All About Kites

Your Questions Answered!

For a long time I have been asked questions about kites via this site. Usually on a totally different facet of the hobby each time! I don't mind answering them at all, since all those pages help to make this site an even better resource for kite fliers the world over. If it's a common question, chances are a useful answer(s) will be found below...

Learn more about kites by asking Tim a question...

In recent years, some very experienced and knowledgeable kite people have occasionally dropped in to leave a valuable comment on the latest post.

So, fire away. My response time will depend on whether I can

  1. answer from the top of my head,
  2. answer from some of my own research, or
  3. answer by referring you to another expert source, such as a kiting forum.

Number 3 is a last resort, since I know you would prefer to get a useful answer straight away!

Often, the answer is so short and simple that an email reply is more appropriate than publishing the Q&A here. However, I can't contact you about it if I don't have your address :-) So.....


If you don't see a prompt asking you for your email address, just include it in your question. Nothing goes live without an edit from me, so other visitors will not see your address. And of course, it will absolutely not be passed on to any third party.





Ask Tim!

Absolutely anything. Try me. Only genuine queries will get a response of course, but it can be about flying kites, historical issues or modern designs of any type.

Please enter a short title for your query

Queries From Other Visitors

Click below to learn a thing or 2 by reading other visitors' kite queries and the corresponding answers...

Kite Line Breaking Strain 
Q: Hi Tim my name is Robinson, I live in New York. Hope everything is ok my friend. My question is how do I find out what is the Strength of my …

Sled Kite Stability - Vents and Leading Edge 
Q: I've built several sled kites over the years, but have never tried the V shaped leading edge or vents. Are they useful enough to warrant their …

80's Plastic Helicopter Kite 
Q: My brother and I have been struggling with trying to find any information regarding, as best we can describe it, a plastic helicopter kite. …

Kite project for group 
Q: I lead a 4-H group and we wanted to do a kite project for our spring project. Can you recommend a kite that would take us about 2 hours to complete? …

Conversion Of 2 String Delta To Single String 
Q: Hi Tim, the kite is a delta SKYSAILER so I would like to know how to rig a ..BRIDLE...? So that I can use it with one string with my grandchildren. …

White Bird Kite 
Q: Hi Tim: My deceased husband purchased a 55" White Bird Kite, a unicorn while we were vacationing in California in the early 80's. I now wish …

8 Foot Barn Door Kite 
Q: I have decided to build an 8 foot barn door kite. (I recently built your 48 inch with great success.) I will be using Dacron for the sail. I have …

Upscaling a Delta kite 
Q: Greetings, Tim! I have a love-love relationship with the wind: If there isn't much of it, I launch model rockets. If there is, then I fly my rip-stop …

Wind Speed Categories 
Q: This is a great site and I've purchased your books. I made my first attempt at a Diamond kite yesterday and will make adjustments before going …

White Bird Super Star Kite Bridle 
Q: A friend recently gave me a White Bird Super Star kite. I'm not sure the bridle rigging is correct. I've tried several positions along it to connect …

Balinese Long Tail Kites 
Q: I have just returned from Bali and saw these amazing kites with long tails. I am looking at these from a commercial point of view that on the tail …

Tetrahedral Kite Connectors? 
Q: Where can I buy or how can I make - tetrahedral kite connectors? I want to build a tetrahedral kite but can't seem to find a way to connect the …

Advantages of Box Kites 
Q: What are the advantages of a box kite? A: A fairly short straightforward question on the face of it, but it got me thinking... For a …

The EO6 Box Kite, And Other Questions 
Q: Hey Tim! I'd like to say thanks for this awesome resource of a site! I had a great time making the dowel styled Delta kite, I've had a lot of fun …

White Bird Keiki Kite 
Q: Hi Tim, I was searching the web trying to find out some information on my kite, but it is turning out to be a little harder than expected. The …

Software And Hardware For Kite Design 
Q: I am trying to find the best software with which to design and draw kites - 2D and 3D. It is a challenge to try and develop templates for 3D shapes …

Nantucket Kite Man n Lady "Valkyrie" (patent#3347500) 
Q: Hello Tim. Just resurrected a "Valkyrie" that we had from the 70s. Several of the skewers are missing and I'm not sure about lengths. I assumed …

Sled Kite Out Of Control 
Q: We have been having great fun with your kites in my class. However, our sled kites are giving us difficulty. They launch well, but then quickly …

Roller Kites 
Q: Hi, my name's Tamika and I need to make a Roller kite out of recycled materials but I don't quite get what I should make it out of. I know that …

Swallow Kite Form 
Q: What is the basic form and shape of a swallow kite? I cannot find any efficient sites on the internet to answer this question for a project I have …

Dowel Versus Skewer 
Q: So I'm making a kite for my math class, and I chose to make a box kite. I was wondering what is the difference (benefits and stuff) between making …

Rotating Kite With Airfoil Drum  
Q: You have a wonderful and fantastic site. I just discovered it while seeking info on a kite design that I saw nearly 25 years ago while walking …

Can You Donate A Kite Book? 
Q: Would you consider donating one of your amazing books or whatever you feel comfortable with so it can go towards the new library we are creating …

Carbon Kite Spars? 
Q: Two questions really: 1. What is the cheapest (most reasonable $$) source of carbon kite spars in USA? 2. For larger kites, is it really …

Click here to write your own.

Kite Flying Straight Up 
Q: What is causing my single line, run of the mill, pound shop kite to fly straight up? Not out at any angle, vertical, straight up above my head …

How To Make A Kite Messenger 
Q: How do you make a kite messenger that flys up and releases a payload then comes back down? A: To tell the truth, I've never made one myself. …

Hyperkites - Rip Stop Nylon Tails 
Q: My name is Ray Miller and I have been flying Hyperkites for over 25 years. I used to get Hyper Tails from "Randy Tom" and now I can't find him …

Photos on Kites 
Q: Greetings from NYC! This spring, I want to make a kite out of a photo enlargement. Do you know of an ideal photo paper, or other material, …

Trilby Kites What Happend? 
Q: I lived in Long Beach, WA. From 1989 thru to 2000. Got my Rev 1.5 signed by Dave and one other brother at the first World Cup in lb. Anyway, cabin …

Ever heard of a Winged Tetrahedral Kite 
Q: Hi, I'm quite interested in learning about "tetras". I mean tetrahedral kites, not the tropical fish. Over in the Willamette Valley, where I live, …

Vintage Box Kites 
Q: I'm trying to reconstruct some vintage box kites for use in a series of photographs and wondered if you may know from what materials these are …

Lift Forces On A Box Kite 
Q: Can you explain how a box kite generates lift? I have trouble visualizing how it acts like a wing. It has a space in the middle that offers no …

Man Lifting Kite 
Q: I am trying to build a man lifting kite to lift a weather device into the air about 30,000 feet. Launching from Colorado, at 9,000 feet above …

Kite string - how strong? 
Q: I know almost nothing about flying kites, but have picked a project for my to-be 8 year old's birthday party and need a little help. I'm having …

Foil Kite Bridle Design 
Q: I'm trying to find info about two line kite bridles. Specifically, is there a formula to the lengths or where the knots are tied? I'd like to try …

Stunt Kite - Uneven Turning 
Q: I have an older 2 line delta stunt kite. It was for beginners when I bought it (about $65 fifteen years ago) and has had its share of wrecks but …

Parts for my Peter Powell Stunt kite 
Q: I am looking for parts for my 3 Peter Powell Diamond Stunt kites which I had stacked and were awsome. I need to know where to buy the nylon …

The Diamond Kite Bridle 
Q: I do not know how or where I should tie my fly string. I have tried many ways and just did not do well. My grand-kids are getting upset. Please …

Popper Frustrations 
Q: Hey there Tim. I have a question for you or anyone who has had a similar problem. I bought a Popper the other day manufactured by Premier Kites. …

Plastic Kites - Safe Decorations? 
Q: I've begun a new venture working with teens with problems who live in a group home. I'd like to attempt some kite-making and kite-flying. I'm hoping …

Sled Kite Instability 
Q: I am looking for a simple, reliable kite to make with visitors at Seacliff St. Park. We are on a very tight budget, and the kite sails must be …

Need Dowels For My Kite! 
Q: I am loosing my mind trying to find some dowels for my cloth kite! The dowels measure 50 inches long. Any suggestions? I don't want to simply toss …

Planning on organizing a Kite Festival! 
Q: I'm detailing a plan for our city's first Kite Festival ever, well actually it's the country's first as well. I know there are many enthusiasts …

Korean Kite Bridle 
Q: We are making a Korean kite. A rectangle with 5 sticks. I am stuck on the bridle. What is it? How do I make it? Where do I start from? What …

Ben Franklin's Kite 
Q: What did Ben Franklin's kite look like? What materials were used on the kite and the tail? A: All we have to go on is a single letter …

Rokkaku Kites Etc 
Q: I've just made a few kites from your e-book that I bought and waiting for some wind to test them now! Would you believe that since I finished …

What makes a simple kite fly? 
Q: Hi there Tim, You seem to know a lot about kites, and I wanted to know what the aerodynamics of a simple diamond shaped kite were and what you …

Peter Powell Stack Of 6 Diamond Kites 
Q: I was given a couple old Peter Powell kites. One a nice tricolor and a stack kite with 6 diamond kites. The stack has never been flown and the control …

Delta Kite - One-Sided Crash 
Q: I have a flow tail Delta. When the wind gets overly gusty, the kite will dive. To the left every time, and crash. The kite has three positions …

Click here to write your own.

Do you know any RC kite makers in Malaysia? 
Q: Firstly, great site! I share your enthusiasm for all things flying. I recently moved to Malaysia from the US and am looking to purchase an RC kite. …

AMD Logo Kite 
Q: I want to make a kite in the shape of the AMD logo. Could you tell me if it would work and how to go about doing it? A: Assuming you have …

Kite line length 
Q: Recently we found about 4 blocks of line laying in the trees tops along our street. About 720 to 1330 Russell Av N, Minneapolis, MN, USA. I estimate …

Sky Dancers 
Q: Any idea on any tricks for making a sky dancer? Does the top need to be partially closed to make them dance, or is it better to make them straight …

Diamond Kite Measurement? 
Q: My grandfather taught me how to make a diamond shaped newspaper kite when I was a kid. I made one back then and it flew pretty good but it was …

Where to buy Wau Bulan 
Q: Hi Tim, Just like to know if you know where can I buy 10 pieces of wau bulan for an event that I am organizing. Hope you can share with me …

Tetrahedral kite 
Q: Ok, I have made the Rokkaku, the Box and the Roller, and all turned out amazing. I will attach videos and photos. But, the tetrahedral is …

Designing art butterfly kite 
Q: Hi Tim. Am designing a butterfly-type kite for an exhibition in an art museum - Cornell Museum, Delray Beach Florida. It will only be a watercolor …

Geometry Project - Kite Shapes 
Q: Both a square and rhomboid (diagonal) kite are perpendicular to the wind. They both have effective areas. What shapes would those be? And whats …

Building a Big Kite 
Q: Good Afternoon. I have to first start by thanking you for your step by step kite making directions. I am a volunteer for an organization that works …

Kathmandu Power Kite - Parafoil  
Q: Hi Tim, this kite was given to me as a gift. I have flown stunt kites many times. The instructions for this kite assembly are pathetic. It comes …

Designs on Plastic Kites 
Q: Hope you have had some good flights lately! After the holidays I hope to get going on some kite building. In the meantime I would like to know …

Weight of kite lines 
Q: Thanks for entertaining questions. I am trying to get a sense of the weight of kite string, for example per foot or per 100 feet. I'm looking …

Paper Sails For MBK Kites 
Q: Is it possible to make any of these kites out of paper? A: Good question, and the simple answer is YES. However, in order to make …

Braided vs Twisted Dacron 
Q: Hello. I have a 2m by 1m Delta kite and I'm looking for line. From my own research (please correct me if I am wrong), it looks like I'll need 30lb …

'Cayman' Peter Powell Stunt Kite 
Q: I just found in my attic this amazing multi-liner kite I purchased in Florida 30 years ago. It is still in a very good condition. However, I …

Kite For Reno Wind 
Q: I haven't built a kite in 45 years, the wind in Reno, Nevada is strong. What do you suggest besides retirement? A: I was actually in a …

2 Skewer Diamond Kite Instructions 
Q: I am making your 2-skewer Diamond kite with my class. I am a little unclear about a couple of details in the plans. 1) When I place the horizontal …

Kite Sails In Colored Plastic 
Q: I would like to know where to find different colors of plastic sheeting for my kite making? Thanks! A: I just go to the plastic bags section …

How To String A Malaysian Kite? 
Q: Hi Tim, hows it all going now, good I hope. I wonder... (A) Can you get electrocuted flying a kite if it's hit by lightning? I use nylon string. …

Octopus Kite Bridle 
Q: How to bridle/connect the line on my new very large octopus kite? Received as a gift, it has no directions. I do own several other kites but I'm …

Rubber Band On Bird Kite 
Q: I have a Kite Factory "Bird Kite" with spinners, tails, etc. I have not found a picture of this kite anywhere on the i-net so I do not know what …

Diamond Kite Nose Diving 
Q: Hi. We are building a kite for my daughter's science class. The only problem with the diamond kite is that once it goes up a few feet, it turns …

Kites For School Children 
Q: I work in the schoolies room in a child care centre. The children are age 5-12 years. Our April theme is Malaysia, and I would like to make either …

Homemade Snow Goose Decoy Kite? 
Q: I know I can buy a Jackite for like $30 to use for hunting geese. I was curious how a guy could make his own kite that would resemble a snow goose? …

Click here to write your own.

Balinese Kites 
Q: Do you have specific instructions (possibly measurements) on how to make a Balinese kite? I want to make a kite for my math project that I can …

Flare Kite For Stunts 
Q: Can I rig a Flare (or Winged Sled) kite for stunts? Seeing as I can't afford a stunt kite or the fibreglass and ripstop nylon to make one with. …

Tacking A Delta Kite For Fishing 
Q: I have a Delta fishing kite and would like to know of your ideas on tacking it to 90 degrees off the shore and still keep its stability. Some ideas …

Tails For Diamond Kites 
Q: How did you make the tail? A: A pretty short and simple question, but fair enough - there are a heck of a lot of people out there who make …

Box Kite? 
Q: I'd like to build a box kite to fly with my grandsons, but your website has so much information I couldn't really find what I need. I'm on a fixed …

RC Kite 
Q: Where in the UK can I buy a reasonable priced RC kite. I got a GoFly kite but crashed it. Far too expensive. Thanks. A: There doesn't seem …

Historical Kite 
Q: Tim, looking to buy (or pay someone to make) an historical kite to be used as a prop in a live show with Benjamin Franklin - so looking for a kite …

'Fly A Kite' Workshop 
Q: I work at a museum in DC and we are participating in the Blossom Kite Day during the 100th anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Festival in March …

Tying Down A Diamond Kite! 
Q: Hey there, I want to thank you for introducing me to the beautiful world of aviation -the cheap at-home unpowered type. I have built all of your …

Delta single line kites 
Q: As a child I can remember having a shop bought Delta single string, amongst the many cheap single string kites that I bought with my pocket money …

Reinforcement of Reza Ragheb Rokkaku 
Q: Hi Tim. I had this 102" Rokkaku design by the late Reza Ragheb. I had only flown this Rok for not more than 24 hrs but it seems like the sail gets …

Radio Control Kites 
Q: I have been flying RC airplanes for 3 years, designing my own for 2. Suddenly, I got the urge to do a kite. Can you offer any advice? I can gladly …

Which side does the bridle go on? 
Q: Before your site, I found this one, on how to make the Ben Franklin kite (diamond): {deleted - poor information!} I didn't think much about …

Bridle for Dopero Kite 
Q: I bought and downloaded your plans for the Dopero kite. The pictures of how the bridle goes are not very clear. Is the top loop from the top …

2-Skewer Sled Kite in dowel? 
Q: Hi Tim, I need some help. Can you make the medium size Sled kite with dowels instead of skewers? If so how long should each one be? A: …

My Delta kite - why two loops? 
Q: Hi - terrific site. I have a 180 cm Elliot delta kite. There are two nylon loops, about 2 inches apart, for connecting my line. One is closer …

Making An Indian Fighter Kite 
Q: I would like to make the kind of kites flown in India and Pakistan. Can you please provide instructions on making an Indian fighter kite? A: …

Joining Skewers For Kite Spars 
Q: I'm missing the point? And you say join the skewers. It appears you have laid them side by side? And glued them together? Wrapped them in something …

Looking For Conyne Kite Plans 
Q: Hello, I'm looking for Coyne kite plans to build from scratch with my daughter. It is a beautiful looking kite that I think we would enjoy making. …

Simple Explanation For How Kites Fly? 
Q: How do kites fly? Middle school students have a hard time understanding the big words. How can you put it so they understand? A: I'll …

Line Weight For Kites 
Q: 1. What's the best type of string to use for flying? 2. Is there a rule of thumb for what line weight to use depending on wind strength? …

Kite Design Factors 
Q: What are the factors that influence kite design and construction? A: What a broad question! It has some similarities to one of the very …

Triangular Box Kite Strings 
Q: Where do I place the strings on my triangular box kite? I have tried many times to place them where they will make the kite fly, but failed. …

How To Restring A Quad String Parafoil Kite 
Q: PLEASE HELP ME! I have tried to string my 4-stringed parafoil kite many many times but my kite still goes crazy in the sky. Do you know how to …

Skewer kites - need more info 
Q: I want to get many bamboo skewers for a class we are teaching and I'm not finding the exact info on them. All I know about are the sish kabob skewers …

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2 Skewer Diamond Kite Bridle 
Q: I made a two skewer Diamond kite that don't fly. Do I tie the bridle to the top and bottom or to the sides? Also which side of the kite does the …

Baby Bat Kites 
Q: At http://www.my-best-kite.com/baby-bat-kite.html, you said you thought the spars on Baby Bat kites had always been plastic. I remember pretty …

Sled Kite - Reducing size of Dowel design 
Q: Can I make the 48 inch Dowel Sled kite with 36 inch dowels instead? I would be reducing the overall design by 1/4. Will this work? Will …

Kite Kits In Bulk Quantities 
Q: This is Lauren Potts from POP! Toy and Party Services. We are an event planning company that plans a lot of corporate events throughout the year, …

RC Plane Camera On Kites 
Q: Have you heard about aerial photography made with an RC Kite from Premier? Possible or not? A: It certainly is possible, using an RC plane …

Pocket Sled Kite Measurements 
Q: I would like to make the Pocket Sled kite that is on your page titled 'The Sled Kite - Some Background'. The one in the first picture, very colorful. …

Assembly Of Traction Kite 
Q: Found your site using Google as I'm having a little bother assembling a kite I just bought. Its a Zeruko 2.5 traction kite 4 lines. I have flown …

Swallow Kite Plans? 
Q: I was wondering if you might know where to find plans or any information that could help me figure out how to build a Swallow kite that is shaped …

Nylon Kites 
Q: Where can nylon kites be bought and what are the price points? A: The simple answer is 'everywhere', since rip-stop nylon is the most common …

Kite Shapes 
Q: Why do kites have different shapes? I wonder whether it is anything related to the history. A: What a huge question :-) I guess the simplest …

Click here to write your own.




The kiting world is simply huge and incredibly diverse. Now more so than ever, because the number of working kite designers has never been higher. I can't prove that, but I believe that to be true just from surveying what's available for sale. Just check out the weird, the wonderful and the colorful in any online kite shop. Or the bricks-and-mortar one in your area for that matter. Single line and multi-line. Kites for everyone. Every age, every personality and both sexes!

Some impressive kites at the Adelaide International festival in South Australia.

Wouldn't it be great if all the questions and answers were available in just one document, all indexed and easy to find under categories.

Well, I've put some effort into doing a good job of it, so here it is...  'All About Kites', the e-book. Despite having over 140 pages of text, it downloads in moments since there are only a few photos.

 

What's New!

  1. Long Climbs In Light Warm Breezes

    Nov 20, 14 09:00 PM

    An old Flight Report featuring the 1.2m ( 4ft) span Dowel Diamond...

    Read More





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...



Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...

For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!

 

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All About Kites





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Testimonials

(unedited)

"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."

_________________

"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."

_________________

"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"

_________________

"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"