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April 3rd – Box Kites and the Lincoln City Kite Festival

Box Kites 

Box kites look exactly what they sound like. A box! is a high performance kite, noted for developing relatively high lift; it is a type within the family of cellular kites. The typical design has four parallel struts. The box is made rigid with diagonal crossed struts. There are two sails, or ribbons, whose width is about a quarter of the length of the box. The ribbons wrap around the ends of the box, leaving the ends and middle of the kite open. In flight, one strut is the bottom, and the bridle is tied between the top and bottom of this strut. The dihedrals of the sails help stability.

The box kite was invented in 1893 by Lawrence Hargrave, an Englishman who emigrated to Australia, as part of his attempt to develop a manned flying machine. Hargrave linked several of his box kites (Hargrave cells) together, creating sufficient lift for him to fly some 16 ft (4.9 m) off the ground. A winged development of this kite is known as the Cody kite following its development by Samuel Franklin Cody.

Large box kites are constructed as cellular kites. Rather than one box, there are many, each with its own set of sails.

Most of the altitude records for kite flying are held by large box kites, with Dacron sails, flown with Spectra cable. Before Dacron, Spectra, and Kevlar were available, high performance box kites used oiled silk, linen or hemp sails, and were flown with steel cable. Silk, linen and hemp were used because they could be spun finer than cotton and stretched relatively little when wet. Steel had the highest available strength for its weight


Ever notice how early planes look a little like box kites? This is no coincidence!  The lifting capabilities of these kind of kites was used for exploration, aviation, military, and hosting of radio aerials.

Want to learn more about some of the cool uses of the box kite?  Try the Gibson Girl Box Kite, a kite that was a piece of survival equipment distributed to the American aviators before their missions during the Second World War.

Super simple instructions for building a box kite:

or this from Popular Mechanics:


Lincoln City Kite Festival – (Summer AND Fall)

The folks in Lincoln City, Oregon know that they can throw a great event, so great that they do it twice a year!

The Lincoln City Summer Kite Festival is held on the beach, in the center of Lincoln City, at the D-River Wayside from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend festival will include kite flying demonstrations by experts, free kids kitemaking, running of the bols, and some of the most colorful “big” kites in the world! This years theme is ‘Windstock’ a psychedlic fun event! Learn more about the event here:

The Fall Festival is held in the same location and is just as fun and popular, especially for those that are seeking a last bit of warmth in the Northern states before Fall sets in.