Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News
Firstly, a belated 'Happy New Year' to all, of course! Ready for another year of kite making adventures? The latest Dowel Delta has just taken shape, and we'll be out soon to test it. More on that further down.
Although not glaringly obvious, quite a bit of work has been done on the website itself to improve quality and ensure that it stays in 'the good books' with Google and other search engines. You should also notice another step-up in Look-and-Feel later this year. The current 3-column look is clean and neat, but ... still fairly plain! Time for a pro to really jazz it up, while keeping it uncluttered and tasteful.
OK back to kites now... Despite plenty of wild wind squalls and occasional rain showers, we did get out a few times to fly. In the air at various times were the Baby Sled (of immense historical importance to this site ;-) ) 2 versions of the Tiny Tots Diamond, The 2-Skewer Box and the Dowel Barn Door. Variety plus.
Really, we should have focused the site much more on box kites, with all the high-wind mayhem we get around here, year after year!
Nothing being currently worked on, however, keep an eye out for a short questionnaire in the right column of the website, later next month. I'm hoping to find out how the next substantial book can be made much more appealing and useful for you guys (and girls).
Note that the existing Dowel Kites book will soon be updated with the new improved Dowel Delta.
"Every new kite is an adventure!"
P.S. A little snippet of kiting news I forgot to share last month... My Dad passed on a newspaper clipping which was actually pretty interesting from a single-liner enthusiast's point of view!
The article, titled 'High-flying kite' featured a middle-eastern fellow who was down at Semaphore jetty with his kite on the end of some fishing line. The kite was flying at, wait for it ... 4 kilometers above the water. That's close to 15000 feet so I'm a bit skeptical, since only very large kites are generally able to fly that high. Perhaps he meant 4000 feet, which would still be consistent with the kite's appearance as a 'tiny dot' against the clouds. And it took just 5 minutes or so to climb it that high. Mmm, definitely sounds more like 4000 feet to me, and even then that's a pretty good climb rate!
Funny thing is, the legal altitude limit for kites and model planes is just 400 feet here. So perhaps ignorance was bliss for this guy.... Lucky for him, the airliner arrivals to Adelaide airport approach from the South most of the time. Otherwise he could have ended up with the catch of a lifetime on the end of that rod-and-reel...
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Table of Contents
- Visitor Contribution Of The Month
- Flight Report Of The Month
- MBK Kite Making News
Visitor Contribution Of The Month
Recently a couple of good flight reports have come in courtesy of Peter, of Wollongong here in Australia. The first was a great advertisement for the MBK 2-Skewer Rokkaku, which he test flew in a smooth but increasingly fresh sea breeze. For some reason, many people seem to pass over the 2-Skewer designs despite their ideal flying characteristics.
However, you will really like Peter's detailed flight report on his Dowel Delta variation. A combination of MBK materials and construction ideas combined with a standard Dan Leigh Delta sail outline and frame.
Check out this mid-sized Delta doing it's thing over quite a decent wind range, in this tale titled Scaled Down Dowel Delta Experiment.
Flight Report Of The Month
Ermmm ... the best one of them both ahem ....
For some time the Kite Flying Stories page on the website has been missing a report on the ultra-simple, ultra-reliable Tiny Tots Diamond. We managed to pick a nice afternoon to get out and remedy that situation.
All 3 of us went out to the grounds of a local school, equipped with both Tiny Tots Diamonds and Aren's original Baby Sled. One kite each, although it didn't really turn out that way...
Here's the report on the little Diamond, titled "High Up In A Very Gusty Breeze".
MBK Kite-Making News
Just finished the latest Dowel Delta today! (That's the old one in the photo over there) Let's hope the wind dies down tomorrow or at least before the weekend. The changes...
1) The spreader has been moved forward quite a way so it is now 3/4 of the way along the leading edge spars, measured from the wing-tip. The more rear-wards position is nice from a balance point of view, since the Delta is hardly likely to be nose-heavy! But it bowed too easily under flight loads, even with extra reinforcement. More importantly, it seemed to make trimming the kite difficult. The usual technique of reducing the diameter of one leading edge dowel didn't seem to have much, if any, effect. I had to resort to a wing-tip tail-let to correct a turning tendency!
2) The keel is the same length, but not as tall. Also, the towing point is shifted a bit closer to the rearward limit.
3) I'm trying again with grooved spreader tips to take the shoe-lace ties. This time, the grooves are deep and wide, a full 50% of the dowel width. I'm hoping that a couple of turns of shoelace around the spreader dowel only will result in a very secure join that will not work loose and let the spreader slip through. If it works, this approach will eliminate the gluing and extra weight of using little dowel brackets.
A few words about the spreader... Many Deltas use the same material for the spreader as for the other spars, only a little wider in diameter. I have 2 reasons for experimenting with using the same diameters, where a shorter piece reinforces the longer piece...
1) The materials list stays as simple as possible - just the 1 diameter to buy and work with. The spirit of 'the MBK way'. You might notice that every Dowel design uses 5mm dowel. Call me pedantic if you like ;-)
2) The spreader is lighter out where less strength is needed. Like a crude version of those fancy tapered-tube graphite spars being used in sport kites these days. This makes a small contribution to stability, and can also save a little weight overall.
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Issued on Tuesday, Jan 31st 2012 Issue #0054
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...