I enjoyed reading the photo captions under all the color pictures on page 15 of your July 21st issue (Highlights from Arlington). That was until I read “Let’s go ride a kite” and “Kite flying,” which was used to describe the ultralight trike vehicles at Arlington. I didn’t know Arlington was for kite fliers?
I have been hang gliding since 1972, a private pilot, and ultralight pilot. I sure get tired of the reference of “kite” to describe these aircraft. I think that went out with the ’80s and disco.
As long as there are no strings attached, let’s try to be more accurate when describing an aircraft in the future, and not describe these wonderful flying machines as toys. This isn’t to be politically correct, just respectful for the folks who choose to fly that way.
Editor’s note: The technical term for the aircraft is “weight shift controlled,” although the term kitewing is more correct, says kitewing dealer John Kemmeries from Air Creation U.S.A. The Arizona-based company specializes in sales of kitewings or kites for short. The aircraft are also known as “trikes,” another term some pilots object to because that is also the name for a type of motorcycle and a three-wheeled mode of conveyance usually used by toddlers. Many British pilots refer to airplanes in general as kites, a slang expression dating from World War I.