Dual Line Parafoil Kites

Parafoil kites are generally made of ripstop nylon (similar to a parachute) and they have no rigid frame or skeletal system like some other traditional kites.  It is thought that the parafoil kite design was the work of Domina Jalbert (1904-1991) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domina_Jalbert.

The parafoil kite has an upper and lower skin with vertical fabric cells sewn in between the two skins.  During take-off and flight, these cells fill with air and give shape and structure to the kite so that it can take flight.  Through the opening of the cells in the leading edge (top) of the kite, wind is tunnelled into the cells.   The resulting air pressure is what gives the parafoil kite its aerodynamic shape and lift, allowing it to fly.

The parafoil kite uses an intricate bridling system that is designed to add further shape and aerodynamics to the foil helping it to have an efficient angle of attack for the wind in relation to the tow point where the flying lines connect.  Efficient and effective bridling of the kite also adds stability and in some applications like kite surfing makes for stable efficient manoeuvrability.

Parafoils come in a number of shapes and sizes with larger parafoils being more suitable for experienced adult flyers. Smaller parafoil kites are a great option for younger flyers as they are easier to control and have much less pull.

Parafoil kites have no framing or ‘skeleton’ to break or lose and they are pretty easy to fly.  They can generate a strong pull which is great fun and can be really quite exciting!  In addition, they pack up into a relatively small package which makes transport and storage really convenient.