How To Make A Parachute Kite

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The instructions which show you how to make a parachute kite are step-by-step and illustrated throughout by high-quality close-up photographs. But first, here's a few things about this scaled-down replica of a sky-diver's canopy...




Brief Summary

  • This rectangular kite has a 119cm (48") span when laid flat.
  • Like it's full-size cousins, this Parachute has cross-flow vents and brake lines. Also a tiny drogue just for looks!
  • In flight, the Parachute will cope with quite strong wind.
  • Like most soft kites, setup time is essentially zero. Just attach the flying line and suspend the sail in the breeze to inflate.
  • The whole kite and bridle rolls up into a compact tube which can be folded once and stuffed into a small plastic bag for carrying.


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But, Why Make A Parachute?

What I personally like about this design is it's ability to cope with winds that would ground all my light-wind kites! There it is, waiting in the kite bag just in case.

The other thing is that it really does look a lot like a real sky-diver's canopy. So it's a kind of model aircraft, if you will. Albeit one that is anchored to the ground while it flies. The final touch is that little drogue hanging out the back... Next time you see a skydiver in action, see if you can spot that detail!

My 3rd prototype was made from fairly heavy plastic. Two types of heavy-duty painter's drop-cloth. The ribs were from bright orange 2-ply garden bag plastic. Mainly for a splash of color!


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What's So Good About Soft Kites?

Avoid the inconvenience - or impossibility! - of trying to find spar material of the right type and in the right size.  This means you can get started very quickly. Just thin plastic sheet from hardware stores or large bags from supermarkets are required. Or, if you start opening up and joining smaller more colorful bags, the possibilities are endless. You might even have enough plastic at home already!

Avoid the expense of spar material. In fact, if you have your own flying line(s) already, plus some large bags and sticky tape at home, your total spend might actually be zero!

All of my Soft Kites are fully tested in a variety of weather conditions. So, if you can follow simple written instructions and you use similar materials, you can be sure it will fly! Big high-quality photos illustrate what to do, each step of the way.

The e-book itself is also fully tested since I build the final prototype from my own instructions. Just to be sure the steps make sense and are error-free.

One of my Soft Series kites can be taken anywhere, anytime. They are so compact that one kite might even scrunch up into a trouser pocket. Or at least a jacket pocket. Definitely into a spare corner of a small back-pack or other carry-bag. You could go for a walk or a bike-ride... No-one would suspect that you had a decent sized kite ready to fly at a moment's notice!

So, for any sort of outdoor setting you can get to with not much more than the clothes on your back - take a kite to fly once you get there! A small stake winder doesn't take much room either - or just wind some line directly around the kite itself.

As with any kite design from this site, whether sparred or not, there is the huge satisfaction of seeing something fly that you made with your own hands. No shop-bought kite can do that for you!

The plastic-and-tape kite made from my instructions is just a start. You could later duplicate it all with soft Tyvek and Tyvek tape. Then it becomes a canvas for an artist's work! Display your art in the sky, where many people can see it.

Working with soft Tyvek lets you turn a plastic-and-tape design into something of even greater quality, durability and good looks.

For someone's birthday, a hand-made kite makes a great gift too. Even a plastic one. The gift-receiver can't help but realize that it took a bit of work, particularly if you personalize the sail with some line-art done with permanent markers. Or acrylic paint on Tyvek. And of course it flies!




So hit that button down there and you'll know how to make a parachute kite very soon. You could have a kite ready in a couple of days. Or at least by the week-end, if you need to visit the shops!



 

Comments

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...



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Testimonials
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"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."

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"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."

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"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."

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"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!"

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"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"