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Flying Dowels & Plastic, Jun 2013 - International Action.
June 25, 2013
Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News
Starting since the last newsletter went out, a number of submissions to the MBK site have come in from a variety of locations around the globe. More on that later.
It was great to get the huge Rok up to a decent height at last, this month.
I think the lower right horizontal spar has been attacked with a wood file at least 3 times during this kite's short life so far. All to get the dowel on that side to bend more. Also, the repair work on the other side, where the dowel snapped one time, has had the handy effect of providing more stiffness where needed!
End result: a gorgeous long high flight the other day as the sun went down, with just the tiniest hints of leaning to the right.
With the recent addition of the big Multi-Dowel Box kite, it's nice to know that unless I actually hear thunder, there is probably a Multi-Dowel kite that perfectly suits the wind outside.
One of my Flight Reporters has recently ventured into Multi-Dowel kite flying too. He has had a few test flights with a clear plastic Barn Door. It will be fascinating to read more reports featuring other Multi-Dowel designs in future, as I get more Flight Reporters on board. This ain't kid's stuff! In fact, a small enough kid could really get carried away flying a Multi-Dowel kite! If you get my drift.
That might do for now...
"Every new kite is an adventure!"
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!
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Table of Contents
1. Visitor Contribution Of The Month
This month, I thought I might feature a visitor who started on the 1-Skewer Rokkaku, but finished up making his own type of 2-Skewer Rok. Which flew perfectly well by the sounds of it!
This was one of two separate submissions that featured some new ideas regarding making small kites.
Check out Cracking Little Kite submitted by Rikki from Dublin in Ireland.
In the editorial I hinted at the international nature of this month's contributions...
Since the last newsletter, there have been interesting reports from people in Ireland, Italy, Lithuania and of course the USA. Kite-flying in the US takes a dive (har har) between June and December each year, so the international flavor of the MBK site strengthens somewhat during that time. Even so, I continue to spell-check with US English, just to keep things consistent.
2. 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..."
Well, this month I could just substitute 'Rokkaku' as the kite type in the above quote.
However, the wind strength was a complete contrast. A long tow was required to get some 'bite', but it was followed by a very satisfying slow climb to ermm ... a slightly illegal altitude. Hey, only slightly! A touch over the 100m limit.
Read all about it in the long-format report titled Nailed To The Sky At Sunset. Yep, there's a clickable photo and video in there too. I'm still learning to get the most out of the new Pentax camera, so apologies for the not-so-sharp image in the low-light conditions.
Actually I had a really great flight with the Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite as well, this month. I'll let you hunt through the what's new! section on the site for that!
3. MBK Kite-Making News
Nothing huge to report this month apart from a one-off design for a kite workshop. This was a roughly half-size version of the Simple Diamond kite, using 4mm dowel spars. It was taken out for a test flight in gusty light winds. Possibly gusting close to 'moderate' strength.
The interesting aspect was the fact that it was flying on ordinary polyester sewing thread. This has ample strength for the 29cm 1-Skewer kites, but was it wasn't clear whether it would be suitable for a kite with nearly 4 times the sail area.
There were a few seconds at a time where the kite was forced into looping, deep down in the 'power zone' as traction kiters like to call it. OK, 'low line angles' for us single-liner types... Everything held though, and I think the thread will be just strong enough for the job.
On the topic of polyester thread, I made an amazing observation the other day. The huge Multi-Dowel Rokkaku was sitting up there in a smooth light breeze, with just a very steady 1kg force being recorded on the spring scales. I have measured the breaking strain of common polyester sewing thread at around 1.4kg. As they say in the USA 'You do the math'! Of course, it would take very little to snap the thread and you couldn't possibly do any real flying using only the thread for line, with a large kite of any type.
4. KAP Corner
An interesting idea for KAP corner... Any KAP activity which gets mentioned on the website will now be summarized or mentioned here.
With more of the Multi-Dowel kites starting to be made and flown, it should not be long before others begin to play around with cameras and various KAP ideas. Kites this size can easily lift a light camera, whether of the phone or compact Point-and-Shoot variety. I know one of my Flight Reporters is considering this already!
This will reduce reliance on my own very spasmodic KAP efforts to fill this section.
Don't forget, if you have recently (or ever!) done any KAP, there is a place to share it - the Kite Aerial Photography page. There are a few older entries in there already.
5. 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...
A PDF file, containing text and photos, can be downloaded to your computer's hard drive. These 'e-books' are handy for either reading on-screen at any print size you want, 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.
Issued on Tuesday, June 25th 2013 Issue #0071
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