A Flying Kite

On The End Of A String...

Is a wonderful thing! Is watching a flying kite one of your hobbies? Seeing your own creation up there definitely adds a new dimension to the experience. Read on for all sorts of kite flying stories plus of course plenty of photos and some short videos.

This flying kite is the MBK Simple Delta.The original Simple Delta

This section of the site is devoted to a whole bunch of flight reports. Some of these are full-length pages complete with a photo and video of the kite that I flew on the day. Other pages are compilations of my shorter-format blog posts for a particular type of kite.

For a year or so, this site had a couple of dedicated MBK Flight Reporters. These reporters built my designs, flew them, took photos and then submitted great illustrated reports on their outings!

You just never know what random incident might happen while a kite is up. Nothing earth-shattering generally, but often enough to make the flier - or a number of the by-standers - crack a smile!

Everybody has a favorite kind of kite, so the reports are organized accordingly, below..

Sparred (oak dowel or bamboo sticks)







Barn Doors




Soft (no sticks)

Doing Flight Reports is my preferred method of keeping a record of my flights. However, it could be worth your while to keep a Kite Log Book. Check it out! 

A Flying Kite
In Any Size You Like...

From age 3 to 103, there's something for everyone with an MBK design. Here's a break-down of the various categories by size...

  • Multi-Dowel Kites (very large, tail-less, in e-books only)
  • Dowel Series (large and tail-less)
  • 3-Skewer Kites (in e-books only)
  • 2-Skewer Series (modest sized, but high-performance)
  • 1-Skewer Series (tiny, but quick to make)

In addition, there are a few which don't neatly slot into any of the above categories.

Here's some photos of a flying kite in the various sizes, along with some general information about them...

The huge MBK 2-Dowel Sled in flight.The Multi-Dowel Sled aka 'The Horse'

'Big' has recently been re-defined here at MBK! So far in the Multi-Dowel Series are the Sled, Barn Door, Rokkaku and Box kites. The Sled and Box are 2.4 meters (nearly 8 feet) long, while the others have a span of that same amount.

These are a little more challenging to build, in comparison to all the other smaller and simpler designs. And due to the considerable pull they exert on the flying line, even in light winds - not for kids of any age!

The MBK Dowel Rokkaku in flight.The Dowel Rokkaku with 'clouds' character

The designs in the Dowel Series were made with adults in mind, who want something of a decent size to fly. Older kids would also have the strength to handle these in most wind conditions.

The first thing you might notice about a flying kite of the Dowel variety is that it doesn't have a tail. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from adding a tail just for looks! These kites will fly a little higher and steeper without tails though.

The MBK 3-Skewer A-Frame kite in flight.The 3-Skewer A-Frame just hanging still

The 3-Skewer Kites have a span or height of ... you guessed it, the length of three 30cm (12") bamboo skewers. A bit less actually, since the points need to be snipped off! These designs are e-book-only hence not freely available on this website. However, you can certainly read about them here, and watch the videos.

There might eventually be a few more 3-Skewer designs to choose from.

The MBK 2-Skewer Diamond kite in flight.The 2-Skewer Diamond does S-bends in a light breeze

I've had some fantastic flights with kites from the 2-Skewer Series on light-wind days. What I love about them personally is that despite being fairly small, they hit a performance sweet spot. Here's what I mean...

Two bamboo BBQ skewers end to end turns out to be a very ideal combination of strength, rigidity and light weight. Add extremely light single-ply plastic, and you have one super light-weight flying kite! Saving weight is what it's all about, as any kite-maker will tell you.

Read the stories to see what some of these kites get up to, on a long 20 pound Dacron line.

The MBK 1-Skewer Dopero kite in flight.The 1-Skewer Dopero is truly cute at only 29cm (1ft) across

The 1-Skewer Series kites have wing-spans the length of a single BBQ skewer. The Delta is actually a little wider than that, but both leading edge spars are a single BBQ skewer. Most of the designs in this series are rarely seen in such small sizes. But I thought it would be fun to re-create them anyway!

How about a ... 29cm (1 foot) wide Dopero? Just for moderate wind fun. It's simply too tiny to lift a camera of any kind, unlike its much larger cousins.

The MBK Tiny Tots Diamond kite showing off its long tail.The Tiny Tots Diamond has a surprisingly large wind range

Eventually there might be a small collection of stories documenting how some very simple and/or quick to make kites perform. There are just 2 right now: the spar-less Paper Sled and the Tiny Tots Diamond.

Have you browsed a few flight reports yet? OK, then have a guess which type of flying kite is featured in the video below...

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

Click to get 'Making The MBK Parachute Kite'

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (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 38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. 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 Parachute 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. The Classic Cody Kite

    Aug 23, 17 06:00 AM

    This previously published page gives a quick insight into the structure and materials of the original 'War Kites' by Samuel Cody. Plus some history and photos of course. Intriguing stuff...

    Read More


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 Home Page from A Flying Kite



Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"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 decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."


"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