Kites: Site Blog

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

Keeping you up to date with our Flight Report posts and activities of AKFA (Adelaide Kite Flyers Association). Plus interesting kite-related news stories from around the world. Finally, there will be occasional contributions from visitors, which often includes photos or links to videos.

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 23, 2017

The Classic Cody Kite

This previously published page gives a quick insight into the structure and materials of the original 'War Kites' by Samuel Cody. Plus some history and photos of course. Intriguing stuff...

Continue reading "The Classic Cody Kite"

Aug 23, 2017

Flight Report:
Parafoil 3 First Flights

The object today was simply to get photos. And some videos for good measure...

Pausing on the concrete steps halfway down to the sand, the breeze was measured with the wind meter. The spinning cups indicated around 15 kph and gusting to 19 kph. That was close to perfect for this kite, although the wind strength would measure slightly lower down on the beach.

With it's drogue already attached, the new Parafoil popped effortlessly into the air straight after the flying line went on. A couple of guys walking along the beach had seen me attaching the line and at first thought I was doing a spot of fishing!

Plenty of photos were taken, from various angles as the kite flew on only several meters of line. The smooth south westerly was making the job easy. Picking up my bag and the winder while the kite continued to float, it was also easy to find another spot to fly. Down the beach a bit, where the background had some interesting features.

A video was taken while the Parafoil soared around on a somewhat longer line. Then it was time to pack up and shift to another location altogether. Inland...

At the reserve, a line of massive cumulus clouds rose past a line of trees at the far boundary. With the kite on a short line I was able to take photos from some higher ground to get a more picturesque perspective.

Finally, with around 60 meters (200 feet) of line out, another movie was taken. Arriving home, an online check revealed that the air near that location had been moving at 18 kph and gusting to 22 kph. However, it seemed like there was some lively thermal activity going on as well. Hence the Parafoil might have been hit with significantly stronger gusts from time to time. I'm glad the packing tape held since the line sometimes went very tight with the kite up over 100 feet!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"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 22, 2017

Global News Report:
Indian Kite-Flying - Shocking!

Metallic kite flying line and electricity grids don't mix well...

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NEW DELHI: Independence Day is here and kites have returned to add colour to the city's skies.

Vaibhav Gandhi (16) from Paharganj, who came out to buy kites with his brother, said: "Every year, we assemble on the terrace of our house and fly kites from 5am. It is like a big party for us," he said.

While flying kites isn't dangerous, the continued use of banned metal-coated manjhas lead to multiple cases of electrocution and several instances of power tripping. Last year, over 135 cases of power tripping were reported on Independence Day by three discoms and two children in Khera Garhi were electrocuted while flying kites. Around 500 birds were also injured in old Delhi.

Sachin Gupta, president of Hathkarga Laghu Patang Udyog Samiti said the ban on metallic manjha has affected their business. "All the old and established shops of the area have stopped selling Chinese, metallic or nylon manjhas. We are only insisting on cotton manjha of Bareilly. Though there are a few who are still selling the ban product."

While for Vaibav the occasion is a big party, for many shopkeepers it's not the same. "I have been setting up kite stalls every year. The business this year has been the worst," said Naseem, a shopkeeper in old Delhi. Despite penal provisions under Electricity Act and Delhi Police Act for disrupting power supply and causing damage to power equipment, people continue to use banned manjha leading to frequent tripping of power lines.

"Tripping of one 33kV overhead line can disrupt supply to over 10,000 residents. Last year, there were around 28 such instances in the BSES areas. This year, we have put our teams on high alert to take care of any kite flying-related contingencies," a spokesperson said. Tata Power Delhi had witnessed 107 trippings between August 10 and August 18 last year.

The discoms have asked people to resist from using metallic manjhas and requested elders to counsel children not to enter barricaded electrical installations to retrieve kites.

The areas under Tata Power Delhi that are prone to these accidents are Burari, Wazirabad, Vijay Vihar, Ramesh Nagar, Ranjeet Nagar, Pooth Khurd, Nathupura, Holambi, Shakurbasti, Pitampura village, Mangolpuri, Sultanpuri, Kirari, Nithari, Begumpur, Budh Vihar , Mukherjee Nagar, Gopalpur village and Jheel. Under BSES, Daryaganj, Chandni Chowk, Paharganj, Seelampur, Patparganj, Jangpura, Vikaspuri, Alaknanda and Vasant Kunj are the red zones.

"We have been conducting workshops and nukkad nataks in 181 schools across our jurisdiction to sensitise 70,000 children. We advise residents not to fly kites near electricity installations, including overhead cables and certainly avoid using metal-coated manjha," a discom official said.

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SOURCE: The Times Of India

URL (full story and/or photos, video): hhttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/why-kites-may-leave-you-powerless/articleshow/60065743.cms

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"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 21, 2017

Flight Report:
Some Kites Just Need The Beach

The local kite club bought a load of second hand gear - including kites - from interstate some months ago...

With the power supposedly being cut sometime between 8am and 3pm today, it was an opportunity to do something off-line. Several large kites from Queensland were lying packed away in the shed. It was time to pull out one or two and see what condition they were in. And, possibly, get one in the air...

The first craft to be unrolled and rigged was a large single-liner with 2 bowed horizontal spars and several battens. Interesting! The outline was an odd low-aspect-ratio shape - nothing standard like a Diamond or Rokkaku. The owner had a huge amount of bow in the lower spar but I guess he did it in response to the kite's behavior in the air. In fact, a small loop knot had been tied into the bow-line to pull even more curvature into the glass-fiber tube. Only the horizontal spars had been removed from the sail to allow the kite to be packed away.

Two tails were included with the kite...

One tail was a series of panels that formed a long rectangular shape. Thin fiberglass rods were arranged horizontally at regular intervals to hold the material flat.

The other tail was a series of Diamonds, nose to tail. Each Diamond shape had it's own little horizontal spar. Like the big long rectangle, the whole thing just rolled up for storage.

Down at the reserve...

After the breeze picked up and proved too much for my super-light-wind Dowel Diamond, the big battened kite was rigged. On some dry leaves and twigs away from the damp grass. With just the rectangular tail attached, the colorful kite seemed a little too unstable to risk flying it high. So, after attaching the nose-to-tail Diamonds as well, up the craft went for a more full-blooded attempt.

To cut a long story short as they say - the big kite didn't cope well with inland gusty air. The front end would twist and luff occasionally, sometimes coming close to pulling the kite into a dive. Eventually, that's exactly what happened - a nose-over followed by a steep dive into a wet section of the field. The nose pocket buried itself 8cm (3 inches) into the mud. At least that might have prevented any damage!

Despite this experience, I'm confident that this kite will behave itself in a smooth sea breeze. Anything in the Gentle to Moderate ranges should keep this kite up. And it does look good in the air!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"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 19, 2017

Flight Report:
Sunny And Light For Della Porta

Winter-like weather has been the norm here for many weeks. But today was sunny with very light winds. A rare opportunity to take out the tail-less Della Porta variant with it's latest mini-bridle configuration.

Originally the flying line was attached to a short line from the spar crossing-point. That proved too far aft so now there is a little Y-bridle attached 11cm from the crossing point. One knot brings the lines together while the other one holds the flying line. Using a Lark's Head of course.

Stepping out onto the damp grass of a nearby school oval, the wind didn't really know which way to blow. Being well under 5 kph in strength, the breeze would sometimes hold the kite up as it sat on it's trailing edge, leaning into the wind at about 30 degrees from vertical. And staying there for quite a few seconds!

Eventually some promising puffs of breeze came through and up went the big Della Porta. When in a nose-up attitude, the kite would climb very willingly. Even so, just a few extra kph would bend the spars and abruptly end the climb.

It's all a bit of a trade-off...

The current combination of weight, spar strength and towing point position should make for a lot of enjoyment when winds are under 10kph. Smooth or gusty, the kite seems stable enough to cope.

Havimg measured 3.5kph gustiing to around 5 kph at shoulder level, the kite was happy sitting at a roughly 40 degree line angle on it's 50 pound Dacron line. So, still not the most efficient kite but perhaps a couple of extra kph would push it over 45 degrees. And of course, the frame isn't carrying super-light Icarex material yet!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"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, 2017

Rokkaku Kite

This previously published page is full of general info on this type of kite, including some history. With a video clip and a good photo, it's worth checking out...

Continue reading "Rokkaku Kite"

Aug 15, 2017

Global News Report:
Kites Vs Seagulls

Kites can sometimes be put to very practical uses. As demonstrated by these English business people...

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Businesses are resorting to sky high ideas to keep seagulls and pigeons from hassling customers in Gloucester as the city is once again plagued by the nuisance birds.

As part of their migratory cycle, hundreds of gulls have been nesting around the western side of the city, particularly around The Docks and Bristol Road area.

And with the animal’s arrival comes complaints about the noise and mess they make.

Now numerous companies along the city’s industrial area of Bristol Road are taking a novel approach to the problem by pitching kites on top of their buildings, shaped like birds of prey.

The kites help ward off the gulls who think they are predators and have proved to have had some success.

Chris Mullins Tyres in Bristol Road is one such business which used the kite after customers cars kept being covered in bird mess.

“The seagulls are everywhere in Gloucester,” said a spokesman.

“They are a bit of a nightmare because of the mess they make on our customers’ cars.

“It does work though, I have seen a few businesses doing it along Bristol Road.”

It's like Hitchock's The Birds: Why are there so many gulls in Gloucester Docks?

For its part Gloucester City Council tries to curb the numbers visiting the city by painting the birds’ eggs so they do not hatch, or replacing them with duff ones.

Last year they it cleared 2,023 eggs and 881 nests from the roofs of 138 businesses.

It has also used real birds of prey at times to disrupt the birds.

Councillor Richard Cook, cabinet member for environment at Gloucester City Council, said: “The council carries out a number of measures to try and reduce the breeding population in the city, including the removal of eggs and nests from the key nesting sites and we also use of birds of prey to disrupt the birds

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SOURCE: Gloucestershire Live

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/gloucester-firms-using-kites-ward-304776

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"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 13, 2017

Flight Report:
AKFA Northern Kite Fly - Aug 2017

The forecast was for rain nearly every day for a week - but Sunday afternoon itself put on some great kite flying weather...

On turning up just after mid-day, several big kites were up. Mike had a large flat 10-cell Parafoil hovering over the grass and Andy had a Peter Lynn pilot kite up there also. People walking by were suitably impressed with the large Tiger inflatable hanging from the yellow Pilot kite's line.

However, a change was on the way which played havoc with the big kites. The ample breeze strength died off and then wind speed was all over the place for a while. At one point it even seemed like turbulence hit the kites, sending them off in random directions. The large Parafoil came down over the fence and onto the dunes.

Meanwhile Cristina was flying a very nice Rokkaku which was attached at a single point. This kite was coping well with everything the breeze was doing.

Down on the sand, Trev had a light-wind Eagle in the air - before it was overpowered by a fresher period of wind. His Pterodactyl also got some air time.

Personally, I pulled out my MBK Octopus for a while and flew it on a short line. Space was getting cramped with so many kites in the grassy area.

Mark had his Elephant Parafoil in the air too. A trunk for a tail!

Before the wind change, a fresh period snapped the line on the Rok and deposited it against a tree across the Esplanade - 20 meters (6 feet) up! Just 2 minutes before typing this, Mike messaged me with the news he finally got it down. With a slingshot and line I believe. Good news since the Rok was a pricey custom job.

Eventually the wind settled down and came in smoothly from the NW at Gentle strength (below 20 kph).

For an hour or more 4 kites flew - Trev's Star box, my MBK Parachute, Mark's Flowform with twin tube tails and also Mark's multi-colored Parafoil.Upwind of us was a dual line soft stunt kite, being flown with a deft touch.

With the temperature between 22 and 23 degrees C and thin patches of cloud sailing past above, it was the best weather we've had at an AKFA fly for a while.

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"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 10, 2017

Flight Report - Octopus Kite Sails Above Spray

The third prototype MBK Octopus kite posed for photos low down, but ended up sailing high over ocean spray as waves rolled in.

Continue reading "Flight Report - Octopus Kite Sails Above Spray"

Aug 09, 2017

Kite Tails

This previously published page details how to make linked-loop kite tails from plastic bags. I used these a lot on my 1 and 2-Skewer designs. An easy and useful technique that's handy for small to mid-sized single line kites. It would be interesting to mix it up with different colored bags!

Continue reading "Kite Tails"

 

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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E-books


Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





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."

_________________

"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"




Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7