Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Ups and Downs of Kite Flying

Mostly the downs…

Today we flew our kites. Scratch that. Today we all ATTEMPTED to fly our kites. Ah, who am I kidding? Today all our kites failed miserably. Some failed less than others. Mine was one of the ones that failed least, I suppose that’s something to be proud of right?

*Cricket Chirp*



At least it looks good. Smile

October 001

I added a lanyard hook to the string so that I could use the string on another kite easily if I ever decide to make another one.

October 002

And from today’s performance, that was probably a wise decision. It started out well enough.

October 004

One of the girls launched the kite for me, and for a few seconds it looked like it would be a successful flight.

October 003

Then suddenly the kite began acting like an intoxicated falcon and began repeatedly dive-bombing the poor girl who volunteered to be my kite launcher. Sadly I have no pictures of this, as the guy who I gave my camera to passed it off to a girl who decided that her shoe and the windows were more interesting.

October 005October 006

Everyone else is watching me and the girl trying to fly the kite, while she’s busy taking shots of their reflections. Oh well, our teacher filmed all our attempts, and after class I asked him if I could have a copy of my test flight. He said he’d burn me a disc, so I may have a video to share sometime in the future.

After being mercilessly attacked by my kite, the girl was rescued by my teacher who shut off the camera and came down the hill to try to launch it instead.

October 008

October 007

He got it to fly for a few seconds longer, but it still didn’t want to remain airborne, and plummeted back to earth. We tried about three more times, but it never stayed up for more than a few seconds.

Back inside, the teacher told us that the point of the project had been to show us how hard it is to design and build something, even something as simple as a kite. From the sound of his lecture, it apparently doesn’t even matter that none of us were able to successfully fly them, that wasn’t what the project was about. At least I know I won’t fail the class because of this. Smile If we were to be graded based on how well our kites flew, mine would probably be one of the highest, as most of the other kites sustained damage. Mine was built to be taken apart, so it has no permanent damage, the same could not be said for the girls whose box kites fell apart, or the guy whose pig kite went into a manic spin, tore off its plastic, and dropped down dead. The only other kites that didn’t have damage was a girl who basically made a giant wind sock, (Nothing in it to damage) and the girl who couldn’t even get her kite in the air because it was made out of PVC pipes.

From now on I think we’re going to go back to doing smaller projects. Back when we first began this project, my teacher said that this is usually the last project in the class, but since weather plays a big role in the project, he moved it up so we’d be done with it before winter sets in. Today he told us that since attendance dropped considerably in the last few weeks we’d be having projects due just about every week, to try to get people to attend like they’re supposed to. I had been noticing fewer and fewer students showing up, especially the last couple of weeks. I think they just got frustrated with the kite project and gave up on the class. It was frustrating at times, but I don’t like giving up on anything until I know for sure I can’t do it, so I stuck to it. Apparently a lot of people in my class do not share this trait. There were only 6 kites flown today, and there were four students who had not been able to finish their kites on time. I just checked our student web site and there are eighteen students total in our class. That’s how much attendance has gone down.

All in all it was a fun day. Really cold, since it was so windy out today, but fun. Even though my kite failed to fly, I am still glad I had the chance to do this project. It was fun to make, and I learned how to sew in the process. I can’t wait to find out what we’re doing next. Smile

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