why does a kite need a tail

Kites come in many shapes and sizes, but all have the same basic parts. Most kites need a tail for stability and proper flight--without a tail, a kite will come crashing back to Earth. Tails can also be used for decorative effect. Kites rely on their tails to create drag--that is, rather than just blowing over and under the kite, air is forced to move around the tail. This interaction keeps the wind in check, thus reducing its effect on the kite. One result of this is that a kite will point into the wind while its bottom points toward the ground. Small kites and flat kites won't last long in the air without tails. On the other hand, some kite enthusiasts want their kites to roll and pitch, so a tail may not be used. Fighter or stunt kites, for instance, often are tailless. If a kite has trouble staying in the air, it might be because it has no tail or the tail isn't long enough to stabilize the kite. But a tail also can be the culprit by weighing too much and creating too much drag. Too much drag prevents a kite from gaining altitude. Generally, the lighter the wind, the shorter the tail should be, and vice versa. Not only does a longer tail in a challenging wind stabilize the kite, it also slows it down so it's easier to control.


All kites have a frame covered by material and a string that will serve as a tether. This string, called the tow line or kite line, is attached to a bridle, which is another string attached to the top and bottom of the kite. The top of the kite is called the nose. Tails hang from the bottom of the kite and are made of lightweight materials such as crepe paper, streamers, plastic of the weight found in garbage bags, or long string with light ribbons tied at intervals along it. Kites have been flown for thousands of years and are not always considered simply toys. In Asia, they are often artistic and made musical by the addition of pipes that make sounds as wind passes through them. Kites were once used as protectors to keep people safe from "evil spirits. "
Although now flown mostly for fun, kites also used to serve as scientific tools. In the 13th century, scientist Roger Bacon studied kites' flying behavior, deciding that air, like water, had the potential to carry airships. The Wright brothers also drew on their understanding of kites to work out how to get aircraft to fly.


In 1749, Alexander Wilson used kites to measure atmospheric temperature at different altitudes. In the early 20th century, meteorologists used kites to send meteorological equipment into the sky. Q: How did you make the tail? A: A pretty short and simple question, but fair enough - there are a heck of a lot of people out there who make a Diamond kite, then wonder 'mmmm what to do for a tail? '. Here are a few ideas! (By the way, all the Diamond designs on this site include instructions for the tail, if one is necessary. But some don't actually need a tail to fly properly. For example, the Dowel Diamond, which is based on the famous tail-less Eddy kite. ) Anyway, for flat Diamond kites, those tail ideas. Cut out a long rectangular strip of material, the same material which the sail is made from. Make it about 1/10 as wide as the kite, and at least 8 times as long as the kite is tall. This formula will work for a wide variety of Diamond kite shapes and sizes. If you want a fancier look, make it a bit thinner and attach one or 2 more tails in the same way.


Make them different colors of course! Cut across the top of a plastic bag, so you end up with a small loop of plastic. Do as many as you can from the bag, making the width of each plastic strip about 1/10 as wide as the kite. Then hitch the loops together into a chain. Make the chain at least 5 times as long as the kite is tall, using more bags if necessary. Here's. And now the classic story-book kite tail. Take a length of string about 10 times as long as the kite is tall (because it gets shorter every time you tie a knot in it! ) Tie it to a small rectangle of sail material. The rectangle can be about as long as 1/5 of the kite's width. Make the rectangle half as wide as it is long. Make a whole bunch of these and tie the string to them at regular intervals, all along the string's length. With a rectangle length or 2 between each one perhaps. A long string with many cross-ties like this makes a great tail which drags at the wind and keeps the kite's nose pointing into the breeze. Remember that the longer the tail, the more stable the kite. But make it too long and heavy, and the kite might not fly very high. Hope this helps!

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