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The Science of Kite Flying

Most people connect kite flying with a stiff wind to get the kite into the air but most kites are designed for light breezy conditions. Although you do not need to know anything about aerodynamics to fly a kite, it helps you control your kite if you understand basic wind flow and lift.

The Science of Kite Flying

Your kite will be creating an obstacle to the normal air flow which will cause the air to change direction and speed. When the air flows across the objects surface it moves faster over the kite while the flow across the lower surface of the kite moves more slowly. Air pressure could be altered due to the changing air speed and results in the kite being pushed higher producing lift and flight.

The second stage of kite flying aerodynamics is when the airflow is not just split along the upper and lower kite surfaces but when the split air vaults over the kite and doesn't meet up again right away. When this happens a lower air pressure is created directly behind the kites flight pattern. The kite can be sucked into the area of low pressure and give your kite drag.

Lift and drag are important to remember in the performance of your kite. For your kite to fly stationary in the sky the lift and drag must be equal and opposite to the force pulling it down.

You will find that the position of the center of pressure is best controlled with the positioning of your flying line. For example, in light winds you will achieve the best lift by lowering your towing line to the base of the kite. This may produce a slight wobble or bring about large circles in flight. If your bridle towing line is to high it may cause your kite to tip side to side and could tip over. Experiment with your line placement to get the most out of your kite flying experience.