YOU KNOW AND KITE FACTS
The smallest kite in the world which
actually flies is 5mm high.
The largest number of kites
flown on a single line is 11,284, this record is held by a Japanese
The longest kite in the
world is 1034 metres (3394 ft).
The largest kite in the
world is the Megabite 55 x 22 metres (630sq metres).
The fastest recorded speed
of a kite is over 120 mph. (193 km/h).
The record for the highest
single kite flown is 3801 metres (12,471ft).
for a train of kites 9740 metres (31,955 ft).
The world record for
the longest 'kite fly' is 180 hours.
Kite flying was banned
in China during the Cultural Revolution, anyone found flying a
kite was sent to jail for up to three years and their kites destroyed.
There are 78 rules
in kite fighting in Thailand.
Kite flying was banned in Japan in
1760 because too many people preferred to fly kites than work.
The aeroplane is a
development of the kite.
For centuries kites
have been used in wars and battles, for signalling, lifting observers,
target practice, as barrage kites, dropping propaganda leaflets
The Chinese believe that looking at
kites high in the sky maintains good eyesight.
The Chinese believe
that when you tilt your head back to look at a kite in the sky
your mouth opens slightly, which gets rid of excess body heat
giving you a healthy yin-yang balance.
The Chinese name for
a kite is Fen Zheng, which means wind harp. The name is derived
from early Chinese kites which used to carry wind musical instruments.
Kites were used in the
American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
The delta hang glider
was a development of flexiwing kite called a Rogallo.
The first powered aircraft
were large box kites with motors fitted to them.
The world-renowned father of aeronautical
theory was Sir George Caley (1721 to 1790) who lived near Scarborough
in Yorkshire. He discovered the difference between lift &
thrust and invented the steerable tail and rudder. He also discovered
the importance of the dihedral angle for stability of flight and
knew the importance of a curved wing.
If a lightweight engine
had been invented in Sir George Caleys time he would have beaten
the Wright brothers flight by over 150 years.
Large kites were banned
in East Germany because of the possibility of man lifting over
the Berlin Wall.
The fastest crossing of the English
Channel towed by kites was 2hrs 30min by a team from Flexifoil
International in 1999. They would have done it in 2hrs if the
French Coastguards had not stopped them 1/2 a mile from the French
In 1985 I was presented
to his HRH Prince Charles after winning a British Council travel
award to visit kite festivals in China. He told me that whilst
on honeymoon on the Royal Yacht Britannia he asked a crew member
to launch his kite (a wedding present) from the rear of the yacht.
The kite went up so fast the line burnt his hands - he had to
let go and lost the kite. He said he learned two things that day,
first you must wear gloves when flying kites and secondly remember
to tell the Captain of the ship to slow down.
The British scholar
Joseph Needham said in his book "Science & Civilisation
in China", that the kite was the most important scientific
device to have come to Europe from China.
When the Japanese were
building some of the early temples & shrines they used large
kites to lift tiles and other materials to the workmen on the
The Russians used kites
to tow torpedoes in 1855 with great accuracy.
Ancient stories of
fire breathing Dragons were probably a windsock type of kite flown
by soldiers in the middle ages which had burning tar in the mouth
opening to frighten the enemy in battle.
The para-gliders that brought back
the first space capsules to earth were are development of the
Rogallo Kite invented by Francis Rogallo in 1948.
The Rogallo kite was
the model for the first hang gliders.
More adults in the
world fly kites than children.
In 1826 there used to be a stage coach
service between London and Bristol using kites instead of horses.
There is at least one
Kite Festival every weekend of the year in some part of the world.
There are many indoor
Kites have been used for centuries
Kites are used for
bird scaring, forecasting the weather and frightening evil spirits
Approximately 12 people
are killed each year in kiting accidents throughout the world.
It is now thought that the first kites
flown over 3000 years ago, were made from leaves.
In Indonesia leaf kites
are still used for fishing.
Kite flying is one of the
fastest growing sports in the world.
The Maori tribes from New Zealand made
beautiful birdman kites made from bark cloth and leaves.
Kite flying is popular
in most countries except for one or two for example, Iceland and
Russia, but we are trying to remedy that.
You do not need wind
to fly a kite.
Each year on the second Sunday of October
kite flyers in nearly every country of the World unite and fly
a kite to celebrate "ONE SKY ONE WORLD".
People were flying
kites 1,000years before paper was invented.
Kites have been used
for thousands of years to lift offerings and give thanks to the
Gods for good harvests, fertility, weather and prosperity.
There are over 50 million kites sold
in the USA every year.
Alexander Bell, the
inventor of the telephone also developed the tetrahedral kite,
which was very successfully used for man carrying.
In the Orient, kites
are given to someone to bring them happiness, good luck, prosperity
and cure illness.
The modern ram air
parachute and para-gliders were developed from a parafoil kite
invented by the American kite maker Domina Jalbert in 1963.
Baden-Powell (the brother
of the founder of the scout movement) did lots of successful experiment
with man lifting kites.
Samuel Franklin Cody
who invented the Cody manlifting kite system was the first man
to cross the English Channel towed by kites in 1903.
In 1908 Samuel Franklin Cody was the
first man in England to build and fly a powered aircraft, (a large
box kite fitted with a small engine).
Samuel Franklin Cody
was the first man in England to be killed in a powered aircraft
accident - 1913.
In 1901 Marconi used
a Hexagon kite to transmit the first radio signals across the
Atlantic, the kite line was used as the aeriel.
Benjamin Franklin used a kite to prove
that lightning was electricity.
Lawrence Hargrave was
an English man who emmigrated to Australia where he invented the
box kite in 1893.
In 1847, a young boy
won a competition to fly and land a kite on the other side of
the Niagara River. They then used the kite line to pull larger
cables over the river, enabling them to start work on building
the first railway bridge between Canada and the USA.
Some Japanese kites weigh over 2 tons.
One of the longest
Chinese Dragons I have seen flying was over 600 metres long.
Kites have been used
in many sea rescues.
In the Second World War the RAF issued
pilots with a 'rescue kit' comprising a dingy and a folding box
kite called a Gibson Girl which enabled them to send an SOS message
from a portable transmitter with the kite line acting as the aerial.
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