Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Kite Engineering

PostedMarch 27, 2004

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Kite making has come a long way since its invention about 3,000 years ago.  New materials like graphite rods, carbon filaments, and composites are allowing imaginative designs that are bigger, lighter, and stronger, all at the same time.  The newest kites range from the power kites that can transport people to stunt kites that perform acrobatics at up to 120 miles an hour.  But NASA engineer Tom Benson says the challenge of keeping a kite aloft hasn't changed.  It's still dealing with winds that constantly deform a kite's structure.   Of course it's also what causes the unpredictable movements that are part of kite flying's charm.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.