Thursday, May 2, 2019

bet you didn't know ...

  • The first kites were flown over 3000 years ago and were actually made of leaves. People flew kites 1,000 years before paper was even invented! In Indonesia, leaf kites are still used for fishing.
  • Kite flying was actually banned in Japan in 1760 because too many people preferred to fly kites over work. And in the 20th century, large kites were banned in East Germany because of the possibility of lifting people over the Berlin wall. 
  •  In 1901 Marconi used a hexagon kite to transmit the first radio signals over the Atlantic. 
  • In World War 2, the Royal Air Force issued kites to pilots as part of a rescue kit that included a dingy and a folding box kite called the Gibson Girl, which enabled them to send SOS signals from a portable transmitter with the kite line acting as an aerial. 
  • Some kite records include the smallest kite in the world which flies at 5mm high, the largest number of kites flown on a single line at 11,284, the longest kite in the world at 3394 feet, the largest kite in the world known as a mega kite at 55 x 22 metres, the fastest kite in the world at 193 kph, the highest single line kite at 12,471 ft, and the longest kite fly at 180 hours. Some Japanese kites weigh over 2 tons! 
  • The Chinese name for a kite is Fen Zheng, which means wind harp. The name is derived from early Chinese kites which used to carry wind musical instruments.
  • Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
  • The first powered aircraft were large box kites with motors fitted to them.
  • The British scholar Joseph Needham said in his book "Science & Civilisation in China", that the kite was the most important scientific device to have come to Europe from China.
  • The Russians used kites to tow torpedoes in 1855 with great accuracy.
  • When the Japanese were building some of the early temples & shrines they used large kites to lift tiles and other materials to the workmen on the roofs.
  • In 1826 there used to be a stagecoach service between London and Bristol using kites instead of horses.
  • The modern ram air parachute and para-gliders were developed from a parafoil kite invented by the American kite maker Domina Jalbert in 1963.
  • In 1847, a young boy won a competition to fly and land a kite on the other side of the Niagara River. They then used the kite line to pull larger cables over the river, enabling them to start work on building the first railway bridge between Canada and the USA.