freepistol

Leonardo Da Vinci Kite?

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I am a science/fine arts teacher in Texas.  We have a great flying field and the kids like flying my kites.  I was wondering if anyone makes or has tried to make a kite patterned after Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine drawings.  da Vinci fits into a lot of lessons for me and I thought a kite like that would catch the kids imagination.  It seems like like a natural, but I have not found anything.

Thanks,

 

DLB

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Yes. Google "da vinci kite" for a few ideas. The Zero G glider kite is actually very similar to the da Vinci sketches with the wing fixed (not intended to flap) and the direction reversed (flown tail first, canard wing). That may be fun -- making a bird fly backwards. A glider built according to his sketches will fly and can be flown as a kite with the flying line attached slightly ahead of the center of gravity which should be adjusted to about 25% to 35% of the mean wing chord back from the leading edge. This type of wing will most probably fly best if the kite/glider is built a bit nose-heavy. Some trial and error will be necessary.

It depends on the grade level you teach, whether this will be feasible, and your level of understanding of relatively simple aerodynamic principles. Some research and reading may be in order, but it is not in the realm of rocket science. Keeping it simple will yield the best results, so a stylized version with flat wing surface (as opposed to curved) and a dihedral of about half of what you see in his sketches (about 15 to 20 degrees should do well) will make for a steady flying machine. It can be as simple as one sheet of paper flown on sewing thread up to Icarex sail material and carbon fiber spars.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress. If you have questions you know where to find us.

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11 hours ago, freepistol said:

I was wondering if anyone makes or has tried to make a kite patterned after Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine drawings.

Yes, I believe there are(were) companies that make that kite. 

11 hours ago, freepistol said:

I thought a kite like that would catch the kids imagination.

There is also the Archimedes' Screw kite, which might be difficult to make, but it's super cool. There are also easier-to-make kites that use the Magnus Effect to stay aloft. I have the Flip Kite, made by Prism- Love this kite. The kite line oscillates- very cool. 

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