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Flying Dowels & Plastic, Jul 2012 - Recognition For MBK
July 31, 2012
Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News
This month has been heavy on website work and a little light on actual kiting unfortunately! Never mind, this situation will be turned around next month. Really. I promise.
While on the topic of website work, here's something that all contributors can share in, to some degree. That is, if you have ever submitted a story or 3 here. It all helps to build on the great content that keeps kite people coming back, and attracting new ones each year...
The MBK site, which is built on the SBI (Site Build It) platform of SiteSell, has recently been included in a rather special grouping of SBI sites. The SiteSell CEO personally made the final selection of the top 500 sites from the 10s of thousands on the SBI platform. The criterea were more than just the raw traffic figures, since such things as content quality, Look & Feel and niche choice were also considered. However, every site of the 500 are in the top 0.5% of the Web in terms of daily visitor numbers. MBK itself would be somewhere around the 0.3% mark. These sites are used by SiteSell as 'success stories' for promoting the SBI small business platform.
Anyone who has ever encouraged me, contributed something or even bought something :-) is a part of this success. Thank you! Now, back to kites...
Despite only getting out a few times, the following kites all got a flight or 2...
Flying conditions varied from almost calm to wildly windy! The Dopero hasn't been out in a while, so it was very enjoyable seeing it still doing its high-efficiency thing, despite some bumpy air.
Quite a few questions came in this month, for the 'ask Tim' page, despite visitor numbers being down somewhat. July and December are usually the slowest months of the year for MBK.
One question-asker got the rare privelege of getting a comment posted by the inventor of the retail kite in question! That can happen when the webmaster lives in the same city as a recognized kite designer.
"Every new kite is an adventure!"
Plenty of people are signing up for the MBK Beginner eCourse. Feel free to reply to this email if you have tried it and have a comment or 2. A more advanced course is in the pipeline.
Have a story to tell?
Possibly the easiest way to contribute to My Best Kite is to visit Flying Kites - Kite Loss Stories Plus Much More.
Just click on the first link on the page, and start typing. Your story will eventually end up in an appropriate category. Just dash it off, since I will take care of the spelling and grammar if necessary :-)
Easy. Other kite fanciers will appreciate it. The best stories inevitably get comments from all around the world. Now there's something to share with your family!
If you enjoy getting this little kiting newsletter, why not do a friend and me a big favor by forwarding it on :-)
It's easy to subscribe! if you got this from a friend AND you would like to continue receiving it at the end of each month.
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If so, here's the feed URL for our kite-flying reports and website updates:
The latest browser versions make adding feeds very easy. Just click on the link and it takes you from there...
Table of Contents
Visitor Contribution Of The Month
Apart from all the usual questions via the 'ask Tim' page, there was just a single contribution this month. However, it was quite unique.
I'll let Donald share his experience with you via this newsletter, with his One Handed Kite Flying story. You can't keep this stunt flier down. If anyone's near the area, get along sometime and give plenty of encouragement. And perhaps talk about Ray Bethell!
Flight Report Of The Month
This report is not a long one, but I thought I might feature a design that is not quite as well-known as the Delta. Unusually, the flying line wasn't even let out to the full 400 feet this time. Still a nice flight though, killing time while my son was at soccer practice :-) Here's the short-form report...
Dowel Dopero As Good As Ever
"With 6 year-old Aren at soccer practice for 45 minutes, and a gusty breeze tickling the tree tops, it was a chance to pull out the Dowel Dopero. This kite has had a good break from flying, so I had a quick check of all the tape spar caps, after rigging. The ones on the lower horizontal spar were a little suspect, but would hold up for a while. I hoped.
The next 20 minutes or so were spent with short flights, walking out to bring the kite down, re-adjusting the upper bridle loop, and re-launching. After about 3 tries, the Dopero flew straight and true. This kite responds very predictably to the knot position. Knot right, turns to the right, and vice versa.
Given the limited time available for flying, it was sensible to stay under a 60 meter (200 feet) line length. The air was rough up there, causing the normally sedate kite to twitch its tail and accelerate upwards suddenly from time to time. 5 turns of line around a smooth-barked sapling was enough to hold the strain, as it held a high line angle in the cool breeze.
The efficiency of this design is just amazing. No thermal activity to speak of, and yet it kept bobbing up to high angles, pulling like a horse. A check of the Windtronic meter showed an average wind strength of just 1.4 kph and a peak gust to 3.6 kph. However, there was a dense row of pine trees upwind. The clouds moving overhead indicated moderate strength winds higher up. So did the very taut flying line!"
For photos and a video, have a look at the instructions which show you How To Make A Dopero Kite.
MBK Kite-Making News
Compared to last month's substantial writings in this section, there's not much to say this time! The only kite-making activity to occur has been in the form of ermmm ... occasional day-dreams. So, I'd better get cracking on something for next month.
The 3-Skewer Sled bonus kite should be quite straight-forward to make and fly. Although much smaller, it's proportions will be almost identical to the huge 2-Dowel Sled. It will be interesting to see just what sort of wind range the 3-skewer version will get.
I don't think I will ever be game to explore the upper wind range of the elephantine 2-Dowel Sled. Don't fancy observing Old Reynella from the air ;-)
Once the bonus kites are done for both the Dowel and Skewer books, the focus will finally shift - and stay - on making and flying the bigger kites. Like the afore-mentioned Sled. Eventually, these big kites will help provide some really spectacular imagery. The plan is for MBK to eventually have a presence on You-Tube and Pinterest. It's possible that a start will be made on both of these by March next year. It will be slow going, since I am aiming for quality. Isn't it nice to find quality on the Web when you're pursuing an interest?
These are advertised in the right hand columns of the My Best Kite website, and occasionally referenced in the body text of some pages. I'm sure you have seen them.
In recent months, the number of people accessing eBooks has exploded, thanks largely to the Amazon company and its increasingly popular Kindle e-reader. In fact, the term 'eBook' might soon be so well known that I can stop referring to mine as 'downloadable, printable books'!
Of course, my books are of the PDF file variety, which you can view and / or print off from PCs, Macs and other computers. A bit 'old-school' now, but still pretty handy. There are even ways to access them on the Kindle. But the way of the future is with hand-held devices that are as easy to read as paper. Color graphics are also on the way.
A little reminder...
An MBK book is a PDF file containing text and photos which can be downloaded to your computer's hard drive. These 'eBooks' are handy for either reading on-screen, or printing off to paper, which is preferable for some. With a PDF, it's very easy to just print out the pages you want. For example, a couple of Appendices plus the instructions for a single kite.
Almost the entire book-published content of this site is contained in the MBK Book Bundle. Of course, the cost is much less than buying all the books separately. Also, as time goes on, the value will increase as new products are added or existing ones extended. For example, the recently-added 3-Skewer A-Frame.
Issued on Tuesday, July 31st 2012 Issue #0060
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