Airplane Kites

A Popular Kids Novelty Kite

Airplane kites aren't model aircraft, but a novelty kite like this looks enough like the real thing to put smiles on kids' faces! These quite realistic flying toys are a 21st century off-shoot from the 'small model aircraft for kids' scene of earlier decades. We've seen a few at the local kite festival.

Airplane kites are popular with kids!

I've done a spot of research to give you an idea of the variety available in recent years...

If I were to try and sum up modern airplane-style kites, it would go something like:

'fairly realistic, nylon and fiberglass kites that are shop-bought and occupy the bottom 1/4 of the overall price range for retail kites'.

Like more detail? Of course you do...

Purely from a kite-shopping perspective, these kites are...

  • much more than a design on a flat sail - most of them are truly 3-dimensional
  • almost exclusively single-liners
  • light to moderate wind fliers (but not too light!)
  • generally available in the $10 to $50 price range, with a few exceptions
  • Except for being 3D, that list probably sums up nearly all retail novelty kites for children, come to think of it!
This 3D Supersize P-51 Mustang on Amazon is a typical quality airplane design. The only bad review in there is from someone who got sent a used one!




Airplane Kites Look Great

From a looks perspective, these kites are somewhat unique in that they achieve more realism than most other categories of kids kites. For example creature kites or ship kites. This might have something to do with the fact that airplanes are designed to fly too... Actually, the same could be said for bird kites.

Here's an interesting point. The most seamless marriage between single-line kites and model aircraft would have to be the delta-winged airplane kites! Both aircraft and kites have a Delta class, so it's not surprising that kites based on such aircraft can both look good and fly well.

In aeromodeler's language, most airplane kites could be termed 'semi-scale'. This means that the kite is a good representation of the real thing, minus all the finer details like tires, cockpit detail and so on. Others are somewhat cruder, and the aeromodelers would call them 'stand-off scale'. In other words, stand some distance away and the model looks something like the real thing!

The main departure from reality is the single-surface wings of these kites. They just work better in this application. Also of course, they are easier to manufacture. Sometimes the wings are cambered, like the very first heavier-than-air aircraft.

A couple of plane kites featuring corkscrew spinners for tails.

Photo courtesy of Nadya Peek.





So Many Aircraft Types

Just about every aircraft which could be called 'very famous' is represented, regardless of era or type. The marketers have put some thought into which types get the nod for production! For example, here's a list of some typical novelty kite products...

  • P-40 Flying Tiger
  • Red Baron triplane
  • Wright Flyer
  • Mirage 2000 jet
  • Spirit of St. Louis monoplane
  • Stealth Bomber
  • P-51 Mustang
  • Spitfire
  • Phantom Jet
  • F-16 Fighter

How's that for variety! Even so, most people who are not aviation enthusiasts would still recognize many of those names.





Some Additional Touches

Creative designers have taken advantage of some uniquely kite-related ideas, to add to the basic 'aircraft' concept. You might see an airplane kite with...

  • Spinning propellers. A natural merging with wind toys!
  • Tails representing vapor trails or after-burner flames. Just a little extra design effort has rather cute pay-offs here.
  • Twister tails. These add more movement to the overall flying experience.
  • Inflatable fuselage. Realistic air intakes provide the air pressure!
  • 2-line control. The big majority are single-line, but a handful of 2-liners are out there.

On that last point, I don't think these 2-liners would be any match at all for a purpose-built stunt kite! More likely, the marketers realize that kids are thinking 'hey, you can steer it!' and hence might be more likely to buy ;-)

You can't go far wrong with a good single-liner like this 3D Supersize P-51 Mustang on Amazon though.

 

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Dowel Dopero Down!

    Nov 25, 14 10:51 PM

    Well, sometimes you get deceived by the weather stations! It was supposed to be relatively light down near Noarlunga this morning. Hence I had the Dowel Delta in the car, with the Dowel Dopero brought…

    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!

 

Return to Kids Kites from Airplane Kites

All the way back to Home Page

 

E-books

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!


Kite e-book: Making The MBK Dowel Diamond Kite

Download
"Making The
MBK Dowel Diamond Kite"
(see flight video!)


Kite e-book: Making The MBK Dowel Delta Kite

Download
"Making The
MBK Dowel Delta Kite"
(see flight video!)


Kite e-books: The Big MBK Book Bundle

Download the
"MBK Book Bundle"





E-book
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"