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Flying Dowels & Plastic, May 2013 - Low Level Flying.
May 28, 2013

Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News


This was a month of low-level flying. Well, all except for the first flight of the month which saw the Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite straining away overhead at 300 feet above the field. I considered making that the featured Flight Report for this month, but then realized that there was a full-format report done, on the Multi-Dowel Box. With an enlargable photo and a short video, I think this will be of more interest despite the low altitude of the kite!

The lightweight KAP cradle is almost complete, but there was a setback or 2 as I tried to re-design and end up with something as practical, yet flexible, as possible.

Remember the Web-app idea? A skeleton version was tested on my wife's Samsung Ace phone the other day. The free builder did a great job of making development very straight-forward, but so far the end results on the Ace phone in particular leave a lot to be desired! This may resolve itself eventually as the app-builder company gradually gets it's act together. Otherwise, there are other alternatives out there and I can just shift the content to another app-builder. Inconvenient but do-able.

So, the app's definitely well on the way! When the content is fleshed out a bit more, and it's working better on phones and tablets, I will post a link in this newsletter, for downloading the app to mobile devices.

Tim P.

"Every new kite is an adventure!"

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Table of Contents

  1. Visitor Contribution Of The Month
  2. Flight Report Of The Month
  3. MBK Kite Making News
  4. KAP Corner
  5. MBK Books

Visitor Contribution Of The Month

This month, another very keen kite-flier has emerged onto the MBK scene...

This submission consists of only a one-sentence comment - but 4 simply great photos!

Don't miss having a look at the MBK Skewer kites made and artfully decorated by designer Susan D.

Don't be surprised to see more photos and also some longer flight reports from Susan in the future. Interestingly, these kites were constructed using paper sails. This, of course, makes it easier to decorate with just about anything that marks or paints. The extra weight can compromise performance and stability a little, but nothing that a bit more breeze and / or tail won't fix!

Flight Report Of The Month

It was very satisfying to rig the new Multi-Dowel Box kite and then see it in flight, in fairly smooth winds at the upper end of the 'moderate' range. The location was the beach near Fort Glanville, north west of Adelaide city.

Despite this being a regular flying event for members of the Adelaide Kite Flyers Association and others, not many other kites were in the air. The wind was just a bit strong on the day. Bring out the box kites!

Read the report, titled Multi Dowel Box Kite Has Successful Test and see the photo and video. Don't forget to click on the photo, then also click on the little 'enlarge' graphic at the top-right of the viewer. The large kite tethered on a short line made for a great in-flight photo in the strong sunlight!

You can see many other large photos on the website in this way as well. Not all photos have been processed yet, but I'm working through it systematically. As old programmers do ;-)

MBK Kite-Making News

The Multi-Dowel Rokkaku kite

Shall I quote the first couple of sentences from last month's issue? ...

"Uuhmm, kite-making, kite-making - did any happen this month? Actually, other things have jumped the queue."

However, I did mention repairing a broken spar on the Multi-Dowel Rokkaku.

That has been done, along with more careful checking and tweaking of the spar curvatures when bowed. It's possible I might even get out late this afternoon to fly it. Up till now, the winds have been either nearly dead calm or too blustery to risk putting this kite up again.

KAP Corner

For a while, perhaps a long while, all photos and movies will be taken using the Pentax Optio WG-2. Reason: the trusty (?) little Samsung died on us a few days ago. As they say, you get what you pay for, and the build quality of this very capable 5xZoom $70 camera was probably not the best. We go through cameras like some people go through cheap sun glasses!

The Pentax should last a lot longer. Not only because it is mid-range in cost, but also because it is designed for the outdoors. Resistant to water, bumps and fine dust. We'll see.

After almost completely constructing and documenting a super-light bamboo skewer KAP cradle, it turns out one aspect of it is not as practical as it could be. So I'll keep pecking away at it until it gets finished and flight tested.

In the meantime, there is also the idea of mounting an even simpler cradle directly onto a vertical kite spar. At the center of gravity, to avoid handling issues.

Of course, both these ideas will be tested with a 280g weight before I put the camera up there. Trying it with the Multi-Dowel Sled would be interesting! I bet very little KAP gets done from 'sticked' Sleds. Come to think of it, how many such Sleds flying these days even have a center spar?

MBK Books

These are advertised in the right hand columns of the My Best Kite website, and occasionally referenced in the body text of some pages.

Also, have you seen the Book Catalog page?

In recent months, the number of people accessing e-books on all kinds of topics has exploded, thanks largely to the Amazon company and its increasingly popular Kindle e-reader. In fact, the term 'e-book' 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 'e-books' 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 Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite.

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.

Why not tell a friend about this kiting newsletter.

Issued on Tuesday, May 28th 2013 Issue #0070
My Best Kite
12 Muscatel Cct, Old Reynella, S.A. 5161, Australia

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