Very few designs beat the Baby Bat Kite for long-term popularity. Modern versions of this little kids Delta have hardly changed from the original. You can still see it promoted here and there as an ideal starter kite for kids! Also, particularly in the U.S., older kite fliers still reminisce about the timeless Baby Bat.
Which brings me to 2 other related kites from the same company...
I might as well mention them since they are based on a very similar sail outline.
The Super Bat Kite, at 110 cm (50 inches) across, was a little bigger than the Baby Bat, which was (and is!) about 93 cm (42 inches) in span. Also, the Super bat had a somewhat more realistic 'head'. If you could call it that!
The other one was the Sky Spy Kite, which had similar 'monster eyes' to the others, except on a plainer-looking white sail. I guess the emphasis was those ghoulish eyes, hence the name. Spying from on high, in the sky, logically enough.
However, I'm not going to recommend the latest Super Bat design on Amazon, since the reviews are mixed to say the least...
The photo of the older Super Bat up there is courtesy of Larry Ewing.
Right from the earliest one, the sail was jet black plastic, with a scalloped trailing edge, to give it that 'bat' kind of feel.
My collection of real-life Delta kite stories is worth checking out!
Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.
As already mentioned, 2 'monster eyes' adorned the nose area of the sail. Complete with livid red veins, which, if you looked very carefully, actually spelled out the name of the company which created them. Some people out there weren't aware of this quite subtle detail for many years, even decades!
A generous keel was intended to keep the Baby Bat kite stable. I suspect though, that quite a few would have swerved into the ground at high speed during enthusiastic handling by child fliers! The standard flying line was generally 60 meters (200 feet) of cotton or twine, packaged with the kite.
The earliest of these kites used dowel rods as spars. It seems this was still the case in the early 80s, but at some point a switch was made to using plastic spars. The very earliest Baby Bats are now worth a lot more than the materials! Apparently, mint condition examples from 1972 and 1973 have fetched close to US$100 when auctioned.
Below - a video of one of my own home-made Deltas, which looks decidedly plain without blood-shot eyes or scalloped trailing edge! Not to mention the sheer visibility of a jet-black sail, against virtually any sky background...
You might have noticed that this site has a monthly newsletter...
For single-line kite fliers and builders, it's always been a good read. But if you are interested in KAP and/or large home-made kites you won't want to miss it!
So sign up today, and download the free 95-page e-book "What Kite Is That?" straight away. Info-packed and fully photo-illustrated.
And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.
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!
Are you just
holding the string?!
For so much more, try
Make all the Dowel kites, including the one above...
ALL the e-books.
Best value of all...
"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."
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
to try these books