The Dowel Diamond Kite

Long Climbs In Light Warm Breezes

Compared to the last time this Dowel Diamond kite went out to fly, average wind speeds today were a little higher.

Dowel Diamond kite in flight.

A light breeze shifted twigs and leaves around, with the gust strength creeping into the 'moderate' range from time to time. But I was sure the Diamond would cope, despite its new design suiting lighter winds than the original kite.

Rigging the kite was quick and easy, and it was soon away, climbing strongly while I let loops of line off the winder.

At about 50 feet up, I paused the climb to grab the camera and take a few photos. Some video as well, which you can see at the bottom of this page.

From there, I let the kite up to around 200 feet for a while.

After a few minutes at this altitude, it seemed the Dowel Diamond kite was being pushed to the limits of its stability from time to time in the moderate gusts. Wanting a more relaxed flying experience, it seemed like a good idea to just take it all the way down and adjust the bridle.

The bridle was still at the 'maximum light wind performance' setting. As far back as possible in other words! So, I just slipped the sliding knot towards the nose by a centimeter or 2 to ease up the pressure in the sail. Off went the kite, more stable this time, and still holding good line angles.

Shaking loops of line off the winder with my left hand, I let line out by slipping it through my right hand.

The Diamond was not pulling very hard at all, and there were no sudden gusts, so there was no danger of getting line-burn. I let the kite fly for a few minutes at a time at various altitudes, before finally seeing the black tab come off the winder, signaling 120 meters of line. That would do! A decent thermal would float the kite up to around 400 feet at that length of line.

The weather was warm, and clouds were generally hazy and smooth, and fairly high. The wind strength seemed to vary from minute to minute, and thermal activity seemed fairly gentle today. The Dowel Diamond kite hung low or high depending on wind speed, but spent most of its time around 50 degrees of line angle, with not much line sag.

As wind speeds edged towards moderate, the kite would respond with a little fish-tailing as the vertical spar flexed from side to side. The 3 point bridle kept the wing-tips from waggling, unlike traditional Diamonds with their 2-point bridles.

Although some video was already 'in the can', I felt an impulse to get some more despite the high altitude of the kite. It turned out to be a good move, catching the kite on a long climb from around 200 feet to over 350 feet.

Also, wind shifts caused the Diamond to track sideways across sky during the climb.

Initially, it was just an increase in wind strength that triggered the climb, but towards the end there was definitely some thermal assistance! It felt like I was tilting my head back until it was about to fall off...

The cloud cover was the only way to tell how the kite was moving. There's the last 10 seconds of it in the video down there. Sometimes I don't even bother to fly on total blue-sky days since the video would be boring!

Eventually it seemed a good idea to bring the kite down so we could get out of the heat. On its way down, the Dowel Diamond kite soared almost directly overhead from time to time, like when a Delta is brought down. With the kite only 30 feet off the ground I took another photo of my 4 year old Aren flying it from the winder. During a lull I managed to get both flyer and kite in the frame... All up, a decent flying session with the Dowel Diamond kite!


The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite. My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!

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.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Super Light And Variable In Victoria Park

    Sep 21, 14 09:44 PM

    Victoria Park adjacent to the Adelaide CBD in South Australia, that is. This large grassed area which forms part of the eastern parklands of the city is used for various events from time to time. Including, in the past, major horse racing and a section of a Formula 1 Grand Prix track.

    An invite had gone out to various kite enthusiasts to meet and fly, since the weather looked good. We arrived after lunch, only to discover very light winds. A lone R/C flier was enjoying the easy conditions with his 3-channel electric trainer. Like a tiny Cessna, if you're not familiar with model aircraft.

    For a while it seemed we were alone, before spotting a power kite in the distance, making brief forays into the air. Victoria Park is rather large!

    It actually turned out to be quite an enjoyable outing, with the 2.4m (8ft) Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite just scraping into the air. But then, thermals were everywhere. It wasn't long before the large pale blue kite went right overhead! At other times, I simply toyed with the Barn Door, floating it way out on a long line then pulling it up to over 200 feet.

    Another RC flier was now having success launching his glider, finding thermals, and gaining height in them.

    We were eventually joined by two other AKFA members including the President. A couple of ripstop-and-carbon light-wind kites went up, with plenty of success. By now the breeze had come across the park from just about every point of the compass. Variable indeed!

    In the distance, someone had been lofting a large but light-wind parafoil. It was interesting to see it sink out as an utter 'bag of washing' during a dead calm spell! Someone else had some success with a small blue Delta for a while.

    All up, a worthwhile day IF you were flying lightly-loaded kites! No luck for Mike with his power kite and skateboard...

    About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Usually, photos and/or video from the day are posted a few days later on the MBK Facebook Page. However, longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.

    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 A Flying Kite from The Dowel Diamond Kite

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!)



Make
all the Dowel kites, including the one above...

Kite e-book: Making Dowel Kites

Download
"Making Dowel Kites"



ALL the e-books.
Best value of all...

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"