Kite Flying and Watermelon Season
While in Mainland China, it was a kite enthusiast's dream come true. Everywhere people were making kites, flying kites, selling kites on the street, and kite stores dotted the side roads with 'professional' kite equipment.
One could find kites for every purpose including history, hobby, sporting, exercise, experimental, equipment lofting, surveying, mapping, science, weather, robotics or just great fun!
One could see kites flown around trees, at the roadside, by power lines, from residential homes, parking lots, business districts and around skyscrapers. Of course, parks with lots of trees were very popular places with sometimes hundreds of people enjoying the sport.
The raw evidence was there too - kite fragments stuck in trees, power lines, telephone poles, and on rooftops. A few people were proud of their monuments, saying, "That's my kite up there on the power lines from last season!"
When I was re-stationed in Taiwan, things took a big turn. I took my big kite and equipment with me. But this time around - in one year’s passing, I didn't see one kite. Sadly, my kite gathered dust as I feared the worst - new laws preventing kite flying. Well, why not? I was cited a several hundred dollar warning for chewing gum on the subway transport. That's strict! I envisioned even harsher laws against public kite flying.
Then one day, a bright ray of sunlight appeared to open up the world once again to all things good... A kite appeared, flying high above the park against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. I quickly took note of the location, and realized I had traveled a distance from my home to "the land of kites!"
Only then did I realize, kites here are like watermelon - they have a season! Welcome to watermelon and kite flying season!
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) tall
Parafoil kite. This 4-cell kite performs best in gentle to moderate
wind speeds. That's 12 to 28kph or 8 to 18mph. Even in light
winds, this kite will hang in the air, although at 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.
May 10, 17 06:00 AM
This previously published page is a mixture of informative data and historical background. Also there is also a video of one of my own tetrahedral designs in flight!