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.
1954 William Allison, Dayton, Ohio, received a patent on HIS “Flexible Flyer”, which we now call the SLED Kite and reproduce by the thousands in kite workshops all over the world. Ed Graeul called it a Basic Kite Form. (one of only 7)
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.