How To Build A Delta Kite
Step-by-Step - The MBK Simple Delta
Learn how to build a Delta kite with these easy-to-follow
instructions. Fully illustrated with photographs, every step of the way.
Simple Delta in flight
Don't worry about how long this page looks...
The steps are easy, hence this simple Delta kite comes together very quickly!
We still take out the Simple Delta occasionally. As long as the wind isn't too
strong, it's as much fun as any similar-sized shop Delta. It hovers at a steep angle on the end of our Dacron flying line.
Let the line out to
90 meters (300 feet) or more, if you want to! Or, down at a beach in a sea breeze, this kite will hover reliably on quite a short line. Put some sand into a bag to act as an anchor.
NOTE: Video views from this website don't appear to be counted.
Such a simple kite and yet it flies so high in a light breeze. The video above shows this kite coping with fresh gusts that are nearly too strong for it.
1. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Measuring The Sail
You might want to take a quick look at the materials and tools for making this kite, first. Then just click the Back button on your browser to get back here.
- Place your plastic bag flat on the floor, with the closed end at the top.
from just below the top-left corner of the bag, measure and mark 3 dots
on the plastic. I've high-lighted the dots in yellow, in the photo.
Judge the horizontal direction by eye. If you're careful, there's no
need for a T-square.
2. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Cutting The Sail
- Take your ruler and connect the dots with the black marker pen, as shown in the photo. (OK, the lines appear a bit faint in the photo!)
- Flip the plastic over and trace over all the black lines.
- Cut along the top and right side of the bag, and open it out to show the complete sail outline, as in the photo above.
- Take your scissors and cut along all the black lines. As in the photo over there on the right, your Delta kite sail is nearly complete!
3. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Adding The Spars
- Take some 5mm (3/16") dowel and cut off a 70 cm (28 inch) length. Lay this down the center line of the sail.
- Now cut off 2 more lengths, each 80 cm (32 inches) in length. Lay these down over the leading edges of the sail.
- Using 6 pieces of insulation tape, each 5 cm (2 inch) long, stick them down in the positions shown in the top left photo, above.
- Fold all the tapes around to the underside of the plastic. See the top right photo, above.
off a 70 cm (28 inch) length of dowel and lay it across the sail, 31 cm
(12 1/4 inches) from the nose. Using 2 pieces of insulation tape, each 20
cm (8 inches) long, lay them over the crossing points. See the top photo, in the group of 3.
- Carefully wind the tapes around the dowels, without getting them stuck to the sail! Now, each join should look like the middle photo on the right.
an extra tape to the middle of each leading edge, to help keep the sail
in place. Also tightly wind an 8 cm (3 inch) piece of tape around the
spar join. See the bottom photo on the right, which was actually taken after some test flying in strong wind!
4. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Attach The Flying Line
Try this Stake Line Winder
from Amazon, if you are not sure where to get suitable flying line. The 30 pound strength is ideal for the Simple Series or Soft Series kites.
- Get your flying line, which I'm assuming has been wound onto a
spool or winder of some sort.
- Poke a hole in the plastic sail, right over where the horizontal and vertical dowels cross each other.
- Thread the flying line through the hole, and tie it firmly around the vertical spar. Do NOT tie it around the horizontal spar! This dowel floats free while the kite flies.
5. And Finally - Attach The Tail
- From spare scraps of sail plastic, make up a long narrow strip
no shorter than 4 times the length of the kite itself. The strip should
be about 5 cm (2 inches) wide.
- Thread one end of the tail
around the bottom of the vertical spar, as you can see in the photo. Tie
the tail to the dowel with a simple knot.
Just enough wind to stay up
Hope you enjoyed learning how to build a Delta kite! Up there is another shot of our original Simple Delta doing it's thing on a cloudy day with plenty of sun and just enough wind to keep the kite flying.
Out In The Field
Delta kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!
Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.
That's it, you're ready to fly. Take the kite out whenever you can
see leaves moving in the trees or bushes.
If the kite won't stay up, try
letting out plenty of line and then towing it up at jogging pace. It might find enough wind higher up!
Avoid flying in very windy weather.
Ever Made This Kite?
You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...
If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!
P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!
Flight Reports From Other Visitors
Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
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
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.
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...
Return to How To Build Kites from How To Build A Delta Kite
All the way back to Home Page