Kite 101

Many of us have heard the phrase, "Aw, go fly a kite!" Usually it means to go do something frustrating and useless. The following information is meant to show that flying kites is easy and fun. Like anything else, there are things that work, and things that don't work.The information on this page will help you learn which is which, and how to become one with the sky. The Chinese say that to fly a kite is to hold the wind in your hand.

What is a kite?
A kite is heavier than air. A kite converts wind in to lift in order to fly. Kites need wind like cars need gas, or computers need electricity. The kite is held in to the wind by a string. That string holds the kite at the best angle to convert wind inĀ  to lift.

How to kites fly?
Science teachers often want to Kite Fliers talk about the Bernoulli Principle. The Bernoulli Principle is how airplanes get lift. Kites do not use Bernoulli. Kites fly on deflection.If you have ever stuck your hand out of the window of a car, and let the breeze push it up or down, that is deflection. Sir Isaac Newton taught all of us some very important things about motion. Newton's Third Rule of Motion says that for every action, there is an equal, and opposite, reaction. Wind moving along, parallel to the ground, finds a kite, and is deflected, hopefully downwards, which imparts an equal and opposite force upwards. If the wind is deflected more to one side than another, that gives us a kite that spins.

What is wind?
One person who we often fly kites with says that wind is like air, but pushier. Wind is air that is moving from one place on earth to another place on earth. Simply put, air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. Areas of high or low pressure are caused by differences in temperature, differences in how high the ground is, and other things. A Hot Air Balloon Pilot once said, "Wind is the earth trying to equalize itself." Things are constantly changing, so it is windier on some days than it is on others. Kite fliers learn to watch Flags, water, and leaves on trees to see how strong the wind is and which direction it is blowing.