Kites have always been designed, constructed and flown, within a particular culture. In other words, there is no universal kite. In China, India, Japan, and Malaysia, the kite has remained cultural artefact around which people maintain contact with the past while projecting their culture into the future. Several nations have yearly national, or regional kite-fests with the importance we continue to attach to Christmas in our culture. The absence of the kite in our culture, or its status as a children’s toy reflect deep seated, mostly unexamined assumptions about the nature of culture and work in general, and the function of work in our culture, in particular. To say to someone ‘go fly a kite’ has a particular nasty connotation, one that could not be imagined in other cultures.
People everywhere in the world love records. What a challenge it is to set a record. It may be even more fun to break existing records. This is not the exception in kite making and flying. Here are just a few records achieved by ambitious kiters. These records are older so that you can discover new records and compare them.
• In October 1990 in Sakurajima, Kagoshima, Japan, Mr. Satao Harada, at the age of 73, set a record by flying the greatest number of kites on a single line. It took him nearly three hours to launch his 11,284 kites. His kites were made from bamboo and polyethylene and flew for 18 minutes. It took over an hour to put the kites back into their sleeping quarters, which was very large wooden box.
• The longest kite ever flown was made and flown by Michel Trouillet from France on November 18, 1990. It took him six month to build his dragon kite, which was 3,394 feet long and weighed 223 pounds. It flew at 1000 ft high for four minutes and 35 seconds and then the line broke. The line had a breaking strength of 4,400 pounds, and a caterpillar weighing 28 tons anchored the kite line.
• The largest kite ever flown was 5,952 feet long. It was flown on a beach in Holland on Agust 8th, 1981.
• On August 1st 1919, a team flew a train of eight kites at a height of 31,955 feet near the town of Lindenberg, Germany.
• Henry Clayton and A. E. Sweetland set a record for the highest single kite flown at Milton. Maine in February 28th, 1898.
• Pete di Giacomo set a record for the fastest kite ever on September 22, 1989. It was a stunt kite with two lines that were about 80 feet long. The kite was clocked at 120 mph.
• The greatest lift by a single kite was 728 pounds by G. William Tyrell on September 23, 1984.