot air, methane, or helium; these stay aloft with or without wind; at calm they float; at wind they receive lift from buoyancy and aerodynamic lift. Kytoons have been made in toy-scale as well as military large scale.

Kites may be flown for recreation
Recreation
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be "fun"...

, art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 or other practical uses. Sport kites can be flown in aerial ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

, sometimes as part of a competition. Power kite
Power kite
A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull to the user.They come in three main forms: foils, leading edge inflatables and supported leading edge. There are also rigid-framed kites and soft single skin kites. There are several different control systems used...

s are multi-line steerable kites designed to generate large force
Force
In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a change in speed, a change in direction, or a change in shape. In other words, a force is that which can cause an object with mass to change its velocity , i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform...

s which can be used to power activities such as kite surfing, kite landboarding
Kite landboarding
Kite landboarding also known as Land kiteboarding or flyboarding, is based on the ever-growing sport of Kitesurfing, where a rider on a surf-style board is pulled over water by a kite. Kite landboarding involves the use of a mountain board or landboard, which is essentially an oversized skateboard...

, kite fishing, kite buggying and a new trend snow kiting. Kites towed behind boats can lift passengers which has had useful military applications in the past.

History


Kites were used approximately 2,800 years ago in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, where materials ideal for kite building were readily available: silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 fabric for sail material; fine, high-tensile-strength silk for flying line; and resilient bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

 for a strong, lightweight framework. Alternatively, the kite authors Clive Hart and Tal Streeter hold that leaf kites existed far before that time in what is now Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, based on their interpretation of cave paintings on Muna Island
Muna Island
Muna is an island in the South East Sulawesi province of Indonesia with an area of . It is located just southeast of the island of Sulawesi....

 off Sulawesi
Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

. The kite was said to be the invention of the famous 5th century BC Chinese philosophers Mozi
Mozi
Mozi |Lat.]] as Micius, ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC), original name Mo Di , was a Chinese philosopher during the Hundred Schools of Thought period . Born in Tengzhou, Shandong Province, China, he founded the school of Mohism, and argued strongly against Confucianism and Daoism...

 and Lu Ban
Lu Ban
Lu Ban was a Chinese carpenter, engineer, philosopher, inventor, military thinker, statesman and contemporary of Mozi, born in the State of Lu, and is the patron Saint of Chinese builders and contractors. He was born in a renowned family during the Spring and Autumn Period when China was...

. By at least 549 AD paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 kites were being flown, as it was recorded in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission. Ancient and medieval Chinese sources list other uses of kites for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signalling, and communication for military operations. The earliest known Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 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.

After its introduction into India, the kite further evolved into the Fighter kite
Fighter kite
Fighter kites are kites used for the sport of kite fighting. Traditionally most are small, unstable single line flat kites where line tension alone is used for control, and an abrasive line is used to cut down other kites....

 known as the patang in India. In India annual kite running competitions are held every year on the day of Makar Sankaranti.

In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and in Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

 at large, the people have had knowledge and use of the kite since prior to 1600 CE. It is possible that it diffused from China across the islands of the South Pacific. Alternatively, it is possible that it was independently invented in Polynesia. Anthropomorphic kites made from cloth and wood were used in religious ceremonies to send prayers to heaven. Polynesian kite traditions are used by anthropologists get an idea of early "primitive" Asian traditions that are believed to have at one time existed in Asia.

A kite is a tethered aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

. The necessary lift
Lift (force)
A fluid flowing past the surface of a body exerts a surface force on it. Lift is the component of this force that is perpendicular to the oncoming flow direction. It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the surface force parallel to the flow direction...

 that makes the kite wing fly is generated when air (or in some cases water) flows over and under the kite's wing, producing low pressure above the wing and high pressure below it. This deflection also generates horizontal drag
Drag (physics)
In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

 along the direction of the wind. The resultant force vector from the lift and drag force components is opposed by the tension of the one or more lines
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

 or tether
Tether
A tether is a cord, fixture, or signal that anchors something movable to a reference point which may be fixed or moving. There are a number of applications for tethers: balloons, kites, tethered wind-energy conversion systems, anchors, tethered water-flow energy conversion systems, towing, animal...

s. The anchor point of the kite line may be static or moving (e.g., the towing of a kite by a running person, boat, free-falling anchors as in paragliders and fugitive parakites or vehicle).

Kites are usually heavier-than-air, but there is a second category of lighter-than-air kite called a kytoon
Kytoon
A kytoon is a kite with a significant amount of aerostatic lift from a lighter than air gas carried within.The primary advantage of a kytoon is that it remains up and at a reasonably stable position above the tether point, irrespective of the wind.The kytoon has been used in peace and war...

 which may be filled with hydrogen, hot air, methane, or helium; these stay aloft with or without wind; at calm they float; at wind they receive lift from buoyancy and aerodynamic lift. Kytoons have been made in toy-scale as well as military large scale.

Kites may be flown for recreation
Recreation
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be "fun"...

, art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 or other practical uses. Sport kites can be flown in aerial ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

, sometimes as part of a competition. Power kite
Power kite
A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull to the user.They come in three main forms: foils, leading edge inflatables and supported leading edge. There are also rigid-framed kites and soft single skin kites. There are several different control systems used...

s are multi-line steerable kites designed to generate large force
Force
In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a change in speed, a change in direction, or a change in shape. In other words, a force is that which can cause an object with mass to change its velocity , i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform...

s which can be used to power activities such as kite surfing, kite landboarding
Kite landboarding
Kite landboarding also known as Land kiteboarding or flyboarding, is based on the ever-growing sport of Kitesurfing, where a rider on a surf-style board is pulled over water by a kite. Kite landboarding involves the use of a mountain board or landboard, which is essentially an oversized skateboard...

, kite fishing, kite buggying and a new trend snow kiting. Kites towed behind boats can lift passengers which has had useful military applications in the past.

History


Kites were used approximately 2,800 years ago in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, where materials ideal for kite building were readily available: silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 fabric for sail material; fine, high-tensile-strength silk for flying line; and resilient bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

 for a strong, lightweight framework. Alternatively, the kite authors Clive Hart and Tal Streeter hold that leaf kites existed far before that time in what is now Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, based on their interpretation of cave paintings on Muna Island
Muna Island
Muna is an island in the South East Sulawesi province of Indonesia with an area of . It is located just southeast of the island of Sulawesi....

 off Sulawesi
Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

. The kite was said to be the invention of the famous 5th century BC Chinese philosophers Mozi
Mozi
Mozi |Lat.]] as Micius, ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC), original name Mo Di , was a Chinese philosopher during the Hundred Schools of Thought period . Born in Tengzhou, Shandong Province, China, he founded the school of Mohism, and argued strongly against Confucianism and Daoism...

 and Lu Ban
Lu Ban
Lu Ban was a Chinese carpenter, engineer, philosopher, inventor, military thinker, statesman and contemporary of Mozi, born in the State of Lu, and is the patron Saint of Chinese builders and contractors. He was born in a renowned family during the Spring and Autumn Period when China was...

. By at least 549 AD paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 kites were being flown, as it was recorded in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission. Ancient and medieval Chinese sources list other uses of kites for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signalling, and communication for military operations. The earliest known Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 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.

After its introduction into India, the kite further evolved into the Fighter kite
Fighter kite
Fighter kites are kites used for the sport of kite fighting. Traditionally most are small, unstable single line flat kites where line tension alone is used for control, and an abrasive line is used to cut down other kites....

 known as the patang in India. In India annual kite running competitions are held every year on the day of Makar Sankaranti.

In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and in Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

 at large, the people have had knowledge and use of the kite since prior to 1600 CE. It is possible that it diffused from China across the islands of the South Pacific. Alternatively, it is possible that it was independently invented in Polynesia. Anthropomorphic kites made from cloth and wood were used in religious ceremonies to send prayers to heaven. Polynesian kite traditions are used by anthropologists get an idea of early "primitive" Asian traditions that are believed to have at one time existed in Asia.


Stories of kites were brought to Europe by Marco Polo towards the end of the 13th century, and kites were brought back by sailors from Japan and Malaysia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Although they were initially regarded as mere curiosities, but by the 18th and 19th centuries kites were being used as vehicles for scientific research.

In 1750, Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 published a proposal for an experiment to prove that lightning is electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 by flying a kite in a storm that appeared capable of becoming a lightning
Lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

 storm. It is not known whether Franklin ever performed his experiment, but on May 10, 1752, Thomas-François Dalibard
Thomas-François Dalibard
Thomas-François Dalibard was born in Crannes-en-Champagne, France in 1709 and died in 1799.-Relationship with Ben Franklin:He first met U.S. scientist Benjamin Franklin in 1767 during one of Franklin's visits to France and it is said that they became friends.In 1750, Benjamin Franklin published a...

 of France conducted a similar experiment (using a 40-foot (12 m) iron rod instead of a kite) and extracted electrical sparks from a cloud.

The period from 1860 to about 1910 became the "golden age of kiting". Kites started to be used for scientific purposes, especially in meteorology, aeronautics, wireless communications and photography
Kite aerial photography
Kite aerial photography is a hobby and a type of photography. A camera is lifted using a kite and is triggered either remotely or automatically to take aerial photographs. The camera rigs can range from the extremely simple, consisting of a trigger mechanism with a disposable camera, to complex...

; reliable manned kites were developed as well as power kite
Power kite
A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull to the user.They come in three main forms: foils, leading edge inflatables and supported leading edge. There are also rigid-framed kites and soft single skin kites. There are several different control systems used...

s. Invention of powered airplane diminished interest in kites. World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 saw a limited use of kites for military purposes (see Focke Achgelis Fa 330
Focke Achgelis Fa 330
The Focke-Achgelis FA 330 Bachstelze was a type of rotary-wing kite, known as a gyroglider or rotor kite. They were towed behind German U-boats during World War II to allow a lookout to see farther.- Development :...

 for example). Since then they are used mainly for recreation due to a vast improvement in technology.

Materials


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 polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 rather than silk.

Tails are used for some single-line kite
Inflatable single-line kite
The ram-air inflatable single-line kite is one of the few modern inventions in the world of kite design. Although Francis Rogallo's early kite patents had ram-air members in the claims, Domina Jalbert's parafoil ram-air wing, patented in 1944, emphatically changed the kite airscape for inflatable...

 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
Turbine
A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work.The simplest turbines have one moving part, a rotor assembly, which is a shaft or drum with blades attached. Moving fluid acts on the blades, or the blades react to the flow, so that they move and...

. On large display kites these tails, spinners and spinsocks can be 50 feet (15 m) 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.

Practical uses





Human flight


Humans are sometimes bound to a large kite to fly, as many hang gliders are true kites. The first known example is Yuan Huangtou
Yuan Huangtou
Yuan Huangtou was the son of emperor Yuan Lang of Eastern Wei. At that time, Gao Yang took control the court of Eastern Wei and set the emperor as puppet. Finally, Yan Huangtou was imprisoned by Gao Yang and, against his will, flown from the tower of Ye, China. He survived this flight, but was...

 in 559AD.

Military applications


Kites have been used for military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 uses in the past for signaling, for delivery of munitions, and for observation
Observation
Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses, or the recording of data using scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity...

, by lifting an observer above the field of battle, and by using kite aerial photography
Kite aerial photography
Kite aerial photography is a hobby and a type of photography. A camera is lifted using a kite and is triggered either remotely or automatically to take aerial photographs. The camera rigs can range from the extremely simple, consisting of a trigger mechanism with a disposable camera, to complex...

.

According to Samguk Sagi
Samguk Sagi
Samguk Sagi is a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla. The Samguk Sagi is written in Classical Chinese and its compilation was ordered by Goryeo's King Injong Samguk Sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) is a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of...

, in 637, Kim Yu-sin, a Korean general of Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 rallied his troops to defeat rebels by lofting a kite with a straw man which looked like a burning ball flying to the sky.

Russian chronicles mention prince Oleg of Novgorod
Oleg of Novgorod
Oleg of Novgorod was a Varangian prince who ruled all or part of the Rus' people during the early 10th century....

 use kites during the siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 in 906 A.D.: "and he crafted horses and men of paper, armed and gilded, and lifted them into the air over the city; the Greeks saw them and feared".

Kites were also used by Admiral Yi of the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 (1392-1910) of Korea. During the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598), Admiral Yi commanded his navy
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 with kites. His kites had specific markings directing his fleet to perform his order. The war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

 eventually resulted in a Korean victory; the kites played a minor role in the war's conclusion.


In more modern times the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 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. Barrage kites were used to protect London as well as the Pacific coast of the United States during the last century.
Kites were used for anti-aircraft target practice.
Kites and kytoons were used for lofting communications antenna. Submarines lofted observers in rotary kites. The Rogallo parawing kite and the Jalbert parafoil kite were used for governable parachutes (free-flying kites) to deliver troops and supplies.

Science and meteorology


Kites have been used for scientific purposes, such as Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

's famous experiment proving that lightning
Lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

 is electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

. Kites were the precursors to the traditional aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

, and were instrumental in the development of early flying craft. Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone....

 experimented with very large man-lifting kite
Man-lifting kite
A man-lifting kite is a kite designed to lift a person from the ground. Historically, man-lifting kites have been used chiefly for reconnaissance and entertainment. Interest in their development declined with the advent of powered flight at the beginning of the 20th century.-Early history:The first...

s, as did the Wright brothers
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

 and Lawrence Hargrave
Lawrence Hargrave
Lawrence Hargrave was an engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer.- Early life :Hargrave was born in Greenwich, England, the second son of John Fletcher Hargrave and was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland...

. Kites had a historical role in lifting scientific instruments to measure atmospheric conditions for weather forecasting
Weather forecasting
Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a given location. Human beings have attempted to predict the weather informally for millennia, and formally since the nineteenth century...

.

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
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

. Captive balloons
Moored balloon
A moored balloon is an inflated fabric structure, often shaped like an airship and usually filled with helium, that is restrained by a cable attached to the ground or a vehicle. Moored balloons differ from airships and free balloons in that it is not free-flying.Moored balloons are sometimes...

 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.

Kite traction



Kites can be used to pull people and vehicles downwind. Efficient foil-type kites
Foil kite
Foil kites are soft kites based on the design of the parafoil. They consist of a number of cells running fore to aft, some or all of which are open at the front to allow air to inflate the kite so it takes on an aerofoil section...

 such as power kite
Power kite
A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull to the user.They come in three main forms: foils, leading edge inflatables and supported leading edge. There are also rigid-framed kites and soft single skin kites. There are several different control systems used...

s 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 SkySails
SkySails
SkySails GmbH & Co. KG is a Hamburg-based company that sells equipment to propel cargo ships, large yachts and fishing vessels by the use of wind energy. The company was founded in 2001 by engineers Stephan Wrage and Thomas Meyer...

 has developed ship-pulling kites as a supplemental power source for cargo ship
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

s, first tested in January 2008 on the ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

 MS Beluga Skysails
MS Beluga Skysails
MS Beluga SkySails is a German commercial container cargo ship. It is the world's first ship partially powered by a giant computer-controlled kite, called the SkySails system...

. 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. Kites are available as an auxiliary sail or emergency spinnaker
Spinnaker
A spinnaker is a special type of sail that is designed specifically for sailing off the wind from a reaching course to a downwind, i.e. with the wind 90°–180° off the bow. The spinnaker fills with wind and balloons out in front of the boat when it is deployed, called flying. It is constructed of...

 for sailing boats. Self-launching Parafoil
Parafoil
A parafoil is a nonrigid airfoil with an aerodynamic cell structure which is inflated by the wind. Ram-air inflation forces the parafoil into a classic wing cross-section. Parafoils are most commonly constructed out of ripstop nylon....

 kites are attached to the mast.

MS Beluga Skysails
MS Beluga Skysails
MS Beluga SkySails is a German commercial container cargo ship. It is the world's first ship partially powered by a giant computer-controlled kite, called the SkySails system...

 is the world's first commercial container
Containerization
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

 cargo ship
Cargo ship
A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade...

 partially 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 2007 and was set to leave the northern German port of Bremerhaven
Bremerhaven
Bremerhaven is a city at the seaport of the free city-state of Bremen, a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. It forms an enclave in the state of Lower Saxony and is located at the mouth of the River Weser on its eastern bank, opposite the town of Nordenham...

 to Guanta
Guanta
The Guanta Municipality is one of the 21 municipalities that makes up the eastern Venezuelan state of Anzoátegui and, according to a 2007 population estimate by the National Institute of Statistics of Venezuela, the municipality had a population of 31,629...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 on January 22, 2008. Stephan Wrage, managing director of SkySails
SkySails
SkySails GmbH & Co. KG is a Hamburg-based company that sells equipment to propel cargo ships, large yachts and fishing vessels by the use of wind energy. The company was founded in 2001 by engineers Stephan Wrage and Thomas Meyer...

 GmbH 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".

Power generation


Conceptual research and development projects by over 100 entities are investigating the use of kites in harnessing high altitude wind currents to generate electricity.
A separate Delft University of Technology
Delft University of Technology
Delft University of Technology , also known as TU Delft, is the largest and oldest Dutch public technical university, located in Delft, Netherlands...

 project has used a 10 m² kite to generate 10 kilowatts of power.

See also laddermill
Laddermill
A Laddermill is a hypothetical airborne wind turbine consisting of a long string or loop of power kites.The loop or string of kites would be launched in the air by the lifting force of the kites, until it is fully unrolled, and the top reaches a height determined by designers and operators; some...

 and High altitude wind power
High altitude wind power
High-altitude wind power has been imagined as a source of useful energy since 1833 with John Etzler's vision of capturing the power of winds high in the sky by use of tether and cable technology...

.

At the KULeuven, there also is a research group investigating the use of kites for power generation. But rather than flexible kites, they use a rigid wing structure, like a plane, because of the higher gliding number, easier control and better understanding of plane dynamics. A small prototype is being built.

Cultural uses


Kite festivals are a popular form of entertainment throughout the world. They include large local events, traditional festivals which have been held for 300 hundreds of years and major international festivals which bring in kite flyers from Britain to display their unique art kites and demonstrate the latest technical kites.

Asia


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. Fighter kite
Fighter kite
Fighter kites are kites used for the sport of kite fighting. Traditionally most are small, unstable single line flat kites where line tension alone is used for control, and an abrasive line is used to cut down other kites....

s 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 Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, kite flying is a popular game, and is known in Dari
Dari (Eastern Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 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 Taliban rule in Afghanistan, kite flying was banned, among various other recreations.

In Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, kite flying is often known as Gudi-Bazi or Patang-bazi. Although kite flying is a popular ritual for the celebration of spring festival known as Jashn-e-Baharaan (lit. Spring Festival) or Basant, kites are flown throughout the year. Kite fighting is a very popular all around Pakistan, but centered in urban centers across the country especially Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

. The kite fights are at their maximum during the spring celebrations and the fighters enjoy competing with rivals in which one have to cut-loose the string of the kite of other, this is popularly called as "Paecha". During the spring festival, kite flying competitions are held across the country and the skies are colored with kites. As people cut-loose an opponents kites, shouts of 'wo kata' ring through the air. Reclaiming the kites after they have been cut-loose by running after them, is a popular ritual especially among the youth (similar to scenes depicted in the Kite Runner which is based in neighboring Afghanistan). Kites and strings are a big business in the country and many types of strings are used: glass-coated strings, metal strings and tandi. However, kite flying was recently banned in Punjab due to recent motorcyclist deaths caused by glass-coated or metal kite-strings. Kup, Patang, Guda, and Nakhlaoo are some of the kites used. They vary in balance, weight and speed through the air.

In Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, 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 used to create a whistle as the kite flies.
Kites are popular during the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n festival of Makar Sankranti. This spring festival is celebrated generally during mid of January, in accordance with the Indian calender, with millions of people flying kites all over northern India. The states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Punjab etc. are 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 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. Kite flying/fighting is an important part of other celebrations, including Republic Day
Republic Day
Republic Day is the name of a holiday in several countries to commemorate the day when they became republics.-1 January in the Republic of Slovakia:This was the day of creation of the Republic of Slovakia. A national holiday since 1993...

, Independence Day, Raksha Bandhan, and Janmashtami. An international kite festival is held every year before Uttarayan for three days in Vadodara
Vadodara
Vadodara formerly known as Baroda is the third most populated city in the Indian State of Gujarat . It is one of the four cities with the population of over 1 million...

, Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

 and Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

. People start flying kites early in the morning and continue until the evening. The kite is known as 'Patang' in India. People fly kites in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n Punjab on occasion of Lohri (Punjabi name for Makar Sankranti) and Basant Punchami.


Weifang
Weifang
Weifang is a prefecture-level city in central Shandong province, People's Republic of China. It borders Dongying to the northwest, Zibo to the west, Linyi to the southwest, Rizhao to the south, Qingdao to the east, and looks out to the Laizhou Bay to the north.-History:Weifang is a historical city...

, Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 is the kite capital of the world. China is the oldest place, probably with India where kites have been flown since antiquities. It is home to the largest kite museum in the world, the thousands of kites here have a display area of 8100 m2. Weifang hosts an annual international kite festival on the large salt flats south of the city. There are several kite museums in Japan, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA.

In the olden days, Malays in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, kites is used for fishing.

Europe


In Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, flying kites is a tradition for Clean Monday
Clean Monday
Clean Monday , also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Great Lent...

, the first day of Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

. In the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, traditional Bermuda kite
Bermuda kite
A Bermuda kite is a kite made using traditional, geometric designs, quite colorful, and is an art form as much as a recreational tool. They are traditionally flown in Bermuda only at Easter. The kites are typically hexagonal, though larger examples, particularly, may be octagonal, or have even more...

s are made and flown at Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

, to symbolise Christ's ascent. Bermuda kites hold the world records for altitude and duration. In Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura , a Spanish island, is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is situated at 28°20' north, 14°00' west. At 1,660 km² it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife...

 a kite festival is usually held on the weekend nearest to 8 November lasting for 3 days.

Polynesia


Polynesian traditional kites are sometimes used at ceremonies and variants of traditional kites for amusement. Older pieces are kept in museums.

South America


In Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, it is very popular, especially during Independence Day festivities (September 18).

In Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 kites can be seen flown in parks and recreation areas during August which is known to be windy. It is during this month that most people, especially the young ones would fly kites.

In Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, kites are flown at Easter and is an activity participated in by all ethnic and religious groups. Kites are generally not flown at any other time of year. Kites start appearing in the sky in the weeks leading up to Easter and school children are taken to parks for the activity. It all culminates in a massive airborne celebration on Easter Monday especially in Georgetown, the capital, and other coastal areas. The history of the practice is not entirely clear but given that Easter is a Christian festival, it is said that the flying kite is symbolic of the Risen Lord. Moore describes the phenomenon in the 19th century as follows:

A very popular Creole pastime was the flying of kites. Easter Monday, a public holiday, was the great kite-flying day on the sea wall in Georgetown and on open lands in villages. Young and old alike, male and female, appeared to be seized by kite-flying mania. Easter 1885 serves as a good example. “The appearance of the sky all over Georgetown, but especially towards the Sea Wall, was very striking, the air being thick with kites of all shapes and sizes, covered with gaily coloured paper, all riding bravely on the strong wind"
(His quotation is from a letter to The Creole newspaper of December 29, 1858).

The exact origins of the practice of kite flying (exclusively) at Easter are unclear. Brereton and Yelvington speculate that kite flying was introduced by Chinese indentured immigrants to the then colony of British Guyana in the mid 19th century. The author of an article in the Guyana Chronicle newspaper of May 6, 2007 is more certain:

Kite flying originated as a Chinese tradition to mark the beginning of spring. However, because the plantation owners were ever so suspicious of the planter class [read, plantation workers], the Chinese claimed that it represented the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

.

It was a clever argument, as at that time, Christians celebrated Easter to the glory of the risen Christ.

Popular culture

  • The Kite Runner
    The Kite Runner
    The Kite Runner is a novel by Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini's first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007....

    , a 2005 novel by Khaled Hosseini
    Khaled Hosseini
    Khaled Hosseini , is an Afghan-born American novelist and physician of ethnic Tajik origin. He is a citizen of the United States where he has lived since he was fifteen years old. His 2003 debut novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, selling more than 12 million copies worldwide....

     dramatizes the role of kite fighting in pre-war Kabul
    Kabul
    Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

    .
  • The Peanuts
    Peanuts
    Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward...

     cartoon character Charlie Brown
    Charlie Brown
    Charles "Charlie" Brown is the protagonist in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.Charlie Brown and his creator have a common connection in that they are both the sons of barbers, but whereas Schulz's work is described as the "most shining example of the American success story", Charlie...

     was 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 kite fliers 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.

Kite designs



  • Bermuda kite
    Bermuda kite
    A Bermuda kite is a kite made using traditional, geometric designs, quite colorful, and is an art form as much as a recreational tool. They are traditionally flown in Bermuda only at Easter. The kites are typically hexagonal, though larger examples, particularly, may be octagonal, or have even more...

  • Bowed kite
    Bowed kite
    Bowed kites such as the Japanese rokkaku, and traditional versions of the more familiar "diamond" shaped kites such as the Malay or Eddy, are tensioned into a bow in order to improve their stability to the point where a tail often becomes unnecessary....

    , e.g. Rokkaku
  • Cellular or box kite
    Box kite
    A box kite is a high-performance kite, noted for developing relatively high lift; it is a type within the family of cellular kites. The typical design has four parallel struts. The box is made rigid with diagonal crossed struts. There are two sails, or ribbons, whose width is about a quarter of the...

  • Chapi-chapi
    Chapi-chapi
    Chapi-chapi is a small, two-stick kite that can be quickly constructed from cheap materials such as newspapers, broom sticks, or discarded plastic sheet. It is very popular in the Philippines. The name itself colloquially means, "assembled fast" or "quickly improvised". A strong, straight stick is...

  • Delta kite
  • Foil
    Foil kite
    Foil kites are soft kites based on the design of the parafoil. They consist of a number of cells running fore to aft, some or all of which are open at the front to allow air to inflate the kite so it takes on an aerofoil section...

    , parafoil
    Parafoil
    A parafoil is a nonrigid airfoil with an aerodynamic cell structure which is inflated by the wind. Ram-air inflation forces the parafoil into a classic wing cross-section. Parafoils are most commonly constructed out of ripstop nylon....

     or bow kite
    Bow kite
    Bow kites are leading edge inflatable kites that incorporate a bridle on the leading edge. They can be identified by a flat, swept-back profile and concave trailing edge allowing the kite greater depower...

  • Malay kite
    Malay kite
    The Malay kite is a model of tailless kite. First introduced to the West in a New York newspaper article from October 1894, the Malay kite was used for recreation for centuries before this in parts of the Far East. The article detailed how a university professor had erected a series of kites and...

     see also wau bulan
    Wau bulan
    Wau bulan is an intricately designed Malaysian moon-kite that is traditionally flown by men in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. It is one of Malaysia's national symbols, some others being the kris and hibiscus. The reverse side of the fifty-cent coin of Malaysia features an...

  • Tetrahedral kite
    Tetrahedral kite
    A tetrahedral kite is a multicelled rigid box kite composed of tetrahedrally shaped cells. The cells are usually arranged in such a way that the entire kite is also a regular tetrahedron. The kite can be described as a compound dihedral kite as well....


Kite types


  • Expanded polystyrene kite
  • Fighter kite
    Fighter kite
    Fighter kites are kites used for the sport of kite fighting. Traditionally most are small, unstable single line flat kites where line tension alone is used for control, and an abrasive line is used to cut down other kites....

  • Indoor kite
    Indoor kite
    Indoor kites are kites designed to fly in a windless environment. While principally designed for indoor use, they can also be flown outdoors when insufficient wind would render conventional kite-flying impossible. They are flown by using the relative wind provided by the motion of the kite-flier...

  • Inflatable single-line kite
    Inflatable single-line kite
    The ram-air inflatable single-line kite is one of the few modern inventions in the world of kite design. Although Francis Rogallo's early kite patents had ram-air members in the claims, Domina Jalbert's parafoil ram-air wing, patented in 1944, emphatically changed the kite airscape for inflatable...

  • Kytoon
    Kytoon
    A kytoon is a kite with a significant amount of aerostatic lift from a lighter than air gas carried within.The primary advantage of a kytoon is that it remains up and at a reasonably stable position above the tether point, irrespective of the wind.The kytoon has been used in peace and war...

  • Man-lifting kite
    Man-lifting kite
    A man-lifting kite is a kite designed to lift a person from the ground. Historically, man-lifting kites have been used chiefly for reconnaissance and entertainment. Interest in their development declined with the advent of powered flight at the beginning of the 20th century.-Early history:The first...

  • Rogallo parawing kite
    Rogallo wing
    The Rogallo wing is a flexible type of airfoil. In 1948, Gertrude Rogallo, and her husband Francis Rogallo, a NASA engineer, invented a self-inflating flexible wing they called the Parawing, also known after them as the "Rogallo Wing" and flexible wing...

  • Stunt (sport) kite
    Sport kite
    A sport kite, also commonly known as a stunt kite, is a kite that can be maneuvred in the air.A related kit also controllable and used for recreation, but capable of generating a significant amount of pull and used for providing movement is the Power kite.-Competition:Developments in multi-line...

  • Water kite
    Paravane (water kite)
    ]The paravane is a towed winged underwater object—water kite. Paravanes have been used in sport or commercial fishing, marine exploration and industry, sports and military. The wings of paravanes are sometimes in a fixed position, else positioned remotely or by actions of a human pilot...


Types of kite line materials

  • Cotton
    Cotton
    Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

  • Dacron
  • Dyneema
  • Hemp
    Hemp
    Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

  • Kevlar
    Kevlar
    Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed at DuPont in 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires...

  • Linen
    Linen
    Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather....

  • Manja
    Manja (kite)
    Manja , is the abrasive string used with fighter kites in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chile, India, Nepal and Pakistan. It is gummed, coloured and coated with powdered glass. In Brazil, the mix of glue and powered glass is called "cerol"....

     or Manjha, Hindi word for the glass powder coated kite flying & fighting string from Indian subcontinent and surrounding regions
  • Nylon
    Nylon
    Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

  • Polyester
    Polyester
    Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

  • Rayon
    Rayon
    Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. Because it is produced from naturally occurring polymers, it is neither a truly synthetic fiber nor a natural fiber; it is a semi-synthetic or artificial fiber. Rayon is known by the names viscose rayon and art silk in the textile industry...

  • Silk
    Silk
    Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

  • Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene

Record


Until Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 Kite Festival 2011 ended, the world record for the biggest-ever kite flown for at least 20 minutes was a kite with lifting area of 10,971 square feet.

See also

  • Bali Kite Festival
  • Captive helicopter
    Captive helicopter
    A captive helicopter is a helicopter which is tethered to the ground with a rope, as with a captive balloon. Captive helicopters can be used for the same purposes as captive balloons....

  • Captive plane
    Captive plane
    A captive plane is an aircraft which does not fly free, but is held like a kite by a rope from the "pilot" or mooring...

  • Airborne wind turbine
    Airborne wind turbine
    An airborne wind turbine is a design concept for a wind turbine that is supported in the air without a tower. Airborne wind turbines may operate in low or high altitudes; they are part of a wider class of airborne wind energy systems addressed by high-altitude wind power...

     - conceptual for wind generator flown as kite
  • Kite aerial photography
    Kite aerial photography
    Kite aerial photography is a hobby and a type of photography. A camera is lifted using a kite and is triggered either remotely or automatically to take aerial photographs. The camera rigs can range from the extremely simple, consisting of a trigger mechanism with a disposable camera, to complex...

  • Kite buggying
  • Kite fishing
  • Kite ice skating
    Kite ice skating
    Kite ice skating, sometimes referred to as Para-skating or Para ice skating, is an ice-based sport using a large controllable kite to propel ice skaters across frozen rivers, frozen lakes and other frozen surfaces.-External links:...

  • Kite landboarding
    Kite landboarding
    Kite landboarding also known as Land kiteboarding or flyboarding, is based on the ever-growing sport of Kitesurfing, where a rider on a surf-style board is pulled over water by a kite. Kite landboarding involves the use of a mountain board or landboard, which is essentially an oversized skateboard...

  • Kite shape
    Kite (geometry)
    In Euclidean geometry a kite is a quadrilateral whose four sides can be grouped into two pairs of equal-length sides that are next to each other. In contrast, a parallelogram also has two pairs of equal-length sides, but they are opposite each other rather than next to each other...

     (geometry)
  • Kitesurfing
    Kitesurfing
    Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a...

  • List of books about kites
  • Sea Tails
    Sea Tails
    Sea Tails is a video installation created as a collaboration between video artist Molly Davies, French artist Jackie Matisse, and composer David Tudor....

  • Smithsonian Kite Festival
    Smithsonian Kite Festival
    The Blossom Kite Festival, formerly the Smithsonian Kite Festival, is an annual kite event usually held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. near the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in late March. The 2011 kite festival took place on the Washington Monument grounds on Sunday,...

  • Solar balloon
    Solar balloon
    A solar balloon is a balloon that gains buoyancy when the air inside is heated by the sun's radiation, usually with the help of black or dark balloon material. The heated air inside the solar balloon expands and has lower density than the surrounding air. As such, a solar balloon is similar to a...

     A solar-heated hot air balloon that can be flown like a kite, but on windless days.
  • Uttarayan The kite flying festival of western India

External links


Technology and history



Other