2-Skewer Roller Kite:
Lovely Evening Flying
by MBK Flight Reporter: Susan Drey
(Omaha, NE, USA)
Close up in flight
I had just started a new job this week and wanted to relax with a kite flight in the nearby park.
So this evening began with my box kite, as the winds were predicted at about 15 mph, but that was not the case when I arrived at the park. It felt more like 10 at the most, subsiding to 6 or 7 the majority of the time. So after a couple of almost successes with the box, I decided to run back home and grab the roller.
(A note to readers... The e-book "Making Skewer Kites" will be handy if you decide to have this kind of experience for yourself one day - Tim P.)
That was a good decision, as it went up easily, after one minor adjustment. While making my first attempt with the roller, I realized that I had the bridle attachment tow point, too close to the nose (top) of the kite. I could tell because it wasn’t flying right – kept wanting to dive, and there was too much slack in the lower half of the bridle, where it attached to the keel at the bottom.
So I moved the tow point down on the bridle, a couple of inches closer to the tail. The kite immediately took off, ascending perfectly on its lovely flight. I had also attached a very short tail on the kite, as it seemed to help stabilize it. I knew this from my experience on its initial flight.
It was a bit erratic at the beginning until I had approximately 100’ of line out, and even then it still did a few loop the loops – although, it pretty much stayed on an upward path.
It was definitely relaxing. It was such a beautiful sight the way it rose and skidded across the clouds, and then fell a bit to one side, followed by a magnificent ascent to greater heights.
It was a most beautiful end to an exhausting week. I sat on the edge of the side walk and watched the kite do its lovely dance among the deep blue sky and soft billowing clouds.
Children and their parents would pass by and ask questions. The three to ten year olds seemed the most interested. I even passed on the "my-best-kite.com" information to a couple of interested families.
And some of the onlookers (especially the teens) asked if I made the kite. They were so impressed, and hopefully inspired as well. One boldly asked "Did you make that kite?" and when I replied, "Yes, I did" she reproachfully replied to her friend, "I told you so." I am glad that I am spreading interest in kite making and flying.
Sometimes when it is out over 300 feet, it just starts to fall, fall, fall down to about a 30 degree angle, and then suddenly it accelerates and begins to rise up - straight up in the air until it gets to about 60 to 70 degrees overhead. It dances all over through the clouds.
And as one friend of mine said after watching my video, "That kite looks like a little kid saying Look at me, look at me."
I love this kite – because other than my Rokkaku; it’s the easiest to fly. And also it flies at a very steep angle, approximately 60 degrees or more. It looks so very beautiful wandering among those delicate cloud formations. But, it does do some crazy stuff – whoa – flips, turns, dives - it is so very fun to watch!
Sometimes in the air it just lulls and lays down until a gust comes along, sending it into a series of ascents, and crazy loop patterns.
I truly thought I might get bored flying this kite – flying any kite, but I don’t at all. It is just the most relaxing, fun, beautiful thing. And I truly enjoy all the passers by – little kids asking questions – and adults too. It is a lovely thing to do. I will never tire of it!
Download the e-book "Making Skewer Kites" here.
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) tall
Parafoil kite. This 4-cell kite performs best in gentle to moderate
wind speeds. That's 12 to 28kph or 8 to 18mph. Even in light
winds, this kite will hang in the air, although at low line angles.
In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids
should only fly it while supervised!
Every kite design in
the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...
- Materials are
plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
- Tools are a ruler,
scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
- All cuts are
along straight lines.
For the greatest chance
of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For
example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line
type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough,
since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small
differences from my original.
Get the e-book for making the MBK Parafoil kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.
The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.
May 10, 17 06:00 AM
This previously published page is a mixture of informative data and historical background. Also there is also a video of one of my own tetrahedral designs in flight!