Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News
Hello fellow kite-flier,
Again, there was plenty of new page writing for the site, although it was cut back to 1 every 4 days during April. With a few days of free time, I'll be putting up a couple more very shortly. A few new pages from visitors have gone up too. Thanks, if that's you!
Now, about the title 'Goodbye Small Kites'. Having just made and test-flown the latest 1-Skewer Dopero, the 1-Skewer Series has had it's revamp. Over the last who-knows-how-many months, every little kite from the Sled to Dopero has been re-designed, and all online content updated. Well, nearly all, the exceptions being the 'pics and vids' pages under the Kite Plans section of the site. It's on the ToDo list...
Last month, you might have followed the link to a page dedicated to the most recent Adelaide International Kite Festival. This month, here's a similar-format page dedicated to Cool Kites of many kinds. The people on the big photo-sharing site Flikr really like kites it seems! There are thousands of images to choose from, including those available to use free, under the Creative Commons License.
By the way, if you spot an extract from your own kite story contribution on the Dowel Kites eBook sale page, I hope you don't mind it being there as a small testimonial. Many contributors don't leave an email address, so it was a bit hard to contact everyone for permission!
"Every new kite is an adventure!"
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Table of Contents
- Visitor Contribution Of The Month
- Kite Flying Report Of The Month
- MBK Kite Making News
- The KAP Kite Project
Visitor Contribution Of The Month
This month, I'm torn between featuring an illustrated kite-loss story, and one from another recurring theme, 'My First Kite That Actually Flew'. Well, people like pictures, so the first one wins out, despite being a bit shorter!
Read all about some runaway kites, and check out the photo. The photo of a flock of swallow kites is very worthy of being published on this site, in it's own right. I don't know how long it will be before we get another photo-illustrated story like that.
The kite-loss stories just keep on coming! Can you top this one, when it comes to losing multiple kites? With or (most likely) without a photo.
Kite Flying Report Of The Month
Over coming months, I'll be skipping the 2-Skewer and Dowel sizes, and going to some really big ones. Roughly twice the span and therefore 4 times the area of the Dowel Series kites! But meanwhile...
Here's the short-format report on the recent test flight of the revised 1-Skewer Dopero. It hasn't had a really decent high flight yet, but the weather is good so it might not be long.
"The second pass through the 1-Skewer Series is now complete, with the successful first test flight of the revised 1-Skewer Dopero. Soon, you will see a new page go up, with all the How To... instructions for this attractive little kite. A new Plans page too. For tech-heads, this version has a slightly lower aspect ratio, and significantly more sail area than the old one.
Although the weather was very mild today, there was plenty of sunshine. The Dopero had spent a number of hours out on the grass lawn, soaking up the warmth to cure the wood glue on the joints. Late in the day, I decided to take a chance on the glue and go out for a test fly. And to get some imagery for those new pages!
Down at a nearby reserve, the wind was very light, with occasional moderate gusts ruffling the tree tops. Good enough! After some short flights and bridle adjustments, there it was, sailing away on 30 meters (100 feet) of line. A young child or 2 called their parents' attention to the twin-keeled orange-plastic craft as it struggled to stay aloft in the fitful breeze.
While packing things away, I noticed that the wind meter had recorded an average speed of only 1.5 kph, with a max of around 4.5. I guess the kite was flying in 6 or 7 kph up higher, while it managed to stay up."
MBK Kite-Making News
There is the spanking-new 1-Skewer Dopero on its first outing. The blue sky made for slightly boring images, but there it is for the record anyway. The black twin keels look quite cool on the kite, when viewed from one side. Of course, from the flier's perspective, you don't see much of them at all.
With the vertical spars extended to a full 1 skewer length, this kite has more sail area than the original, and thus is more tolerant of heavy skewers! Also, it uses tip dihedral instead of the simple dihedral of the original. In other words, the horizontal spars are bent in 2 places, to fold up the outer panels of the sails. Both the upper and lower sail have the same amount of dihedral.
Really, this kite looks much like a shrunk-down 2-Skewer Dopero now!
At this scale, the cracked skewer bends are quite strong enough for normal air loads, when a generous blob of wood glue is applied to the bend. The glue soaks into the cracks and stiffens it all up nicely, when dry.
Here's the resulting page on How To Make A Dopero Kite. The video down the bottom shows the kite clawing its way skyward in a late-afternoon breeze of marginal strength.
The KAP Kite Project
This has stalled for the time being, but I have decided to keep this section in place. That's because something along these lines is going to happen sooner or later. Possibly involving that camera over there. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
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.
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Issued on Tuesday, Apr 26th 2011 Issue #0045
My Best Kite
12 Muscatel Cct, Old Reynella, S.A. 5161, Australia
New! Comments Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...