Engineering involved in Kite Making?

There are several kite makers out there who claim to use computer
programs and such to design their kites. I suspect that most (if not
all) use computer programs as CAD/drawing aids rather than actual
design tools.

Kites can be very complicated things, especially stunt kites. There
are basic aerodynamic considerations that are sometimes used, but even
then there is much confusion.

As an example ask a kite maker about aspect ratio. The aerodynamic
definition is a very simple formula, but most kite makers won't be
able to tell you what it is.

I design kites by the, "well, it worked well last time" method.
Experience is usually my guide, but I am often surprised by what the
kites end up doing when I actually fly a kite.
  Marty Sasaki                          mss@das.harvard.edu

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