3 Skewer A Frame Kite

Exploring The Lower Wind Range

This time round, although the field and time of day were the same, the wind had shifted to the South. Cool, smooth and very light. It would be a good test of the lower end of the 3 Skewer A Frame kite's wind range! On the downwind side of the field, leaves were barely ruffled in the tree tops.

3-Skewer A-Frame Kite in flight.

With only a few meters of line out, the kite just sank out every time after short tows into the air. Perhaps I had overdone it when shifting the towing point back... So I edged the knot forward just a little and tried again with more line let out.

This time the kite climbed more willingly, and found just enough air to hang up there at a modest 25 degrees or so of line angle.

Talk about marginal conditions!

Anyway, it did provide an opportunity to snap off a few photos. Also, a couple of videos. I always take more than one these days in case the camera focuses on something other than the kite! It's happened before.

After the photo session was done, it was time to see just how high the kite would go...

It was a rather slow climb, with the kite gradually heading out along the line of sight. Hence the line length was increasing somewhat faster than the altitude of the bright orange kite. Never-the-less, after quite a few minutes there were signs of faster air. Only slightly faster, but enough to power the kite up over 50 degrees of line angle. That was more like it!

Finally, at around 300 feet above ground, there was a constant pull on the line. But nothing a 4 year-old child couldn't handle. The wooden winder slipped slowly across the grass when I put it down, just out of curiosity. And this kite is nearly 1m (3 feet) across! The weight of my kite bag with another winder inside plus hat, tapes and so on easily held the winder firm against the ground.

The 3 Skewer A frame kite was barely moving as it responded to tiny changes in the direction and speed of the breeze. Looped tail flowing out behind, and twisting just a little here and there. But the air was remarkably smooth, compared to the usual inland turbulence we get, being several kilometers from the sea.

At this point, just over 120m (400 feet) of line was out. Several small children appeared and one of them excitedly pointed up to the small orange dot in the sky, with the black plastic tail barely visible.

Not long after that I checked the time on the digital camera, before starting to take the kite down. It was an easy job today with only light tension in the line.

The Windtronic wind meter would surely record some very low figures... It sure did, at a max gust strength of 3.8 kph at ground level and an average wind speed of just 0.3 kph! Perhaps the kite was experiencing around 4 to 5 kph up there at 300+ feet. It was certainly the recipe for a very pleasant flight with no dramas.

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!


E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

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.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Parachute Over The Roof

    Oct 27, 16 03:22 AM

    Yes, the MBK Parachute kite floated over our roof for a minute or so...

    With the creasing problem fixed, the kite is flying well, though somewhat short of those CAD-modeled foils done by paragliding co…

    Read More


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Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7