Engineering involved in Kite Making?

In article <1992Sep10.212428.4569@gordian.com> steve@gordian.com (Steve Thomas) writes:
>In article <1992Sep9.004133.42857@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu> spaceman@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu writes:
>>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
>>A curious aerospace engineering student-
>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.
>Steve Thomas

Well, there's a really good reason why there is not much aerodynamic
principles applied to kitemaking and the reason is that the problem
itself is one nasty item.  Consider that most of the models studied
in wind tunnels, the planes in the air, cars, etc. are are rigid bodies.
Studies and projections made with these models are difficult enough, but
it is nearly impossible to consider all of the variations that can occur
with a deformable body.  There is some literature that is devoted to parachutes
and this is not very extensive from what I have seen.

One might even say, well, why not use computer programs to model the
kites flying through the air, and again the problem is that the body
is deformable to a LARGE extent.  In order to resolve the small scales
necessary to solve a turbulence problem on a RIGID body can take many
many MANY CPU HOURS on a Cray.  There are some approximations that can
reduce this time, but not anywhere nearly to an extent that would make
a full-blown simulation of a very flexible body.

Well, I don't have time to write all day, but if anybody has any 
particular questions, gimme a yell.


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