All Kinds of Kites and Kite Flying

 By: Jillian Smith
Kites are ingenious contraptions that are intended to be flown high in the sky at the end of a string. Making kites and flying kites is an enjoyable and relaxing activity, as well as a competitive game in several parts of the globe. As a matter of fact, nearly all kite flying festivals all across Asia have "kite fights," which is a venerated and ancient custom where players attempt to cut down their adversaries' kites by cutting off their lines. This is achieved by using small, extremely maneuverable "fighter kites" that are connected to glass-coated "cutting lines." These specialized "cutting lines" are used to cut off the lines of contending kites.
In Korea, men, women and children fly kites all throughout the opening days of the New Year. Kite flying is also something to look forward to, and an essential part of the boys' festival, which is held each May in Japan, and in China, one day each year is commemorated as Kites' Day. On those days, thousands of kites fashioned like fish, butterflies and dragons take to the air and soar over the cities and towns. Thailand also supports an International Kite Festival in which all kites fall into one of two classes: chula (male) or pakpao (female) kites. The kites are immense and need quite a lot of people to fly them. There are also kite-flying contests held every year in the United States and Canada.

Types of Kites

There are numerous assorted forms of kites. The basic kind of kites is the two-stick solitary plane bow kite. It can be bought ready-made or it can be put together from do-it-yourself kits or made exclusively by hand. When making uncomplicated kites, the sticks that are used can be of any sturdy lightwood with a straight grain. The covering material can just be regular brown wrapping paper, or a wispy, light cloth, such as silk or nylon. Plastic sheets of different kinds are also used by kite makers. In addition, cloth is used for the tail and a string for the flight line. There are also more sophisticated kinds of kites that can be assembled.

The box kite consists fundamentally of two rectangular boxes, open on two equivalent sides apiece and linked by a general framework. Lawrence Hargrave conceived of the original design in the 1890's. Box kites are more tricky to construct than stick kites, but they are outstanding flyers and will keep their place for long periods. Box kites also adjust well to variations in the breeze, and they do not have need of a tail.

How to Fly Kites

Kites take to the air, like airplanes, on the aerodynamic theory of wind pressure against a heavier-than-air item. The motor and propeller of the airplane generate wind pressure as they move the aircraft through the air. When the pressure is strong enough to conquer gravity, the plane is pressed up and permitted to stay in the air. The similar consequence of wind pressure is produced by the kite flyer as he sprints across an open field. As the kite moves in opposition to the wind, the string tips the face of the kite onward. The wind shoves up on this tipped face and raises the kite, just as a wedge pressed beneath an object lifts it up.
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