India is blessed with a huge coastline. Kite flying is an activity where the entire family can enjoy. Today kites are available in many sizes and shapes. There are miniature kites for flying indoors as well as huge ones which need a team of people to fly them. There are kites which can float without any supervision as well as one which need active controlling. Power kites and kite surfing is a very exciting sport and is gaining popularity in India.
We at Space Apple do design and make kites using various type of fabric from simple single string parafoils to dual line stunt kites.
Our team also conducts workshops on kites where along with providing information and knowledge we also teach how to make kites using various types of material.
Space Apple conducted a workshop on kites at IIT Powai in 2005 during the TECHFEST. Over 50 box kites were made and flown during the workshop.
The International Kite Festival is held at Ahmedabad in India on January 14, to coincide with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. People of Gujarat celebrate Uttarayan with a lot of enthusiasm. It is also a celebration to mark the end of winter. Kite workshops are generally conducted during this time.
Any type of kite which generates force to pull and is capable of dragging a person can be termed as power kite.
They are also called as traction kites. These kites are generally flown on the beach on windy days but can also be flown on big open flat
ground and deserts.
The kite making workshops are very interesting and educative. The children like to make something that they can fly and control with astring. We use PowerPoint presentations and movie clippings to explain basic concepts.
In our workshop we teach basic skills of making kites out of paper, plastic as well as using fabric. The sessions are hands on with each child getting involved into making his own kite.
Some of the kites are stuck with glue while others have to be stitched on a sewing machine. For the structure and frames we mostly use bamboo but can also use graphite or carbon fiber rods depending on the size of the kites.
There various designs we can make are delta kites, cellular kites, box kites, dragon kites, parafoils, diamond kites, power kites and stunt kites.
To our credit we have conducted several workshops for varied age groups right from six year olds to Engineering students and continue to do so.
The workshops modules can be customized for few hours, a whole day or stretched over a week. Each workshop is customized taking into consideration the age group, interest of the participants and the time allotted for the workshop.
Here is a brief outline of a typical kite workshop.
Part I – Introduction
- Stories and Interesting facts about kites. History and new developments.
- A brief on history of kite and innovative use in earlier days.
- Technical information - forces of flight, science behind flight.
- Information about local clubs.
Part II – Hands on session
- Choosing right material and alternate options
- Kite designs and cutting
- Stitching and sticking methods
- Bridle attachments and angle of attack
- Choosing the location and wind conditions for flying
- Repairs and maintenance
Part III – Demonstrations and test