Hotter speed and turning than competition kites. Higher-quality exercise and livelier pull than power kites.
WindDances are "airgear," a new concept. They fly better and feel more exciting than typical stunt kites.
Our other advancements: Ergo T-handles that boost feel, control, exercise. Natural active FLY-a-kite skill.
The FLYING & skill basics
The FLYING basics
When any kind of kite -- single-line, dual-line, tri-line, or quad-line -- is flying efficiently like an airplane, air rushes head-on at the leading-edge of the wing, it flows perpendicular to the flying lines where they attach to the kite, and the aerodynamic "lift" of the kite's wing generates "pull" in the flying lines. This particular state of kite flying is "kite-FLYING".
The kite's aerodynamic "lift," generated by the process of kite-FLYING, is the "pull" you feel in your control lines.
"Kite-FLYING" occurs everywhere on the dual-line flight envelope:
When the kite is hovering stationary at the edge, the airflow is perpendicular to the flying lines all along the flying lines. When you hover at the upper edge, it's exactly like flying a single-line kite.
In the powerzone where the kite flies at maximum speed & pull, your flying lines are aimed straight downwind and your kite flies in a direction that's perpendicular to the flying lines. The airflow against your flying lines is along the lines where you stand, but the airflow is perpendicular to the flying lines where they attach to the kite.
As a dual-line kite FLIES to and from different locations on the flight envelope, the air always rushes at the kite from the same direction relative to the kite -- head-on at the leading-edge of the wing, and perpendicular to the flying lines where they attach to the kite. The speeds and forces, however, vary greatly. For a WindDance, in the powerzone the kite's airspeed is about 4-times higher and the pull is about 20-times stronger than at the edge.
How is a FLYING kite similar to -- and different from -- from a FLYING airplane?
Gravity "pulls" downward on the airplane. The airplane wing's upward aerodynamic "lift" counteracts that downward gravitational pull. Why do they call it "lift?" Because that strong upward force "lifts" the heavy airplane off the ground. In straight and level flight, the upward aerodynamic "lift" of the airplane's wing equals the downward "pull" of its weight.
It's similar to when you weigh yourself on a scale. Gravity "pulls" downward on you. The scale pushes upward against you; you feel that "lifting" force against your feet. That upward "lifting" force on your body equals gravity's downward "pull" on your body.
With a dual-line kite -- no matter what its direction on the flight envelope -- the kite's aerodynamic "lift" pulls on the kite directly away from the flying lines just like an airplane wing's "lift" pulls directly away from the force of gravity, and the flying lines "pull" on the kite just like gravity "pulls" on an airplane. The "pull" you feel in your flying lines is the kite's aerodynamic lift, just like gravity's "pull" on the airplane equals its aerodynamic lift.
But there's one BIG difference: A kite's aerodynamic "lift" -- the "pull" -- can be 200-times more than the kite's weight! That strong pull, and strong lift, can distort and destroy the kite while it's FLYING -- click HERE and HERE!
While "kite-FLYING" with any kind of kite, 1) the airflow is perpendicular to the flying lines in the vicinity of the kite, and 2) there is pull in the flying lines and that pull equals the kite's aerodynamic lift. When these two things are not happening, the kite is not "FLYING."
Note: The above description of FLYING is a simplification for the sake of clarity. But for very efficient aircraft, and for very efficient kites with lightweight lines at good speed, the description is quite accurate.
Here are two examples of "kite-FLYING" from opposite ends of the speed & pull spectrum:
Flying a single-line kite aloft in a gentle breeze with a few ounces of pull is "kite-FLYING."
Flying a dual-line kite through the powerzone at 100 mph with 200 lb of pull is "kite-FLYING."
The skill basics
"A stunt kite depends on line tension to fly. No tension -- no flying." This is from a old book on dual-line stunt kites.
When a child runs upwind pulling on a single-line kite, or tugs on the line, the kite FLIES upward. The faster the child runs, the longer and harder the child tugs on the line, the faster and higher the kite FLIES upward. Children naturally use this basic tension-GENERATING skill to make a kite FLY.
When a single-line kite starts coming down due to loss of wind, the tension or pull in the flying line drops. A child automatically reacts to keep the kite flying. How? By running into the wind, and by pulling on the line to maintain some tension in the flying line. Children instinctively use this basic tension-MAINTAINING skill to keep a kite FLYING.
Basic dual-line kite-FLYING skills are merely extensions of childhood single-line skills
Pull on both lines to make the kite go fast. Pull on one line, the other one can go slack, to make it turn fast & tightly & powerfully. The stronger the pull, the faster it goes and the faster it turns & spins. Want your spin to last longer? Merely pull on that one line for a longer period of time. IT'S THAT SIMPLE for flyers using dual-line kites that FLY well, that is, kites that respond well to basic pulling skill. This is the basic tension-GENERATING skill used to make a dual-line kite FLY with good straight-line speed & pull and with good turning-and-spinning speed & pull.
While dual-line flying, especially when your kite is at the edge while the wind's speed and direction are fluctuating, tension or pull in your flying lines may drop -- which may cause your kite to drop out of the sky. To prevent that, just like a child with a single-line kite, you do what's needed to keep your kite airborne. You execute a long and steady pulling stroke on both flying lines, stepping or running directly away from the kite as necessary in order to maintain enough tension in both flying lines to keep your kite in the air. This is the basic tension-MAINTAINING skill used to keep a dual-line kite FLYING.
This basic dual-line kite-FLYING skill generates and maintains your kite's aerodynamic lift, speed, and pull during straight flight and while turning & spinning.
See how it's so very similar to childhood single-line skill? See how easy and simple it is?
When you apply this basic pull-on-a-kite-line skill to a kite that's engineered and built to respond awesomely well to energetic pull-on-a-kite-line skill, all the spectacular kite FLYING performance described in this website happens!
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WindDance dual-line parafoil stunt kites/sport kites are developed, sold, and backed by Seattle AirGear.
WindDance, WindDancing, Seattle AirGear, and AirGear are trademarks of Seattle AirGear.
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This page last revised Jan-1-1998