Balinese Kites

by Desmond
(Mill Valley, CA, USA)

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 paint a picture on. So it seems like the paper mache type would work best. I also love their really long tails.

A:

No. That's the short answer.

But here's a couple of suggestions :-) ...

1) Trying to make an authentic Balinese kite from scratch might not actually be very practical in your situation. In addition, it would be very easy to end up with a heavy, poor flier. Particularly if you piled on a bit too much paint, or made the paper mache too sturdy.

If it wasn't for the fact you are probably supposed to make the kite yourself, there are of course, quite cheap Balinese kites for sale on eBay. Just see the listing on that page, after scrolling down a bit.

eHow.com has some instructions, but they are vague and basically useless for an inexperienced builder to have success with. No instructions on how to adjust the bridle, for example!

2) Why don't you consider making one of my Simple Series kites. Either a Diamond or a Delta - but use Tyvek instead of plastic. That way, you have a perfect 'canvas' for your painting, since it is like painting on paper.

If you can't get your hands on Tyvek easily, any old thin plastic sheet will do. In which case, colored permanent markers are the way to go, to create a pleasing picture on the sail without adding much weight at all.

The Simple Diamond and Simple Delta are reliable fliers in light winds, so there should be no disappointment there.

Whichever way you decide to go, I hope your project goes well!

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What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Sea-sick Barn Door Kite

    Jul 28, 14 05:06 AM

    This was an experiment with mounting a camera directly onto the kite. With winds gusting to over 30kph up high, the Fresh Wind Barn Door kite was selected...

    In a word, it was tricky. I mounted the camera as close as possible to the center of gravity of the kite, but it still ended up quite a few cm closer to the trailing edge than I would have liked. It was only practical to mount he camera - on its bendy tripod (!) - near the diagonal spars crossing point. Electrical tape secured 2 short tripod legs to the diagonal spars, holding the camera upright with the kite sitting on its trailing edge.

    It was a struggle to get enough lift to gain much height, and the kite swung dangerously from side to side. Might try the drogues next time! I did my best to urge the kite higher in mid-swing.

    Eventually, for a few seconds, the kite got to around 100 feet on almost 200 feet of 200 pound Dacron.

    A video clip will of course be forthcoming on Facebook. And only seasoned kite fliers will bother watching it all the whole way through, possibly wrestling with sea-sickness all the while. Hence the title of this post. Still, it was an interesting, if slightly nerve-wracking, outing! At shoulder level, the breeze measured around 9kph gusting to 18.5kph. Some low cloud over the hills was absolutely tearing along, perhaps up around 40kph.

    Huge Homemade Kites And Aerial Photography: This is often the topic for posts which appear here. New things are always being tried so sign up for my newsletter to stay right up to date with the latest developments!

    Read More







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