Authors: Ed Grauel
Date Submitted: May 31, 2001
Article Type: Journal

I’m not at all sure about it, but the more kites I observe and the more of them I construct, the more I am beginning to suspect that kite aerodynamics may be ruled by the number three.

Observe: The crosspiece on the two-stick flat kite is ideally one-third of the way down the main mast. The sled kite is in three parts—two keels and one flat section, and the vent, if any, is one-third of the way up the trailing edge. The parawings have three sets of bridles while the parafoil has three ribs separating each air chamber, as well as three keels. The depth of the kite is two-thirds of the width.

Consider: The usual point of connection for the flying line is one-third of the way down the length of the vertical bridle. It is well known to aficionados the flying line should have a breaking strength equal to three times the frontal surface area of the kite in square feet. There are three types of winds—light, medium and heavy—and probably the best winds of the day come at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

PDF Link: Journal Issue