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How does a kite fly?

Any kite, regardless of design, is a wing, not a parachute, as many people think. Therefore, it is generally accepted that any kite does not hang in the air, namely it flies. And this is completely justified, since kite flying obeys all the laws of wing movement in a dynamic air environment, that is, in an oncoming wind stream.

Just like any wing, a kite has a leading edge, a trailing edge and a profile provided by the shape of the wing’s internal structure (ribs for parafoils and balloons for inflatable kites). But what the kite does not have is the wing mechanization system, as is done on airplanes.

It is known that the aircraft is controlled by the so-called steering planes included in the wing mechanization system. There are several of them in different parts of the aircraft, but on the wing there is one main governing body – ailerons. It is with their help that the wing acquires a roll, and with it changes the direction of movement in the air.

The kite, of course, has no steering planes, but if it could not be controlled in any way, then there would be no sense from it. After all, then he could tow a rider only as an umbrella, with a strictly fair wind. But, in practice, a kite rider is able to move tacks, at different angles to the wind, including quite steep heading courses.

How is this happening? It is due to the fact that the kite flies all the time, and does not stand still, like a children’s kite. And not only flies, but is also controlled, that is, by the will of the rider is able to occupy in the air one or another position relative to the wind flow, at one or another angle to the horizon.

Therefore, you should know that the kite is never stationary relative to the wind flow, it flies in it all the time, even if it stands motionless relative to the ground for a number of reasons. Sometimes the birds hang motionless relative to the ground, masterfully controlling their body in a stream of incoming wind. But the birds are flying. And the kite also flies.

It always flies with the leading edge forward and nothing else. That is, the wind should always blow from the front edge, blow it first, and then the whole wing. If the wind blows somehow differently, then the kite will fall. If for some reason the kite stops, stops flying forward with respect to the air, it will fall too.
How kite flies
A kite, unlike an airplane, does not have its own engine, and therefore is able to fly only when the air itself moves to the front edge of the kite. That is, the kite needs wind. And the stronger the wind, the faster the kite moves relative to the air, and the greater its thrust.

If the kite is not controlled, after launch it tends to take a place on the edge of the wind window. If he reaches the edge of the wind window exactly at the zenith, with the leading edge above the rider’s head, then he will stop at this point, and the kite’s thrust along a vector parallel to the ground will be zero. The wing behaves quite stably if you keep the handle level. This position is natural for the wing in the stream, but the wing itself can only pull vertically upwards, which is not suitable for towing functions.

In order for the kite to pull the rider, it must be brought out of the neutral point at the zenith and moved to any other point that is located downwind below the rider. At any such point, the thrust of the kite will no longer be zero. At the same time, there is a general rule for all kites, according to which you can easily understand where you need to direct the kite so that it develops one or another thrust. At the same time, we are talking about modulo thrust, that is, simply about the amount of thrust in kilograms, without taking into account the direction of this thrust.

The general rule is as follows. The lower the kite descends relative to the rider, the greater its thrust.

Any kite, regardless of design, is a wing, not a parachute, as many people think. Therefore, it is generally accepted that any kite does not hang in the air, namely it flies. And this is completely justified, since kite flying obeys all the laws of wing movement in a dynamic air environment, that is, in an oncoming wind stream.

Just like any wing, a kite has a leading edge, a trailing edge and a profile provided by the shape of the wing’s internal structure (ribs for parafoils and balloons for inflatable kites). But what the kite does not have is the wing mechanization system, as is done on airplanes.

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