MBK Kite Plans

An Alternative To Step-By-Step

Why build from kite plans? Well, if you've made a few kites before, it's just a bit quicker and more convenient than wading through a long list of step-by-step instructions.

These kite plans include the very simple 1-Skewer Diamond.

There's another plus to the plans-only approach. It's easier to substitute your own different materials or way of doing things, as you see fit. For example, you might use rip-stop nylon instead of plastic, or artificial materials instead of wooden doweling for spars.

Just to give you a sense of the variety of designs here...

Over there in the photo is the dinky little 1-Skewer Diamond. A reliable, easy to make little flyer. You can knock one of these up in minutes.

Further down this page is the Dowel Dopero. With an upper and lower sail plus twin keels and a 4-point bridle, this design takes a lot more patience to complete. But in return, you have an attractive aircraft that likes to wander around directly overhead, no matter how much line you let out! In the right weather, of course.


Take kite flying to another level, for you and your kids!

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Kite Plans Table

The links in the table below take you to plans and tips for the 1-Skewer, 2-Skewer and Dowel version of each kite type. Put one together, then go out and fly it really high! The bridle for each kite is made from the same line you intend to fly it on.

Talking about line... If you're building from the Dowel kite plans, you'll need at least 30 pound flying line. Either Dacron or Nylon is suitable...

The Stake Line Winder from Amazon will do the job nicely. The 2-Skewer kites will also do OK with this line.

Eventually, you might want to find somewhat lighter line for the 1-Skewer designs, since they struggle a bit if you have too much line out. I've tried polyester sewing thread, and it seems strong enough for these quite small kites!

Note: MBK Skewer Kites are made from thin 12" bamboo skewers, which come in packs of 100. The Metric size is 300mm long x 3mm thick. Sometimes the thickness is just 2.5mm, which works better for the 1-Skewer designs.

Between these kite plans and the list of hints for each one, 90% of the kite's construction should be covered. If you're a 'plan builder' then the remaining 10% shouldn't worry you!

Here's some tips for finding the area of a kite, if you need to do that for any of these designs.

I've used various kites from these 3 series to illustrate some points about kite bridles. Have a look if you're interested in this aspect of single-line kiting.

New to this site? OK, let me explain about '1-Skewer', '2-Skewer' and 'Dowel' designs. These simply refer to the basic building block of the kite...

Except for the Delta, 1-skewer designs are no wider than the length of a single 30cm (12") bamboo skewer.

Similarly, 2-skewer designs are mainly constructed with 2 skewers joined end-to-end. Except for the Delta, these designs are never more than 2 skewers wide from tip to tip.

All the Dowel designs except the Delta are 1.2 meters (4 feet) from tip to tip. Also, the Box designs are 1.2 meters in length.

 

The Dowel Dopero kite in flight.




Overall Goals

My ultimate goal is to have a large collection of kite plans and instructions that have been refined and standardized through lots of building and flying! Small design changes might creep in too, as I experiment and improve the flying characteristics of these cheap kites, so you have a better chance of success.

Finally, the kite drawings here are not intended for just printing off and enlarging. The result would be stretched a little in the horizontal or vertical direction. However, if you went ahead and built a kite from such a plan, I'm sure it would fly! Nothing a bit more tail and/or dihedral wouldn't fix, don't you think?

There's our Dowel Rokkaku kite in flight, in the video below. This design is also a great thermal soarer, like the Dopero.



 

You might have noticed that this site has a monthly newsletter...

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!

So sign up today, and download the free 95-page e-book "What Kite Is That?" straight away. Info-packed and fully photo-illustrated.

And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.

 

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Sea-sick Barn Door Kite

    Jul 28, 14 05:06 AM

    This was an experiment with mounting a camera directly onto the kite. With winds gusting to over 30kph up high, the Fresh Wind Barn Door kite was selected...

    In a word, it was tricky. I mounted the camera as close as possible to the center of gravity of the kite, but it still ended up quite a few cm closer to the trailing edge than I would have liked. It was only practical to mount he camera - on its bendy tripod (!) - near the diagonal spars crossing point. Electrical tape secured 2 short tripod legs to the diagonal spars, holding the camera upright with the kite sitting on its trailing edge.

    It was a struggle to get enough lift to gain much height, and the kite swung dangerously from side to side. Might try the drogues next time! I did my best to urge the kite higher in mid-swing.

    Eventually, for a few seconds, the kite got to around 100 feet on almost 200 feet of 200 pound Dacron.

    A video clip will of course be forthcoming on Facebook. And only seasoned kite fliers will bother watching it all the whole way through, possibly wrestling with sea-sickness all the while. Hence the title of this post. Still, it was an interesting, if slightly nerve-wracking, outing! At shoulder level, the breeze measured around 9kph gusting to 18.5kph. Some low cloud over the hills was absolutely tearing along, perhaps up around 40kph.

    Huge Homemade Kites And Aerial Photography: This is often the topic for posts which appear here. New things are always being tried so sign up for my newsletter to stay right up to date with the latest developments!

    Read More




New! 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...



Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...

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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E-books

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"MBK Book Bundle"





Testimonials...
(unedited)

"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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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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thank you"

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