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Archive - History of traction Kites

The History of Traction kites

Wind-power has revolutionised self-supported polar travel since the introduction of traction kites in Greenland in the late 1980's.

ca. 2000BC 

China

Kites pull wheeled vehicles over the China plains

ca. 1700 

Samoa

Kites are used to propel canoes

ca. 1720

USA

Benjamin Franklin uses a kite to pull himself across a Massachusetts pond on his back

1826 

England

George Pocock patents his char-volant (a carriage pulled by his collapsible arch-top flown on 4 lines), which carries 4-5 passengers near Bristol, England at speeds up to 33km/h

Nov 6 1903 

France-England

Samuel Franklin Cody crosses the English Channel from Calais to Dover (38km) by a kite drawn collapsible ballasted canoe.

Summer 1988 

Greenland

Martin Block, Gunther Kerber, Udo Krieger, Michael Krug and Frank Wagner cross Greenland unsupported from East to West on a Parawing-pulled sled. First kite crossing.

Nov. 1992 - Feb. 1993 

Antarctica

Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Dr. Mike Stroud cross the Antarctic continent unassisted, travelling 2,380km in 95 days using an Up-Ski chute. First unassisted crossing of Antarctic continent.

Nov. 1996 - Jan. 1997

Antarctica

Borge Ousland crosses Antarctica, travelling 2800km in 66 days on skis pulled by a Parawing. First solo and unassisted crossing of Antarctica


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