The Latest From My Best Kite

Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News

Hello fellow kite-flier,

OK, are you raring to go with an MBK kite or 2 this month? We pulled out the original 2-Skewer Sode the other day, and it had a great flight, out on 90 meters (300 feet) of line. More on that further down.

Another great kite-loss story came in. Keep them coming!

This month I will be going crazy writing new content for the site. Expect to see a new page every 2 days on average. There, it's out now - I'll have to stick to it! Things have been a bit tight, so if you really appreciate the site just contribute a story or 3. It won't cost you a cent, and there are so many people out there just waiting for something fresh to appear under the what's new link or in their RSS feed! :-)

Just one more thing - a big thank you to those who replied to my last survey question. There's quite a few KAPers out there!

Tim P.

"Every new kite is an adventure!"

P.S. Seems like these single-question surveys are no trouble, if it actually applies to you of course. It gives me a better idea of who I'm talking to via this newsletter. Here's one for this month (just reply to this email) ...

Q: Does the idea of a short series (4 kites perhaps) of high-wind dowel designs appeal to you? You might have noticed by now that nearly all my wonderful light-wind kites are pretty useless when the wind really picks up!


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Table of Contents

  1. Visitor Contribution Of The Month
  2. Kite Flying Report Of The Month
  3. MBK Kite Making News
  4. The KAP Kite Project

Visitor Contribution Of The Month

A number of good contributions came in this month. In fact, it's a bit difficult picking one to feature here, since most of them were very different to each other. Mmm. OK, let's go with one of the KAP entries!

This story was about an exercise in persistence. The most interesting part of the landscape below was just out of the frame until a fortuitous puff of wind swayed the KAP rig just enough... And the resulting shot is a fine photograph indeed. See my comments on Melbourne Causeway looking West. Why not add a comment of your own...

Kite Flying Report Of The Month

As hinted at in the editorial, our 2-Skewer Sode came out of moth-balls, figuratively speaking, and enjoyed a great fly just a few days ago. Some days earlier we had tried to do some flying in a thoroughly thistle-infested field and the trusty 20-pound Dacron line ended up looking not quite so trusty any more. In fact, it snapped during some winding-in. While fixing the break, I noticed another section that was down to the central core of the braid. Abrasion damage from weeds! So I fixed that too. I guess it's starting to look like a 'real' kite line now...

Anyway, with thoughts of the bright-orange Sode floating away downwind, high over Old Reynella, I pulled up at a nearby school oval.

In the end, there was no drama with the line, and I ended up having a somewhat therapeutic flying session with the reliable and efficient Sode. Here's the full flight report, which I suppose you could contrast and compare with the report from last month. That was for the 1-Skewer Sode if you remember.

MBK Kite-Making News

Erm.... Nothing was actually constructed this month, which is a bit unusual. So I'll talk about what's coming up. The only kites left to re-visit in the 1-Skewer Series are the Roller and the Dopero. Not so much in order to have more kites to fly, but to re-do the How To... instructions and plans on the MBK website. You have to actually make the kite to get all those photos.

By the way, the How To Make A Kite page on the website is just going nuts right now. It gets more than twice the number of visitors than the Home Page! People really appreciate quality free information, and word gets round. The 2-Skewer Series pages are looking a bit 'long in the tooth' right now, so that's why they will eventually be completely re-done as well. Up to the standard of the Dowel Series pages.

Here's the current page on How To Build A Sode Kite. The video down the bottom shows the kite in relatively light wind. Even then, it had no trouble getting to 400 feet! The new one, when it eventually gets made, will look a little more like the big Dowel Sode. That is, closer to the authentic Japanese design as well.

The KAP Kite Project

KAP Diamond

As promised, the big KAP Diamond did indeed fly again. For a while! This time much higher than during it's first couple of outings. I wasn't too worried that the vertical spar broke again, since this kite won't be flying any more. A more robust version will be made soon. How soon, I can't promise, because of all the page-writing that I'll be doing right up to at least the end of February.

To visit The KAP Kite Project page to see exactly where things are at, you will need the password 'mbkkapkites'. Without the quotes of course. If you use the FireFox browser, it's an easy matter to just let it remember the password for the page.

Here's the text of the short-format Flight Report for the KAP Diamond outing of the 15th January...

"Newsletter subscribers will be interested to know that the big orange KAP Diamond went for another fly today. Winds were ideal for testing this kite, averaging 7.1 kph and peaking at almost 17 kph.

I had already decided to scrap this kite due to problems with the spar connections. Having reinforced the connections, it just had to go for another fly though! The big (2.4 meter) Diamond went up to about 50 feet and pulled very firmly as the breeze gusted up to 15 kph from time to time. Got a photo and a short video, before a couple of slow nose-ins revealed some weakness in the sail around the nose area. Looks like Mk II will have several improvements!

It's challenging making a completely scalable kite design that is quick to rig, strong, light and costs almost nothing. No special fittings at all, just dowel, plastic, tape, glue and shoe-laces... We'll get there! It's all fun."

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Issued on Tuesday, Jan 25th 2011 Issue #0042
My Best Kite
12 Muscatel Cct, Old Reynella, S.A. 5161, Australia

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