The Aviation Project - Legends and Stories

Legends and stories surrounding kites
What is the difference between man carrying kites and man lifting kites?
Applications of the kite
Kites used for scientific research
Activities and tasks in connection to kites and electricity
Aeronautics and the first model glider
Vehicles pulled by Kites
War Kites and S.F.Cody


A Chinese general called Han Hsin in 169 B.C. is said to have used a kite to work out the distance between his army and the walls of the palace. He did this in order measure the distance that his troops had to dig their tunnels, underground in order to enter the palace.

Chinese legends also tell of a certain Liu Pang who, when his army were surrounded by opposing forces had the idea of building large kites with sounding devices built inside them. These kites were flown at night above the army of Huan Theng. The troops were so frightened by the mysterious noises above them that they panicked and fled.

Kites have been used to carry men for centuries. There are accounts of prisoners being punished using this method. Emperor Wen Hsuan Ti of the Koa Yang Dynasty is said to have placed his prisoners in kites and flown them from a tower. If they survived the flight he released them.

In the thirteenth century there are accounts of men being forced to fly in kites in order to establish if a ship would survive a voyage. A victim was placed inside a kite. If the kite successfully flew the seamen believed the journey would be prosperous one. If the kite did not leave the ground it was thought that the ship would not complete the voyage. The ship stayed in the port that year.