SPONSORED PRODUCT: Kites for Schools

Written by: HTU | Published:

What makes my kite fly? Does the tail matter? What is the best shape for a kite? Kites for Schools, who have been making and flying kites for around 40 years, answer some commonly asked questions from the kite-flying pupils and schools they work with.

What makes my kite fly? Does the tail matter? What is the best shape for a kite? Kites for Schools, who have been making and flying kites for around 40 years, answer some commonly asked questions from the kite-flying pupils and schools they work with.



Will my kite fly?
If a kite is light enough to be lifted by the wind it will go up in the air. No wind, no fly. If there is more wind, the kite wants to fly higher. Also if the kite is bigger, it will catch more wind and pull harder on the string.



But what makes it stay there?
A kite string holds the kite and stops it blowing away. The design of the kite controls whether the kite flies high in the sky, or just blows around and around and keeps hitting the ground.



Does it matter where the string is tied?
Yes, exactly where the kite line is tied onto the kite is very important. If the kiteline is not tied exactly in the middle of the kite when looking left to right, the kite will go to one side or the other and eventually hit the ground.
Some kites have something called a keel like on a yacht. This is the bit that is a fold in the centre of the kite and is where the kite line is attached. This helps to stop the kite moving to the left and right. If the line is tied too far to the front of the kite, the kite will just blow along the ground and not go up. If the line is tied too far towards the back of the kite, the kite will roll over backwards and crash.



Why do kites have tails?
My favourite reason is that they look really good! The real reason is that a tail helps keep the kite stable and stops it crashing. Be careful that the tail is not so heavy that it adds weight to the kite and so makes it too heavy to fly when the wind is very light. The perfect tail will catch as much wind as possible so the drag of the tail will stop the kite blowing all around the place, but will weigh very little so the kite will still fly well.



What is the best kite shape?
There are a number of traditional kite shapes; diamonds, squares, box-kites and sleds are just a few. These kites all have sticks to hold their shape. Many countries have their own traditional kite shapes perfected over thousands of years. Some are selected to fight really well and win kite fighting competitions, some are playthings for children, and others are very decorative and shaped like birds and butterflies.
There are also 20th century kites which are inflated by the wind and the force of the wind in the kite holds the kite shape, like air in a balloon. Some of these kites are huge and shaped like octopuses, fish, cats and more. Diamond shaped kites are usually the most stable and easiest to fly so they are an excellent kite to use in the classroom.



What is the future of kites?
There are now a huge number of multi string steerable kits. They are being used to pull buggies and kite surfers. Kite powered boats can sometimes even go faster than yachts.
Kites are now taken on every Arctic expedition because they can be used to pull skiers along. Of course, they don't need fuel like a vehicle or feeding like huskies!There are exciting developments with kites and large ships, to reduce their fuel requirements. In an energy efficient world, kites will become more and more important as a way of harnessing the power of the wind.



Want to know more?
At Kites for Schools we have been making and flying kites for around 40 years. We have made award winning kites and been invited guests at kite festivals all around the world. We have possibly the largest collection of books published about kites in the world.
Many years ago, we were asked by our local school if we could make kites with 450 children. We did and the next year we were asked again. That's when Kites for Schools was born, and it is the best fun thing we have ever done.
If you want to try a free sample of one of our kites for your school, just go to our website and we will send you one.



• Visit www.kitesforschools.co.uk or call 01308 456 274


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