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Flying Dowels & Plastic, Sep 2012 - Spring Has Sprung!
September 25, 2012
Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News
Now, I promise not to mention the new website header, and just stick to the kites... That's right, no getting off track and rambling on about the wonderful new graphics to be seen at the top of the website now - absolutely not ;-)
Right, back to kite-making and flying...
As broadcast by the subject line of this email, Spring has indeed sprung here Down Under. The very wet Winter is slowly losing its grip, giving way to sunnier stretches of weather. Quite fresh winds continue to buffet the city of Adelaide though, from time to time. At least the 3-Skewer Sled can cope. I might even try flying it on the 50 pound line, just to be safe on the windier days. The 20 pound line has a knot or 2 plus a small fray that must have weakened it somewhat by now! One day a kite might say ta-ta... (or however you say bye-bye in your corner of the planet)
This has been a month of flying medium sized Sleds. A couple of outings with the 3-Skewer Sled and one with the smaller 2-Skewer Sled. Before the week is up, I'll probably get out again with the 2-Skewer Sled to see how the latest mod has improved it's flying in not-so-light winds.
"Every new kite is an adventure!"
P.S. Bought some polyester foam the other day, to help protect whichever camera I end up getting for some aerial photography work soon. Yes, I should have a camera in the air sometime next month. Stay tuned!
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Table of Contents
Visitor Contribution Of The Month
There was a question recently regarding the definition of various wind speed ranges. This is hardly surprising since wind speed is often, no, almost always mentioned in flight reports and even other general pages.
It's been a bit of a flaw - for years - that I haven't made it clear where the boundaries of the various speeds are. For example, what exactly is a 'moderate breeze' in kph or mph? Having a site-wide link to an info page on this topic would surely be handy for many visitors! It's on an impossibly long ToDo list, but at least the list gets re-prioritized from time to time... One day a wind table link should pop up somewhere on the left or right hand columns of the site!
Here's Jim's question post, Wind Speed Categories, which I edited to include a wind speed table for him. The discussion of wind speeds and suitable kites for kids might be of interest or useful to you as well.
Flight Report Of The Month
Early in the month, I went out to give the new 3-Skewer Sled its very first flights. The outing was written up as a full-length flight report, complete with in-flight photo and a 20 second video at the bottom of the page...
Here's the flight report from that day. Later, I discovered that shifting the bridle knot on this particlar kite is effective for trimming it left or right. However, it works in the opposite direction to what I expected! The spar caps have been suitably reinforced, but it hasn't been tested again since.
MBK Kite-Making News
Not a lot to report this month. The 2-Skewer Sled has had some more sail material removed from along the center-line. It will be interesting to see how much this improves its tendency to collapse at high line angles. The kite is quite reliable in the right conditions, but it still could be improved. We'll see!
Before the end of this month I will be cracking open a large package of 30cm skewers that I was forced to buy online. The 3mm width skewers have disappeared from the local shops. However it still appears that there is no world-wide shortage as such, thank goodness! How would people make my Skewer kites then?
The next kite is a re-vamp of the 2-Skewer Barndoor. A good reliable design that, for a given type of skewer, is able to cope with somewhat stronger winds than most of the other kites in the series of eight 2-Skewer kites. The current web pages for this kite and the remaining 2-Skewer Series designs are the oldest of all the How-To pages. They are due for an update. But not all at once, which would halt a few other fun things from happening for too long. Like taking aerial photos from the giant 2-Dowel Sled ;-)
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 on all kinds of topics 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'!
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.
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.
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.
Issued on Tuesday, September 25th 2012 Issue #0062
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