A brief history of recent large kites

Before Dominic Jalbert’s 1950s development of “soft” kites, which use the stagnation pressure of airflow (Bernoulli’s principle) as a structural element, large kites were size-limited by frame strength.

The largest Japanese Wan Wans could be more than 20-meter diameter (315 m2), but weighed an impractical two tonnes or more.

The Holland Kite Team, led by Gerard van der Loo, made the first successful very large soft kite – the CS550 (550 m2, <150 kgs), in 1982.