The 1 Skewer Delta Kite

Testing Conditions, But A Great Little Flier!

In the warm and gusty conditions this afternoon, the new 1 Skewer Delta kite gamely flitted around in light to fresh winds. Quite a wind range for the little Delta to cope with. Small Deltas don't have a huge wind range, but they fly brilliantly when the wind speed is just right!

1 Skewer Delta Kite

My small son Aren and I were down at the nearby reserve, not far from our house.

I'd been planning to improve the original 1 Skewer Delta kite for quite some time. Hence, today it would be interesting to see how the extra sail area and floating spreader helped the new design.

On the minus side, I was using slightly heavier plastic for the sail and tail.

Also, the bamboo skewers used this time were thicker and heavier than the original ones. It seems not all brands of bamboo BBQ skewers are machined to the same diameter.

So, to begin with there were a few short flights on 15 - 20 meters of 20 pound line. The little Delta struggled in the fresher gusts, which often forced it to the ground. A lone white cockatoo flew past, upwind, and didn't appear to take much interest.

The Delta sometimes sank to the ground during the lulls, before rocketing up high, trailing edge fluttering. Not that you could see any flutter, but the sound was a give-away!

When the wind speed was just enough to suspend the kite several meters off the ground, its stalled wing-tips would waggle like a Diamond kite. Just the slightest increase in wind speed would send the small orange Delta smoothly upwards from there.

EventuAlly I let out more line and flew higher, dicing with danger in the form of leafy gum trees on the downwind side of the reserve! From time to time, the Delta's shadow would flit across the waving leaves and small branches.

Aren, nearly 4 years old now, got busy on the nearby play equipment.

There was a close call when I slightly misjudged the distance to a tree and flew the kite into the side, behind a few small branches. Quickly pulling in line, the kite emerged from the upwind side of the tree, upright and still flying! Whew. That's too close, particularly with a kite you have only just completed!

The air was a little smoother up high, but still too strong for the kite much of the time. Hence the small Delta was racing across the sky from side-to-side in protest. However, the kite never went very far before correcting and heading back towards center again.

The 1 Skewer Delta kite occasionally looped in both directions, so there seemed to be nothing much wrong with the trim. Perhaps it favored the right side a little more. This flying session was turning into a good workout for me, taking in and letting out line just to keep the Delta in the air. Not to mention dodging those downwind trees!

Small kites are always more work to fly, with their smaller wind range. Good for the skills though!

A couple of times, a wind gust would coincide with a patch of rising air. This would result in a spectacular very fast climb from almost ground level to a 60 - 70 degree line angle. By this stage, I had nearly 100 meters (350 feet) of line out.

Finally, being late afternoon, the wind moderated a little and the Delta started flying in its comfort zone. Beautiful. Just sitting there, hunting slightly left or right every few seconds. After reeling more than half of the line in, the kite was still flying well.

It was time to give the winder to Aren and let him have a fly. Catch some of his technique in the video at the top of this page...

Overall, it was a pretty satisfying first outing for the re-designed 1 Skewer Delta kite. It seems that both the lower and upper limits of the kite's wind range are somewhat higher than the original 1 Skewer Delta kite. Hence the new one is more of a moderate wind flier really.

Around here, that's probably a good thing!

The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite. My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!

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  1. Flight Report:
    Dowel Box Kite Rides Inland Gusts

    Sep 16, 14 05:51 AM

    A recent bout of sickness has left me with double vision for a while, which rules out driving the car anywhere. So it was time for a return visit to the small grassy reserve where many of the 1-skewer designs made their debut years ago. The easy walking distance from home was the main thing!

    Looking out the window, the breeze shifting the tree tops around seemed capable of supporting the Dowel Box kite. The Fresh Wind version with its smaller sail panels. Sure enough, down at the reserve, the kite managed to grip enough air around 50 feet to stay up fairly comfortably. A couple of times I had to interrupt some movie-taking to coax the kite higher as it threatened to sink right back to the grass.

    After 20 minutes or so of flying near the lower end of the kite's wind range, a period of fresher breezes began. In the somewhat sheltered location where I stood, the wind meter showed around 8 kph gusting to over 12 kph. However, the breeze was clearly over 20 kph higher up. The firm pull on the flying line was one indication!

    Isolated rain showers had been forecast for the area, so fairly low cumulus clouds were everywhere. No rain had fallen all day in our suburb though.

    The cloudy sky-scape made for some attractive footage of the 2-celled Box surging about in the gusts, lulls and wind-shifts. Due to the small size of the reserve, it was wise to not let the kite fly on more than about 45m (150 feet) of line. But that was enough to let it take full advantage of the moderate-strength (20kph+) airflow over the treetops.

    So, some enjoyable box kite flying today, with the 50 pound Dacron feeling like thread compared to the 200 pound variety with which I do most flying these days!

    About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. However, longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.

    Read More

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