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....

Apr 27, 2015

Flight Report:
Sode Kite Roof-Top Escapades

A large mass of low gray cloud had just passed over, accompanied by a freshening of the gusty light breeze through our back yard. Aren and I had taken out the 58cm (23") 2-Skewer Sode for a spot of white-knuckle roof-top flying. Flying over the roof-top that is, not from it! As it turned out, the kite did end up dragged into the gutter a couple of times, but it escaped injury.

We both had turns flying while the other took some video on the camera. The last clip showed the kite being flown several meters over the roof, before a lull forces a pull-in of line. Which resulted in a nice close-up of the bright orange Sode as it floated down past the gutter and then hovered over our side lawn in a fortuitous puff of air.

One of the dangers was getting the loop tail caught on the TV aerial, but the Sode managed to evade that one. Another danger was swirling air looping the kite onto the roof tiles. That did happen once! On another occasion, Aren allowed the kite to sink out onto the flat verandah. But each time it was possible to gently prise the kite out of the gutter after it got pulled there by the flying line.

The 2-Skewer Sode kite is now safely back on the wall in the living-room.

"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 also get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe the value on offer in that message series!

Apr 25, 2015

Flight Report:
Fresh Wind Sled Pulls Hard

Turning up to my customary monthly Saturday afternoon at Knox Park, the sky was still threatening to rain and fresh gusts were moving tree-tops around. Having seen even worse weather earlier in the day, I had brought the Fresh Wind Sled and the Fresh Wind Barn Door kites along. To be on the safe side, the trusty hose-reel carrying 200 pound Dacron was also in the car.

Perhaps inspired by the sight of a kite in the sky, another flyer turned up almost immediately, with a medium-sized retail Diamond. This kite proceeded to cope quite well with the conditions, but was forced down by some of the heaviest gusts when a squall came through later.

Meanwhile, the big Sled just tightened up the line and rode the wind at a 60 degree line angle. Drogues and all! A few minutes with the spring scales attached revealed a maximum momentary pull of 11kg. That must be a record for this kite! For much of the time, the tension hovered around 6 - 8 kg.

The wind speed peaked in the mid-twenties in kph between the two squalls that went over. During the squalls, it was more like the mid to high thirties. I actually took the kite down at one stage due to a light misty rain that began to fall. Thankfully the shower was short-lived and both kites - the Sled and the other guy's Diamond went up again.

The Sled had spent almost an hour on 100 meters (330ft) of line. Not a bad outing, despite the Wintery feel.

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.

Apr 23, 2015

Flight Report:
Big Roks Make Good Bill-Boards

The big Multi-Dowel Rokkaku has recently been re-fitted with a heavier lower horizontal spar. Even more recently, I made a large stencil spelling out 'my-best-kite.com' and applied it with wide-nibbed permanent markers onto the center portion of the kite. Huge solid black letters onto pale blue drop-sheet plastic.

Today has been the first opportunity to fly this 2.4m (8ft) span kite since it has a somewhat narrow wind range. But boy does it love light air, going directly overhead at the slightest whiff of a thermal. Even weak winter ones, like today...

With an inconsistent and very light breeze wafting across the cracked but grassy surface, it took a few attempts to get the large Rokkaku kite up into better air. The more rearwards center of gravity really showed as the kite was very controllable while tail-sliding away on a slack line. General stability was also much improved, from previous experience. And just as well, too, when the line went slack while the kite was directly overhead at 300 feet! Dives and tight circles always ended in smooth recoveries.

The breeze at ground level was about 5kph gusting to 7kph, although an online weather station not far away was recording gusts to 13kph, higher up. The mid-teens is about it for this kite, even with the beefed-up spar. Attaching the spring scales, the big Rokkaku was able to climb slowly on a tension of 3kg and the heaviest gust popped the reading just over 7kg.

At modest line angles, this kite is now very steady and predictable, like its smaller Dowel Rokkaku cousin of 1.2m (4ft) span.

Regarding the lettering... If anyone is watching me fly, they can't miss the name of the website now!

"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 also get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe the value on offer in that message series!

Apr 22, 2015

Roller Kites

A previously published page which gives some background on our three published Roller kite designs. Includes photos and video, if you like Rollers!

Continue reading "Roller Kites"

Apr 20, 2015

Flight Report:
Pint-Size Peter Powell Pilot Performs Perfectly

Humor me, it's my blog page. And I'll alliterate the titles if I want to :-)

Nine year old Aren spent most of the time on the handles this afternoon, in moderate to fresh winds. Rather gusty and inconsistent too. The Peter Powell Sky Master MkIII did everything from barely hang in the air to accelerating strongly away in any desired direction. Aren has seen me land the kite off to one side, and today he very competently performed his own landing on the damp grass.

Setup just gets faster all the time with this stunt kite. Familiarity speeds things up and a little trick comes in handy too... Reversing the handles allows the lines to pull straight off them when backing away from the rigged kite. You could jog backwards and it would still work!

I flew first for a couple of minutes. It was immediately clear that we had forgotten something - the loooong tubular tail! After landing the kite we rectified that situation before Aren took the handles for a while. He had fun doing daring Vertical Eights and generally flying around at all heights.

Aren had to struggle at times to keep the kite under control during lulls in the breeze. In fact, he needed a re-launch once or twice. At other times he enjoyed ample line tension, but somewhat short of the heaviest he has ever experienced. There was a time down at the beach when this kite nearly made him lose his footing! It's on video, in an old old FB post.

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.

Apr 20, 2015

My kite spine is in two parts

Q: My kite spine is in two parts so I have a 4 way connector to hold them and the other two spars. Unfortunately I have lost the connector and cannot

Continue reading "My kite spine is in two parts"

Apr 19, 2015

Flight Report:
Breeze Buffets Brave Box Kite

Just had to have a little fun with alliteration in that title. Anyway...

The purpose of the outing was actually to test another kite in fresh wind. But before getting busy with that, it was time to take a few movies with the Dowel Box on just 10 or 15 meters (50ft) of line. Unfortunately, the sun was in an awkward position and hence most of the footage featured an invisible kite being carefully followed around the sky. It occasionally made an appearance when close to the ground, or off to one side against a patch of blue!

Even on a much longer length of line, the results were not too different, so all the movie files ended up being deleted once checked at home.

Perhaps I should have let the kite right up to 200 feet or more, since it eventually nose-dived into the damp ground, snapping the upper tip of the top main spar. It's been a good reliable kite, but box designs do move around a lot in turbulent air while down low.

Funny thing is, the Dowel Box took off again in a hefty gust and continued flying for many minutes while I was busy with the other kite being tested! Despite the top 2 sides of the upper cell being folded inwards, right back to the vertical cross-piece.

The breeze was gusting into the mid-thirties in kph. Buffeting the brave Box kite ;-)

Just before going home an older kid walked past and commented on the prototype kite being tested - 'good kite'. After another moment of checking it out, flying smoothly and high in the fresh breeze, it was pronounced 'heaps good!' Nice feedback indeed.

"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 also get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe the value on offer in that message series!

Apr 15, 2015

Anthony Thyssen

A previously published interview with Anthony Thyssen, Australian owner of an old and influential kite website. 'Old' is good! It has tons of great info, and you can find it via the interview page...

Continue reading "Anthony Thyssen"

 

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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