Category Archives: Science in Fun

How Kites Fly.??


Flying a kite is a time honored childhood memories. Those good old days when we used run up the stairs to the roofs of our house and shout our lungs out when the kite flies still lingers in my mind and is unforgettable. Many of us have the childhood experience of flying a kite. It gives us a joy when we make it higher and higher. If you are a kite lover, then this article is dedicated for you.

History of Kites:

The ancient history of these weightless objects is quite interesting and a vast one. China can be called as the native of kites because that is where the idea of kite popped out and from there the experience of kite flying traveled across the globe. The kites are three thousand plus years old.

Initially it served as a distance measuring object and then it was used for communication purpose during military operations. Kite technology also led to the invention of airplane. As popularity spread it was used for meteorological applications, various flying competitions and they became one of the children’s favorite toy and came to be used primarily as a leisure activity.

Artistry in the air:

Kites are usually made from a lightweight material like leaves, silk clothes, light fabric sails, paper which is stretched over the framework of a kite, giving it a beautiful structure. They are made in different shapes and themes such as birds, animals, dragons, cartoon characters etc.

There are traditional single kites, two line stunt kites, box kites and power kites. In addition to basic kites, there are even sports kites which are capable of performing stunts and aerial aerobatics.

How a Kite Flies.??

Kites are the heavier than air but it is designed in such a way that it promotes wind resistance. They are tethered aircraft which flies with the help of forces. The forces acting on the kites are similar to the forces acting on an aircraft called the aerodynamic forces. Lift, weight, thrust and drag constitute the aerodynamic forces.

When flying a kite we often pull the thread and you know why we do so? It is to produce tension. That tension force along with the air speed gives rise to thrust force in kite.

The major force which causes the kite to fly is the lift which is produced by the pressure difference. The pressure differences are created when the air flows through the upper and lower surfaces of the kite. The shape of the kite is designed in a way that the air flowing through the lower surface creates more pressure than the air flowing through the upper surface.

Weight is the component which acts downwards of the kite and it acts opposite to the lift force. Here the weight is the combination of self-weight of kite and the acceleration due to gravity.

When you fly a kite, a force which opposes the direction of the airflow called the drag. The lift and drag is the resultant force which is formed due to the reaction of pull of the kite.

Thus the aerodynamic designing of the kite leads to the performance of the kite in the air.

Flying a kite is great fun on a breezy day and I swear that it doesn’t cost much money to do. So what are you waiting for??Ditch those video games, get off the couch, and make your kite for yourself and let it dance in the sky and have fun.