The Baby Bat Kite

A Classic Kids Delta!

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! See over there in the photo.

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...

Instead, try the Red Bat kite. Although still not an 'easy flier' to the same extent as many kids' deltas these days, it apparently flies OK with a bit of persistence. What you are really paying for is the attention-grabbing looks!

Regarding the rather large bat design in the video below, the crowd loved it when the wind picked up and the kite started to flap! We spotted it at the Adelaide International Kite Festival...



NOTE: Video views from this website don't appear to be counted.





A Closer Look At The Baby Bat Kite

A Baby Bat Kite close-up, showing blood-shot eyes and keel.Clever monster eyes - look carefully


Right from the earliest one, the sail was jet black plastic, with a scalloped trailing edge, to give it that 'bat' kind of feel.

Out In The Field

Delta kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are 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.




E-book special of the month (25% off)...

E-book: Making The MBK Parachute Kite

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38kph or 13 to 24mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
  • All cuts are along straight lines.

For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parafoil kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.



What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Octopus #3 Holds 45 Degrees

    Jun 22, 17 02:06 AM

    For an inflatable Octopus kite, 45 degrees of line angle in smooth horizontal air will definitely do...

    After giving the #3 kite a 50% boost in tail length, it flew very well today down at a beach. I…

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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...



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E-books


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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."

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"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!"

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"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"




Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7