These instructions on how to make a Delta kite are fairly detailed. However, the reward is a great little light wind flier! Just the thing for a gentle evening breeze. About the only tool required by these instructions is a pair of sharp scissors.
Any other materials you don't have are easily bought from local shops. If not exactly what I used, then at least something pretty similar!
The pictures should make things pretty clear. Just quickly work your way through from top to bottom, skimming over any detail that you don't need.
The MBK 1-Skewer Delta kite is quite small at 1.0SL (29cm, 11 1/2") in length, but copies the full-size Deltas with a floating spreader and triangular keel.
This little kite flies best with several skewer-lengths of tail.
A tiny bit of extra plastic taped to one wing-tip can correct a turning tendency, but this might not be necessary.
1-Skewer kites are fun, but somewhat toy-like :-) due to their rather small size. Fancy something much bigger to fly, suitable for teenagers and adults?
The "Making Skewer Kites" e-book
has plenty of 58cm (23") designs in bamboo skewers and plastic. Plus all the 1-Skewer designs.
A handy approach is to just print out the pages for the kite you want to make next. The e-book is also handy for working off-line on a laptop, tablet or other device.
Now's the time to read up on kite materials and other things needed for building a Delta kite, if you haven't already.
The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...
At this point you need to make sure the glue is dry on the bamboo frame. If it is...
Have you read the page on making kite tails? Assuming you have...
Make a tail at least 5 times the length of the kite itself. To attach the tail to the kite, just push one end between the vertical spar and the sail, at the bottom end of the kite. Then thread the other end of the tail through the loop you just pushed through.
Simple! If you don't tighten it too much, the tail will always be easy to remove later, even after flying.
At this point, you've pretty much finished learning how to make a Delta kite!
Put a little bow in the spreader, away from the sail. Do this by gently bending the bamboo with both hands, with your thumbs in the middle of the bend. You might have to try a few times before the bamboo deforms a little.
The purpose of this is to put a little slack in the sail, which will make the kite more stable. If you over-do it and the bamboo cracks, just rub some wood glue into the bend!
With this kite, I'm confident that if you build it and attach the keel with reasonable accuracy according to the plan, it should need no further adjustment. Just like the bought ones! You might need to experiment with using a bit more tail if the kite loops around too much.
Up there is a picture of the completed MBK 1-Skewer Delta kite, close to the ground in a very light breeze.
Before flying, just check the kite's balance...
Hang the kite by the keel and see if one side seems to hang lower than the other. If so, double check by placing the vertical spar on the tips of your fingers, at the nose and tail ends of the kite. Does the same wing go down? If so, keep adding short pieces of tape to the sail near the wing tip until the balance improves.
My collection of real-life Delta kite stories is worth checking out!
Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.
Now hold the kite by nose and tail, with the keel hanging down, and suddenly take both hands away. Does the kite nose down and fly forward?
If so, keep adding tape across the trailing edge of the sail, near but not touching the tail, until the kite shows less tendency to dive.
Assuming there is some breeze, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it. As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by letting it slip through your fingers.
Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, with maybe 10 or 20 meters (50 feet) of line let out. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.
Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Delta kite!
Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...
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!
Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...
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For single-line kite fliers and builders, it's always been a good read. But if you are interested in KAP and/or large home-made kites you won't want to miss it!
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And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.
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For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!
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