Info For Fliers Plus A Short History
The staff at any kite shop will tell you that Dacron is ideal for flying
single-line kites. Compared to cotton and Nylon lines of the same
strength, it is lighter and thinner. Also, its high melting point means
that it resists abrasion. Handy for if you get a tangle with someone
else's flying line!
This 1000' Braided Kite Line
from Amazon will suit a wide range of single-line kites, up to a span of say 2 meters (7ft) if flown in light winds.
There is some stretch in the material, but this is of no real
concern when flying a single-line kite. If you ask me, there's nothing
wrong with a bit of shock-absorption in gusty winds!
Our own experiences with small Skewer kites on 20 pound line and
larger Dowel kites on 50 pound line have been very good. The kites fly
high with much less sag than a line made of cheaper material
would have. Mind you, sharing a single flying line among several kites
makes the cost seem more reasonable!
The occasional tangles do still happen, but for us it's been
mainly due to carelessness. You know, you're in a hurry winding up the
line and you don't take enough notice of some resistance...
Next thing you know, a small pile of loose line has arrived at
your hand in the form of a tangle! Usually, it's still fairly loose and
it only takes a few minutes to sort out.
The History Of Dacron
To make it more digestible, how about a list! Here we go...
Some Dacron as delivered
- The 1929 writings of Wallace Carothers about polymers led to the discovery of polyesters.
- Carothers invented Neoprene in 1930 and Nylon in 1935.
- 2 British chemists, John Rex Whinfield and J. T. Dickinson were inspired by the work of Carothers.
- Whinfield and Dickinson invented a new high-melting-point polyester in 1941. They called it Terylene.
- ICI patented the Terylene polyester.
- DuPont purchased the U.S. rights to Terylene in 1945 for further development.
- With modified Nylon technology, a DuPont pilot plant in Seaford,
Delaware produced a version of Terylene they called Dacron fiber.
- DuPont moved to mass production in its huge Kinston, North Carolina, plant in 1953.
- "The rest, as they say, is history." Yeah I know, that tired old cliche...
You could spend 30 minutes or so wandering the Web to find all
the above info in several places, often buried in long paragraphs. But I
suspect you would rather just glance at the list to take it all in, in
under half a minute!
There's my roll of 200 pound
braided flying line up there in the photo. In its natural color.
Some Technical Facts
A long paragraph of technical data would be hard going, so here's another list...
- The scientific name for this material is polyethylene terephthalate.
- It's a condensation polymer obtained from ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid.
- The molecules are very long linear chains that cross-link to each other.
- Each linear chain consists of 10 Carbon atoms, 8 Hydrogen atoms and 4
Oxygen atoms in a group, which is repeated many times giving the chain
its long length.
- The melting point of Dacron is a high 256 degrees Celsius (496 degrees Fahrenheit).
Finally, here's a not-so-technical fact... There are
more uses these days for this synthetic fiber than you could poke a
stick at! In my view, by far the most important one is for tethering
single-line kites to Terra Firma ;-)
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (4 ft) wide
Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the
canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell
kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to
38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in
the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls
firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while
Every kite design in
the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...
- Materials are
plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
- Tools are a ruler,
scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
- All cuts are
along straight lines.
For the greatest chance
of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For
example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line
type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough,
since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small
differences from my original.
Get the e-book for making the MBK Parachute kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.
The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.
Aug 23, 17 06:00 AM
This previously published page gives a quick insight into the structure and materials of the original 'War Kites' by Samuel Cody. Plus some history and photos of course. Intriguing stuff...
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