Superfast kite is Calne engineer’s design
Engineer Mark Ghinn will unveil designs for the world’s fastest kite at an international festival in Bristol this weekend.
Kites often fly in excess of 120mph, but Mr Ghinn, of Linnet Road, Calne, hopes to create one that will travel at more than 185mph.
He has made a prototype to show visitors at the Bristol International Kite Festival, which is being held on Saturday and Sunday.
His design measures two metres and is made out of balsa wood, pine and glass fibre.
This has not been tested yet and Mr Ghinn, 48, who has a background in aeronautical engineering, is waiting for the right wind conditions.
He said: “There are very many kites that have been designed for pulling power to serve the needs of surfers, buggies and boarders, but few that have been designed specifically for speed.
“I’m looking to go a lot faster than 120mph. I have a goal of 200mph as a target so I hope that 185mph is achievable at least.
“I have no plan for landing it. Because the kite is rigid and you have to be able to fly it at speed, it will be quite difficult.
“I might land with a crash, which is fun.”
Both the prototype and the final version of the kite will carry a forward-facing movie camera, able to take 30 high resolution frames per second.
The final version of the kite will be constructed from foam and carbon fibre with a Kevlar string.
In the next few weeks Mr Ghinn will also start a teacher training course to become an engineering teacher at Reading College.
He caught the engineering bug when he completed work experience with Formula One team McLaren in 1999 just after completing a college course.
He said: “I’ve been into aerodynamics ever since I could talk. I love to think and I love to innovate – a lot of what drives me is innovation.
“In terms of engineering, I have got a competitive streak.
“With enough thought you can out do other folk and I get a buzz out of it.
“My daughter is 12 years old and she thinks I’m nuts. My wife and her have been very tolerant.”
To follow the progress of Mr Ghinn’s project, visit www.icote.net
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