August 15, 2018
At the Canada Aviation and Space Museum visitors can see early biplanes, Second World War bombers and modern-era jet fighters.
Take a tour of the museum’s warehouse, however, and you’ll find examples of decidedly simpler flying machines.
The museum’s collection collection includes some 60 kites, but they’ve been out of public view since they were donated 15 years ago.
“We have never been able to show them, because if you display them you fade the colours,” said Rénald Fortier, the museum’s aviation curator.
Fortier said kites play an interesting role in the history of aviation, and are universal: they’re present in cultures all over the world, and have been around for centuries.
“It’s quite possible that kites were invented in many places around the world,” he said.
The museum’s kites are mostly from Asia, with a few from Central America. Fortier said some were used for fun, but others had practical purposes. Some were used as scarecrows, and others to fish.