Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News
The subject line of this email was inspired by the realization that 3 totally different kinds of kites were pulled out for a fly this month. A small Tetrahedral, a giant Sled and a fair-sized Rokkaku! Model planes all look a bit the same from a distance, but kites can be so different from one another.
Although in this part of the world we don't have to contend with mid-winter snow and ice, you can still end up waiting many days for a reasonable kite-flying day. Rain has been above average, overcast skies the norm, and strong winds have whipped through from time to time. A re-designed Dowel Box kite has been on the ToDo list, and it's time should come next month. Stay tuned! After making and testing it, it might be an idea to take it along whenever there is the possibility that winds might be too strong for any of the other Dowel or Skewer kites.
A trickle of visitor-contributed pages have gone up this month. Mainly queries about kiting, which I attempt to give full and satisfying answers to. However, these pages are often found to be very useful by other people, who find them via Google searchs!
Last month I mentioned some of the great images from the Flikr community which grace some of the pages of the My Best Kite website. I was at it again this month... The idea popped into my head to feature a small number of really great photographs, where a kite or several kites were not necessarily a major feature of the shot. But it still had to be a kite picture of some description! I hope you like them.
"Every new kite is an adventure!"
P.S. Yes, the P.S. is back once again... This time, the mini-survey question is:
If you use Metric units for your kite-building, which of the following statements describes you best...
"Working with millimeters is the only way to go"
"I prefer millimeters, but plans showing measurements in centimeters are OK too"
"I prefer centimeters, but plans showing measurements in millimeters are OK too"
"Working with centimeters is the only way to go"
Just copy and paste the appropriate line into a quick reply to this email - thanks!
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Table of Contents
- Visitor Contribution Of The Month
- MBK Ebooks
- Kite Flying Report Of The Month
- MBK Kite Making News
- The KAP Kite Project
Visitor Contribution Of The Month
Anyone who bothers to upload three images of their kite has a great chance to feature here! In this case, 2 fine in-flight shots plus an on-the-ground close-up with the owner. Doug from Elkhorn in the USA also contributed a short story that explains how his unique A-Frame design came to be.
You can read his story about the Cancer Kite here.
I've decided to just highlight recent releases here. If you want to check out the full range of MBK eBooks, the website is the place for that.
So, what are the most recent developments in MBK eBook Land?
The BIGGEST news would have to be the BIGGEST kite I have personally ever made - the 2-Dowel Sled Kite! Last month's newsletter actually featured a short flight report of the first outing we had with this kite.
Just like the 1 and 2 Skewer kites have 1 or 2 skewers from tip to tip, the 2 Dowel Sled is exactly twice as tall as the Dowel Sled from the Dowel Series. 2 Separate dowels connected end-to-end form each spar. And there are three such spars on the 2-Dowel Sled, since it is based on the classic Allison design. The very first Western Sled design which came before even the Scott Sled. Old hands will remember the Scott Sled, and maybe have even flown one or 2...
SECONDLY, if you like to fly but are not so adept at the more decorative side of kiting, check out the Clipart Tutorial. With this product, I have tried to put the most tricky and artistic 2-color kite-sail graphics within reach of non-artists like myself. Perhaps the Kanji character I put on the Rok isn't the most impressive example possible, but I hope it demonstrates that in theory, any piece of 2-tone line-art can be transferred to a kite sail by simply applying a methodical approach. Slower than an artist would do it, no doubt, but the job gets done!
Kite Flying Report Of The Month
Here's the short-format report on the Skewer Tetrahedral we flew early this month. A rather different kite to most designs we have flown so far. Except perhaps the 3 Box kites, since these are also Cellular kites!
Here's the report:
"A new page on tetrahedral kites is coming up, but first I had to get out and actually fly my wonderful new Skewer Tetra idea! Just in case the sticky tape joins decided to fail miserably as soon as real flight loads came on the airframe...
But no, the thing actually flew well today, although it was 'light wind and thermals'. Eventually, a breezier period happened and the light little tetra with 29cm (11 1/2") spars got swept up to well over 100 feet on 60 meters (200 feet) of 20 pound Dacron line. Very satisfying indeed. It's winter here now, but the weather was pleasant and sunny despite the temperature being a little cool.
Keep an eye out, if you are a site subscriber, for the next page to go up - on Tetrahedral Kites. In a day or 2. An in-flight close-up and a 20 second video will feature. Besides full instructions for making this kite from skewers, plastic and sticky tape of course! As far as I know, no one has ever used this exact construction technique for tetras before."
Here's a link to the How To.. page for this kite, which has close-up photos and a video.
MBK Kite-Making News
To continue the theme of 2-Dowel kites, I have left the photo of the 2-Dowel Sled up there, from last month. More are coming! I might keep the next one a surprise until it actually looks like happening though... The only thing I'll say is that while the Sled is perfect for light to moderate winds, I'm hoping the next design will cope with moderate to fresh winds, without pulling your arm off! When all three are complete, together they should cover a very wide wind range.
The Flight Report section has touched on the little Skewer tetrahedral kite that was made early this month. That project was actually quite spur-of -the-moment, since I needed to write some content for the phrase 'Tetrahedral Kites'. It would be great if someone made four of these into a 16-cell tetra, and posted the results on the My Best Kite website! Such a kite would be super-stable compared to the 4-cell, apparently.
The only other kite-making news that I have is that the up-coming revised Dowel Box kite has been on my mind, but hasn't actually happened as yet. Next month should see this kite get in the air, with all related material updated. That is, the free online instructions and the eBook. The current design is a little vulnerable to damage in fresh gusty conditions. I'm aiming to make the new one cope with a much wider wind range. Perhaps it will no longer go overhead in thermals, but so be it.
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.
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.
I have added 2 photos and 2 videos of the 2-Dowel Sled. Take a look! (Added in May, and no updates since)
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Issued on Tuesday, Jun 28th 2011 Issue #0047
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...