Kites: Site Blog

Welcome to this fun and educational Site Blog page on kites.

Keeping you up to date with our Flight Report posts, new Aerial Photography pages and occasional contributions from visitors. Visitors sometimes include photos or links to videos too.

My own Flight Report videos pop up on the MBK Facebook page nearly every week.

Clicking on the orange button up there on the left will ensure you never miss a post. Running your cursor over that button will also bring up alternative ways to subscribe. Use whatever is most familiar to you.

Mobile users: You'll need to scroll right down or click the navigation button to find the orange RSS button.

(P.S. Just once a week, a good quality older page will pop up here too, so it doesn't stay buried forever. Always a good read!)

Here's all the latest posts - enjoy....

Aug 26, 2015

Area Of A Kite Calculation

Sometimes it's handy to know the sail area of your kite, or perhaps of a design that you are considering building. If mathematics is not your forte, this article may well be helpful...

Continue reading "Area Of A Kite Calculation"

Aug 22, 2015

Flight Report:
Speedy Sled Parts Polyester

That's what happened, bringing the flying session to an abbreviated end. The 2-Skewer Sled had been zipping around on at least 30 meters (100 feet) of polyester sewing thread, when the line broke...

Fiddling with the camera, I looked back up only to see a far away fluttering, a flashing of orange plastic, as the hapless kite drifted downwind and disappeared behind a very large tree. Was it lost forever in the upper branches? Keep reading this post to find out...

Aren and I had been down at the local small reserve, each doing our own thing. The lad kicking a soccer ball and the grown man flying a small kite. Wrong way round? Some may think so, but they won't be reading this.

The breeze was light but gusting to almost moderate strength from time to time. To begin with, the kite was flown low over the green winter grass. Getting sewing thread off the square cardboard winder was taking a while. At least the small kite was getting some air time, weaving around and climbing a few meters every now and then. Down low though, it kept sinking out during lulls in the breeze's strength.

Eventually, a decent amount of thread was off the winder and the trusty bamboo-sparred Sled flew high above the tree tops. The kite was now being subjected to rather more air pressure than it could handle comfortably. Forced into frontal collapses, the kite started to show off it's ability to re-inflate by itself. This was happening every few seconds with each collapse being brought on by excessive forward kite speed. POP - there it goes again. And each time, with no intervention by me, the two angled spars would feed air back into the sail and re-inflate it after a second or two of free-fall.

And then we lost the kite in the tree, a very common kite tale. But had we? Walking back home, the kite came into view, lying on the road near a corner. A car approached and straddled the kite. Whew. Before the next car could arrive, I rushed over and did the rescue. No harm done. This kite will fly again!

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Check out the full flight report pages on this site. Or even the aerial photography pages, which also contain flight reports.

Aug 19, 2015

Making A Wind Speed Meter

A tongue-in-cheek article with some zany ideas for constructing your own wind meter. Go on, it's worth a chuckle...

Continue reading "Making A Wind Speed Meter"

Aug 18, 2015

Flight Report:
Barely A Breeze For Bright Barndoor

The weather site was indicating winds over 10kph so the 2-Skewer Barn Door kite seemed a perfect choice. Even in a much lighter breeze, the light-weight skewer-and-plastic construction would ensure that the bright-orange kite would fly. Well, it did, but only just!

Dangling the kite from an outstretched arm just wasn't going to work, so the winder was tossed on the ground. Walking towards the middle of the reserve with the small Barn Door, loop after loop of flying line came off the winder as it tumbled around in the grass. Untidy but it works. With about 30 m (100 feet) of line out, I walked briskly back to the winder, running the line through my hand. With a little bit of grip applied, the kite rose up willingly enough. Only to lose height immediately, wafting face-down towards the ground.

For the next 20 minutes or so, it was one of those ultra-light-wind skill-building sessions. Tow up, pull in, let out, pull in again, let out during another tantalizing gust and so on. The idea being to keep the kite in the air as long as possible.

Finally, after several pull-launches off the grass on a long line, the kite found some faster air above 200 feet. That's more like it! Now it was possible to just stand back and enjoy the sight and feel of the kite in adequate air pressure. Soon, the orange Barn Door kite was cruising about at steep line angles, staying around 300 feet above the reserve. A lot of motorists on South Road would have noticed it too.

Nice flight, after a somewhat slow start!

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 16, 2015

Flight Report:
Dowel Delta Drifts

The Dowel Delta kite this time, in contrast to the 2-Skewer version flown recently. Despite a weather site showing 1kph gusting to 2kph(!), the neighbor's palm fronds were indicating differently. Not much out there, but certainly plenty for the ultra-light-wind Dowel Delta!

Aren and I walked down to the local small park and it wasn't long before the kite was rigged and airborne. A gentle gust provided ample lift to get the pale-orange craft up past tree-top height. Once there, staying up was fairly straight-forward.

For some time now, this kite has required a short plastic tail-let off the port tip to keep it straight. On 60 meters (200 feet) of line however, it soon became apparent that a little more correction was required. At one point, the kite was pressured into doing a very large, slow and graceful loop to the left. Fortunately, I happened to be one step ahead so a safe clearance from the nearest tall tree was assured! After passing within a couple of meters of the grass, the kite soared high once more.

After bringing the Delta down and attaching a short length of electrical tape to the end of the tip-tail, another launch was effected. This time the big pale Delta performed admirably, holding station much more easily. Despite the changes in wind speed, the air seemed very smooth. Minutes would go by with the kite almost parked stationary at a high line angle. Wonderful stuff!

As happens with Deltas, small disturbances occasionally pointed the nose off one way or another. Resulting in a drift to a new position for a while. Refer back to the title of this post :-)

Finally, with some video taken, much more line was let off the winder. On around 120 meters (400 feet) of line, the kite was way up there, and well over 'tiger country'. Places you don't want to land in other words. But the air was so smooth and the Delta well trimmed by now, so the risk was minimal. It took quite a few minutes to get the kite down before Aren and I walked home.

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Check out the full flight report pages on this site. Or even the aerial photography pages, which also contain flight reports.

Aug 15, 2015

Flight Report:
Delta Dallies In Doubtful Draughts

OK, the title's pretty bad - but here you are ;-) So, the late afternoon was getting later, darker. And the breeze, much to my surprise, had freshened by a couple of kph at least. Well, well, that makes a change around this time of day.

For the first few launches Aren helped out, before being called inside. Ever hopeful, I remained out on the wet back lawn, launching the 2-Skewer kite from a resting-place against a swing-set seat. These launches were spectacular, having only a meter or two on either side until the kite flew clear of the house roof corner on one side and tall bushes on the other.

With enough height there was just enough movement in the air to keep the kite swaying from side to side at the lower limit of it's wind range. Inevitably, control was lost a few times and the hapless Delta got dragged off the verandah roof during some of these episodes. Excitement. Danger. Of sorts.

Finally, I was able to get a decent length of the spidery 20 pound Dacron out. This put the kite right over the neighbor's fence. After some edgy flying - captured on video - a moment of inattention resulted in another loss of control and a somewhat uncomfortable period of scraping and banging across unseen parts of our roof. And possibly the roof of our large shed as well, I don't really know.

Miraculously the bright orange 2-Skewer Delta kite survived unscathed. It popped into view then fell off the gutter as I continued to take line in. That'll do for today I thought. Quit while you're ahead and all that...

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 15, 2015

Flight Report:
Delta Dallies In Doubtful Draughts

OK, the title's pretty bad - but here you are ;-) So, the late afternoon was getting later, darker. And the breeze, much to my surprise, had freshened by a couple of kph at least. Well, well, that makes a change around this time of day.

For the first few launches Aren helped out, before being called inside. Ever hopeful, I remained out on the wet back lawn, launching the 2-Skewer kite from a resting-place against a swing-set seat. These launches were spectacular, having only a meter or two on either side until the kite flew clear of the house roof corner on one side and tall bushes on the other.

With enough height there was just enough movement in the air to keep the kite swaying from side to side at the lower limit of it's wind range. Inevitably, control was lost a few times and the hapless Delta got dragged off the verandah roof during some of these episodes. Excitement. Danger. Of sorts.

Finally, I was able to get a decent length of the spidery 20 pound Dacron out. This put the kite right over the neighbor's fence. After some edgy flying - captured on video - a moment of inattention resulted in another loss of control and a somewhat uncomfortable period of scraping and banging across unseen parts of our roof. And possibly the roof of our large shed as well, I don't really know.

Miraculously the bright orange 2-Skewer Delta kite survived unscathed. It popped into view then fell off the gutter as I continued to take line in. That'll do for today I thought. Quit while you're ahead and all that...

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 12, 2015

Ben Franklin Kite

Ever wanted to fairly accurately re-create the kite associated with that famous electricity experiment? Here's how - but don't fly it in a storm of course! ...

Continue reading "Ben Franklin Kite"

 

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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