MORE THAN EVER, PEOPLE GO FLY A KITE.
Byline: Andrea Widener The Oregonian
Consider some of the aerodynamic wonders of the world Various Wonders of the World lists have been compiled over the ages in order to catalogue the most spectacular natural and manmade constructions. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the first known list of remarkable manmade creations of classical antiquity, and was based on : the supersonic su·per·son·ic
1. Having, caused by, or relating to a speed greater than the speed of sound in a given medium, especially air.
2. Of or relating to sound waves beyond human audibility. Concorde, a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter, a box kite.
A kite might seem like a simple toy, but the same principles of lift, drag and thrust that hold helicopters and planes aloft carry kites high into the sky. In fact, kites were the inspiration for the first planes.
Stunt kites that twist and spin in the air are partially responsible for an increased interest in kite flying across the country, said Mel Hickman, executive director of the American Kiteflyers Association. Nationwide, membership in the association has doubled in the past five years to 4,300.
``There is a huge increase in interest in kite flying as a hobby and as a sport,'' said Judy Brown, president of Associated Oregon Kiters.
Joe Stanley of Portland, Ore., has been addicted ad·dict·ed
1. Physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance.
2. Compulsively or habitually involved in a practice or behavior, such as gambling. to kites since he was a child, flying butcher-paper kites with the insignias of World War I aviators Well-known aviators
People largely known for their contributions to the history of aviation
While all of these people were pilots (and some still are), many are also noted for contributions in areas such as aircraft design and manufacturing, navigation or who were his heroes.
Stanley, 72, said he became serious about kites nearly 40 years ago. In the years since, the World War II veteran and retired carpenter has designed and built hundreds of kites ranging from traditional diamond-shaped kites, called Eddy kites Ed´dy kite
1. A quadrilateral, tailless kite, with convex surfaces exposed to the wind. This kite was extensively used by Eddy in his famous meteorological experiments. It is now generally superseded by the box kite. , to parafoil par·a·foil
A nonrigid, parachutelike, usually nylon airfoil of ribbed or cellular construction, used especially in kites and paragliders.
[para(chute) + (air)foil.] kites to his favorite - a replica of a box kite used to raise weather instruments This is a list of devices used for recording various aspects of the weather. Instrumentation
But no matter the kind of kite - from plastic, diamond-shaped playthings to $3,000 floating works of art - the same forces that lifted Stanley's childhood heroes into the air keep his kites flying high today.
New kite fliers often get discouraged because their kites quickly become part of the pavement. That is because beginners' kites often lack precision or high-quality material in their construction. These ``grocery-store kites,'' as Stanley calls them, dip and swerve where better-made kites can stay aloft for hours.
First-time kite fliers sometimes are too ambitious in their search for the perfect spot to fly their kite; they search for the highest winds possible. The perfect wind speed for most kite flying is a gentle 6 to 8 mph.
Look for a place where the wind is going up, such as the upwind side of a hill. Beach-front flying is popular because winds off the ocean are steady. Heated air on the beach rises, so in the afternoon your kite can catch a thermal updraft up·draft
An upward current of air.
An upward current of warm, moist air. With enough moisture, the current may visibly condense into a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. Compare downdraft. .
If you are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. someplace some·place
adv. & n.
Somewhere: "I didn't care where I was from so long as it was someplace else" Garrison Keillor. See Usage Note at everyplace. closer to home, find an empty space far from trees, power lines or buildings, said Jon Reinschreiber, co-owner of Paint the Sky Kites in Northwest Portland. A wind shadow, the turbulence created by obstructions, can reach nearly 700 feet, making kite flying difficult for even the most experienced flier.
Once you have a kite in the air, what you do with it is a matter of preference. Some people like to fly their kites so high that they are just a speck in the air, Reinschreiber said, but others like to keep them close to the ground to see the color and movement of the kite. He recommends that inexperienced enthusiasts fly their kite at about 300 feet.
There are two kinds of kite fliers, Stanley said. Some like to run themselves ragged, turning acrobatic tricks with both their bodies and their kites. Others, like Stanley, just like to sit back and watch.
``I could just sit there all day, all alone, and contemplate and just let the world go by,'' he said.