In article <BuJ6qx.4t1@news.cso.uiuc.edu> mjg51721@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (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 
-> important.
-> 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  m-gebis@uiuc.edu

        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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