How To Make A Parafoil Kite

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The instructions which show you how to make a parafoil kite are step-by-step and illustrated throughout by high-quality close-up photographs. But first, let me tell you a few things about this kite which 'looks like a bought one' when in flight...




Brief Summary

  • The kite is 120cm (48") long and spans 60cm (24").
  • It's a true flat parafoil, although quite a simple one.
  • In flight, the MBK Parafoil copes with a rather wide range of wind speeds, with the help of some tail or a small drogue.
  • Despite being a two-surface design, this Parafoil has a relatively light pull on the flying line. This is due to it's modest size.
  • Like most soft kites, setup time is essentially zero. Just attach the flying line and let some breeze into the inlets to inflate.
  • The whole kite and bridle rolls up into a compact bundle. It would fit in many jacket pockets and some jeans pockets too.


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But, Why Make A Parafoil?

This has to be the most do-able flat parafoil design out there. No sewing, no design software to learn, no curves. If you can measure and draw straight lines with a ruler you are good to go with the MBK version!

You'll get a real sense of achievement from doing this kite. Be the only person on the field with a home-made parafoil. Once you know how to make a parafoil kite, the idea of making a much bigger one might pop into your head. The cost? A mere fraction of what a large retail parafoil would set you back!

The wide wind range of this design is so handy. As we all know, it's no fun losing flying time because the breeze has become too light or too strong.

The first video below shows the MBK Parafoil hanging on in a light breeze. The second video shows the kite gamely coping with a rough, fresh breeze inland!



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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 parafoil kite very soon. You could have a kite ready by tomorrow. 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'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"