Glider Flight

by Les Chatfield
(Brighton, Sussex, England)

Despite the title this IS a kiting story. I love kites and have flown a large variety of kites from simple "classic" kites to stunters and box kites.

This story concerns a box kite which we obtained purely for the "sport" of dropping things from on high. This was accomplished by means of messengers, wind lofted devices that get blown up the kite string. When the messenger reaches the bridle a catch releases the payload and the empty messenger returns down the line ready for another lift.

After releasing various paper cups, bags full of dirt (looks just like an AA flak bust in the sky) and a toy parachutist called "one jump Vincent" for obvious reasons, my brother suggested releasing a balsa wood glider attached by its rudder to the messenger. Up it went, the wind furiously tugging at the tiny plane whilst the messenger continued its long climb to the distant tiny kite almost lost in the azure blue sky. Would it survive the ascent as the glider and messenger climbed and climbed?

Eventually the pair reached the kite... And the glider dropped clean away in a dive (due to it being hung tail up from the messenger). The glider then pulled out as smoothly as if a human pilot was at the controls! It then slickly leveled its wings and ... flew away! Apparently not losing any height at all it just glided away perfectly steady looking exactly like a real aircraft steady on its course to who-knows-where. It looked wonderful up there in the lovely blue sky that was now its home steady on course.

Suddenly a loud CRACK! Announced the arrival at ground level of the messenger that had returned a good deal faster than it had ascended. I was so startled that I nearly released my hold on the kite reel!

Comments for Glider Flight

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Caught my eye...
by: Tim Parish

Being an ex-sailplane pilot, your title did get my attention! Good story - and who knows, maybe that paper plane ended up thermalling away once it got downwind a bit! I actually lost a (free-flight) model glider that way once. It came off a very modest line tow, straight into some rising air. 10 minutes later my father and I were still watching it disappear into the distance, being tossed around in thermal turbulence over 1000 feet up. Never saw it again...

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to YOUR Kite Making Stories!.




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

E-book: Making The MBK Parachute Kite

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

    Jun 21, 17 06:00 AM

    This previously published page looks at the sport of kite boarding over dry land. As opposed to kite surfing or kite snow-boarding. The page is a beginner-level overview...

    Read More









 


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