Another event which we are so excited about is all about kites! Kite flying has been enjoyed by children of all ages (and adults) for many many moons, but have we every really considered how they work or the science behind them? We are delighted to be partnering with our friends at ‘Go Fly Your Kite’ to provide fun and interesting workshops for pupils across the region during this year’s Midlands Science Festival..We spoke to Glenn Heasly to find out more..
Glenn, what is the science behind kite flying? Is physics a key issue?
The physics to how a kite gains lift is very similar to how an airplane gains lift. The wings generate lift force by the action of the moving air over the wing surface. A kite works in exactly the same way. The wind blows in the direction of the kite and underneath it – this creates lift. An excellent way for students to a gain a feel for aerodynamic forces is to fly a kite!
We are really pleased that you and the ‘Go Fly Your Kite’ team will be coming to the Midlands this year for a series of exciting Science Week events ..Can you tell us about the workshops you will be providing and what they entail?
We are thrilled at the invite by Midlands Science to take part in Science week this year. Our workshops are primarily fun with the science, art, design & exercise all mixed into each workshop. The end result is a kite designed by each student a knowledge of how the kite takes flight and a personal achievement of constructing, designing and flying their reusable kite.
So is making a kite as much about engineering as it is about art?
Engineering is crucial in the process, if its not engineered properly it fails its aims and objectives. Our workshops demonstrate this, how critical it is to ensure the construction of the kite, to achieve our aim … the flight of the kite. The art is creative and it enables a unique bespoke design which makes each students kite unique to them. Kites were invented in China and have been around for thousands of years and even in those early years art was applied to kites in the most amazing designs. We will show pupils the different kites through history and talk about their varied uses through time.
What are some of the most important elements of kite making and where does the role of wind come in?
Three key elements in flight – lift, drag and gravity. A kite and an airplane are heavier than air objects that are flown by the lift created by air in motion over their wings. An airplane relies on thrust from the engines. A kite is tethered in place and needs moving air (wind) to enable it to fly. When we run with the kite, string and handle we create that air to enable it to take off.
Is it true that kite technology also led to the invention of the airplane, the parachute, and the helicopter?
From Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th Century dream of flight to Montgolfier brothers discovery of the hot air balloon, Newtons law of motion have all lead to the foundation of modern aerodynamics … each one of these remarkable people in history have led to todays technology and the ability to fly a plane through the air.