French Box Kite: down into Lake Ontario

by Tim Sly
(Toronto, Canada)

A home-made yellow 2M (6'6") span modified French military box flew reliably and extremely well. With a NW wind blowing from the land I flew it up and over the shore of Lake Ontario, which is one of Canada's great lakes - inland seas.

Reached the end of 150M line way out over the water. Then the wind dropped. No way to avoid it heading into the water.

Then I realized that the same aerodynamic forces that keeps the kite in the air also act to create drag in the water. It took almost an hour and a half to slowly winch the kite to the shore. It got me thinking about the possibility of a 'dissolvable' link in the bridle to at least allow collapsed 'streamlined' retrieval in water.

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Inventions
by: Tim Parish

Kite fliers are always fiddling with their gear, as needs dictate. A 'dissolvable link' is something different! At least persistence paid off and the kite was not lost.

A 2m French Military - so it's length is around 3m? Must be an impressive sight in the air. My Multi-Dowel Box kite would look like a bit of a toy beside it!

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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