In article <BuJ6qx.email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael James Gebis) writes:
-> I have a feeling that the reason not much engineering is involved in the
-> creation of kites is because the sport is still in its infantcy. I'm sure
-> that the Wright brothers didn't do computer simulations, wind tunnel testing,
-> or that such thing weren't done for many years. It was more efficient,
-> time-wise, to simply experiment and find out what worked and what didn't.
-> Of course, after a while, people wanted to push the envelope and eke out that
-> last bit of performance. At this point, mathematical simulation became
-> It's the same situation with modern day kites. It is cheaper, faster, and
-> easier to simply make a bunch of kites and find out what works and what
-> doesn't. In the future, however, when kite-design has been pushed and
-> the limits are being reached, more and more engineering will be required to
-> get better performance.
-> Mike Gebis email@example.com
I would say it is because research is expensive and
unnecessary in this case. As long as it flies and looks good, it
doesn't matter if there's a little energy loss.
If you build a bad airplane, you can throw away millions of
dollars and blow things up. If you build a bad kite, assuming a
reasonable size kite, you're not going to hurt anyone, and you'll just
have to go back home and fiddle with it some more.
Now, using a computer as a conceptual design tool would be
useful. It would let you figure out how much stuff and what
proportions of stuff you need to build the thing.
Jason C. Austin
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