Kite History
      Historic Kite Events


      1749 - Alexander Wilson flew a kite train to record air temperatures at different altitudes.

      1752 - Ben Franklin proved there was electricity in lightning.

      1804 - George Cayley developed the concept of heavier-than-air flight. His glider was a modified arch top kite.

      1827 - George Pocock used kites to pull a horseless carriage.

      1847 - A kite flown by Homan Walsh, age 10, aided in the construction of a suspension bridge across the Niagara River.

      1893 - The Eddy Diamond and the Hargraves Box raised scientific instruments for weather research 1899 - The Wright Brothers used kites to test their theories for the first flying machine (airplane).

      1901 - Guglielmo Marconi used a kite to lift an aerial to make his historical radio link between North America and Europe.

      1902 - The French Military (Conyne) Kite raised military observers.

      1903 - The Wright Brothers flew the first manned flying machine. A kite train towed S.F.Cody across the English Channel.

      1906 - Kites carried a camera aloft to take aerial photographs of the damage caused by the San Francisco earthquake.

      1907 - Dr. Alexander Graham Bell flew a man carrying kite made up of over 3,000 tetrahedral cells.

      1919 - A German flew a kite train to an altitude of 31,955 feet.

      1939-1945 - The Gibson Girl Box, Garber's Target Kite and Saul's Barrage Kite were all used in World War II.

      1948 - Francis Rogallo patented his Flexi-wing kite. It was the forerunner of the hang glider and delta kite.

      1964 - Domina Jalbert designed the parafoil. His concepts have been adapted for parachutes and kites.

      1975 - Peter Powell introduced his dual line stunt kite.

      1978 - Kuzuhiko Asaba flew 4,128 kites on a single line.

      1989 - Kite flying becomes a sport with the establishment of a National Stunt Kite Circuit. The "California Swept Wing" Stunt Kite has had the greatest influence on stunt flying.


      Material courtesey of the American Kitefliers Association. For a copy of the teaching manual "Kites in Classroom", contact the AKA Online Publications

      * Back to the "Kites as Education" Home Page