February 22, 2016 AT 9:00 am
Alexander Graham Bell’s Kite Designs are Geometrical Wonders
Mashable puts the spotlight on Alexander Graham Bell’s little known yet magnificent kite designs.
In 1899, Alexander Graham Bell, famous for inventing the telephone, began experimenting with kites in search of insights into the possibility of powered flight.
Inspired by the box kite designs of Australian Laurence Hargrave, Bell began multiplying the lift-providing cells, creating compound structures of multiple kites.
The basic problem of creating flying objects is that as a body’s surface area is squared, its weight is cubed, limiting the maximum size and lifting capability.
Over the course of years experimenting at his Nova Scotia laboratory, Bell discovered that a tetrahedron — a three-dimensional prism of four triangular sides — could be useful.
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