The Dowel Roller Kite

The First High Flight.

Winds appeared fairly light outside, just nice for the Dowel Roller kite. There didn't seem much possibility of rain despite all the cloud cover, so out we went.

Dowel Roller kite on an overcast day.

Before long, Aren and I were out on the grass at the Wilfred Taylor Reserve, rigging the Roller for what would hopefully be a high flight.

Actually, Aren just watched, from his pram ;-)

The bridle is rather long on this kite, and today it chose to get itself in a tangle. Hence I spent about 2 minutes rigging the kite and maybe 10 un-tangling the bridle! Grr.

Finally, the bridle was sorted, and the Roller spent the next few minutes going up and down on a short line. There was just not enough wind at ground level for a hand-launch.

No problem. I just walked halfway across the reserve with the kite, letting the line slip off the winder which was on the grass next to the pram.

Then, a slow jog back to the pram with line slipping through my fingers enabled the Dowel Roller kite to steadily rise to around 60 or 70 feet.

From there, it was possible to work the line a little and coax the Roller up higher in the more consistent light breeze up at that height.

At this point, we needed to move to one side of the reserve to gain more room to fly. No tree or power-line is going to eat this kite today! Up on the end of 60 meters of line, the Roller was flying in ideal winds.

At last, this kite was having a good easy flight! It's efficiency is modest, rather similar to a Diamond kite, hanging at around 50 - 55 degrees of line angle. From time to time, the Roller tracked off to the left or right, as the wind shifted slightly in direction.

Wind strength varied from minute to minute, changing the line tension from light to firm and back again. Aren could hang on ok, even when fairly firm. This was handy, as I took some video and a couple of photos! Image quality is down a bit, due to the height of the kite and the low-light conditions. An almost overcast sky, in late afternoon.

Things were going so well, why not let out some more line? So we did, first reaching the 90 meter marker on the line, spending a few minutes there, then on to the 120 meter marker. During each climb, the Dowel Roller kite maintained about a 40 degree line angle, climbing back up to 55 degrees again at the end of each climb.

The Roller found slightly faster air up there, not surprisingly. At times, it approached its limit, forcing it over into a shallow dive to the left. After losing a lot of height, it would recover and climb straight back up in the following lull.

Gradually we brought the Dowel Roller kite back down. Aren helped by sometimes pulling in line so I could wind on without tension in the line. Otherwise, I just pulled line onto the ground, then wound on without tension - while still flying with my winding hand!

'Necessity is the mother of invention'.

With the kite down after a very satisfying flight, we drove home as sunset approached. Oh, almost forgot - I discovered there is no need to remove the Lark's Head knot from the keel! Just pull enough of the bridle through when removing the vertical spar, to allow the usual placement of the spar before rolling up the kite! One less thing to do when rigging and de-rigging the Dowel Roller 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!

 




E-book special of the month...


I've been making and flying traditional-style
Box Kites on-and-off ever since this site was started...

Get the e-book for making a range of bamboo or dowel designs. Down to $7 from the usual $9.95, for this month.

With a large range of wind speeds covered, not to mention a large choice of kite size to attempt, the ideal box kite for you has to be in there somewhere!

My personal favorite would have to be the giant 2.4m (8ft) long Multi-Dowel Box which flies steep and steady. It's on the e-book cover over there...

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:
    Parachute Shows Some Promise

    Sep 27, 16 12:51 AM

    The latest Soft Series kite will be a Parachute - although my first attempt looks more like those small 2-line stunt kites you see people flying. With the same style of bridle line attachment point as…

    Read More





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...



Return to A Flying Kite from The Dowel Roller Kite

All the way back to Home Page


 


E-books


Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





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"




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