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Physics of Kite Flying



blog-0019432001367532534.jpgKite flying can be for all ages, young or old. They come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. Each kite following the basic kite design. The physics of flying a kite is very similar to lifting an airplane off the runway.

To get a kite airborne its necessary to run while holding the kite behind you. One the kite reaches a high enough altitude and the wind becomes strong enough, the kite will fly aloft. Forces are applied to the kite to keep it in the air. The wind blows in the direction of the kite and underneath it to lift it up into the sky. If the wind were to blow the tail from the side, the kite would rotate itself to line up with the wind. In order to keep the kite balanced a tail must be added to the end of the kite at different locations to add stability.


As shown in the diagram above a lift force is created perpendicular to the kite while a drag force is created parallel to the kite. Gravity is also present shown by arrow g.


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Tails are not required for kites to fly. Tails are one method of stability.

It is not necessary to run to launch a kite.

There is a book on amazon.com that answers these questions clearly. It's called, "Kite Physics." It gives a visual explanation of the physics of kites in flight. With 125 pictures, illustrations, and 65 experiments. It answers the questions: Are tails required on a kite? How can I improve the flight of my kite? What are the forces that act on my kite? What changes can I try? Do kites glide? What are some applications of kites that I can explore? How do kites fly?

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