Engineering involved in Kite Making?

In article <1992Sep9.004133.42857@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu> spaceman@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu writes:
>I have a question for those people who design and construct their own kites-
>How much of the process involved in your kite making involves calculations
>(estimations) of aerodynamic/structural properties, i.e. location of center of
>pressure, the amount of camber, and the frame members spec's to get 
>specific pull (light flight or power- considering the strength-to-weight
>!I know that there is an "artwork" aspect to it (who wants an ugly kite?),
> but how much 'engineering' goes into it?
>A curious aerospace engineering student-

George Ham, a world renown designer of parafoils, knows nothing of traditional
or "academic" aerodynamics.  He simply uses trial and error and experience to
figure things out.

It's "engineering" for sure (George was a bricklayer by trade), but there's
not much written in the academic sphere of aerodynamics that applies
specifically to kites.  There are the obvious prinicples, but nothing beyond
what one might learn in a high school course.

I'm sure there'd be a lot more science to kites if more scientists focused on
that area, but big research institutions like NASA are off wasting their time
on things like rocketships and jet airplanes...

Steve Thomas

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