Flare Kite For Stunts

by CorgiFan2
(Wellington, New Zealand)

Bridle idea for a steerable Flare kite

Q:

Can I rig a Flare (or Winged Sled) kite for stunts? Seeing as I can't afford a stunt kite or the fibreglass and ripstop nylon to make one with.

Thankyou, Corgifan2.

A:

Let's see, a flare kite... I... um ... had to look that one up ;-)

Although this design is mainly used in light winds, I see no reason why it couldn't be adapted to give at least some turning ability on 2 lines. After some thought, I have come up with the bridle arrangement as illustrated in the diagram above.

(Sorry about replacing your Corgi picture, but as the Queen would say 'One must be careful about image copyright these days, musn't one...')

Now, to explain that diagram a bit more...

Making...

The line segments labelled a must be the same length as each other. Namely, about 5 times the length of the kite itself from nose to tail.

The bridle line labelled d on each side should be about as long as the distance between the vertical spars of the kite. Attach this bridle line to a Loop Knot in each flying line, so it can't slip along the flying lines.

The bridle line labelled c can be about 1 kite length long, or even a bit shorter. If you attach it with a sliding knot such as the Prusik, it's then easy to adjust it to dead-center at both ends so b=b and d=d in length.

Flying...

Firstly, you will need to try and hold both lines steady so the flare kite flies up as high as possible. Adjust the length of c until the kite flies about as high as you would expect the single-line version to go.

Now the fun part! Do some test flying, seeing if it will actually loop all the way around in both directions. If not, it should at least move across the sky a long way to left and right as you control the 2 flying lines.

I don't know quite how sensitive it will turn out to be. Sluggish or nearly un-controllable :-) And of course, don't expect it to carve precision figures in the sky like a purpose-built Delta Stunt kite... But it should provide some steerable-kite fun at any rate!

You could also experiment with various lengths of tail. Less tail will make it less stable and hence more responsive, while more tail should settle it down a bit if it proves difficult to control.

Give it a go and perhaps comment on this post later. There will be plenty of people out there wanting to know how it went.

By the way, some stunt kites these days are really very cheap. As in - under \$10, and made in China no doubt. In a steady moderate breeze they can be a lot of fun as long as you are not too fussy about precision or speed!

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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