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....

Feb 04, 2016

Flight Report:
Flat Box Kite Flies Briefly

This box kite being the first dowel version of the VPK (Video Platform Kite) design. A quite small bamboo skewer version has been flown but proved to be troublesome, needing plenty of breeze just to stay in the air. Too much bamboo and wood glue and not enough sail area was the problem. The current dowel kite is definitely more lightly loaded and should be large enough to try out various ideas in preparation for the final camera-carrying kite.

Rigging the dowel VPK took around 3 minutes. Not bad, but there's still room for improvement there. Being a non-rigid design, the kite was not as convenient to carry across the field as a conventional braced box kite. It might just be a matter of finding the best way to handle it though. This kite might have some quirks.

Most of the time the breeze was too light to attempt a launch. However, a few short hops were achieved as gusts rolled through. Just enough to get the bridle knots in roughly the right position and trim out a persistent turn to the right.

It was during the last short flight that I noticed a significant bend in the upper top horizontal spar as the kite loaded up in faster air. Aha! The internal bracing lines of the original old Barrage Kite design are very necessary it would seem! There will be only 2 such lines in my design, and they are very simple to add. Once adjusted correctly, they simply tighten up each time the kite takes to the air and do not require any attention during rigging.

Hopefully, with bracing lines in play, the next outing will see the kite soar high over the field. It will be interesting to see how well it does without a set of drogues trailing behind. For camera work, a kite like this would use drogues anyway, for extra smoothness of flight.

"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!

Feb 03, 2016

Mini Sled Kites

This is a previously published page which provides general info on most of the MBK Sled designs. Illustrated with photos and videos...

Continue reading "Mini Sled Kites"

Jan 31, 2016

Flight Report:
Huge Gusts But Good Flying

Down at Knox Park on the last Saturday of the month, as is my custom. There were just two of us this time - but several kites. First up was a star-shaped cellular design. After some experimentation with the bridling, it flew up willingly enough in the strongest gusts. Once above tree-top height, the nylon and fiberglass kite was occasionally erratic in the thermal turbulence, but managed to stay clear of the ground for a long time.

My Fresh Wind Sled was the largest kite on the field, at 1.8m (6ft) tall. Several attempts were required to get it airborne since the trees upwind were blocking a lot of the breeze. Finally the kite was away, trailing two bright orange drogues. Annoyingly, it had a slight but persistent pull to the left. So. out came my trusty carabiner and with it's help I pulled down the line while walking out to the kite...

A quick adjustment to the bridle knot and the big Sled was away once again. The spectacular climb right into some dazzling white clouds near the direction of the sun was captured on video.

After flying a white Multi-Fly Diamond by itself for a while, another one was added to the 50 pound Dacron flying line. The simple plastic-loop tails kept clear of the flying line most of the time. Foul-ups were easy to fix - and don't tend to happen at all in a smooth sea breeze.

Today's breeze was anything but smooth though! Puffy cumulus clouds were developing, sucking up great quantities of air and dumping it all around. If visible, it would have to be a fascinating sight.

A small Pterodactyl required a little towing to find better air, but it too was soon flying stable, above tree-top level. A streamer tail on each wing-tip was sufficient to keep the realistic creature kite steady.

Nice flying indeed, with pleasant air temperatures and minimal hassles.

"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!

Jan 27, 2016

Great Kites In 2008

A previously published page - some photos and commentary on kites we saw at the 2008 Adelaide International Kite Festival.

Continue reading "Great Kites In 2008"

Jan 20, 2016

Kite Reels

A previously published page, at a time when I jotted down some notes on the variety of high-end kite reels available from China. Some were so elaborate, they were comical - check out the photo at the bottom of the article!

Continue reading "Kite Reels"

Jan 16, 2016

Flight Report:
Final Tweaks To Multi-Fly Diamond

Now that it's coming to crunch-time, a few tweaks have been necessary in order to speed up production. Just when I was sure the design was finalized! So, some very significant gains have been made in this area, resulting in a kite that still looks almost identical to the previous design, in flight. To make sure it flew just as well, though, it had to be taken out for a test-fly. Of course!

Down at a local school oval, the wind was gusty, powering through the tree tops. Strong enough to really test the kite. Sure enough, there were a few problems early on with the kite spinning over to one side in the heaviest airflow. Some success was had with swapping side-tails over to compensate. Even so, there were a couple of close shaves with leafy trees leaping out to grasp the kite as it swooped low from time to time.

Not being completely satisfied with the kite's performance, I realized the dihedral could probably be slipped down a little more to really tighten up the leading edges of the sail. Cool feature hey? After doing this, the kite began to loop around, but... after returning the side-tails to 4-a-side, bingo! Straight flight most of the time, with no correction necessary.

As a further tweak, I tried changing the triple tail of 4-loops each to a single tail of 12 loops, but doubled up with both ends attached to the bottom of the kite. This was positive and I think will be the recommended configuration for single-kite flying in strong wind. And possibly 2-up as well.

"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!

Jan 13, 2016

Simple Sled Kite

A previously published flight report, shortly after the original Simple Sled design was created.

Continue reading "Simple Sled Kite"

Jan 10, 2016

Flight Report:
AKFA Kite Fly - Jan 2016

More like the AKFA mass kite sink-out, unfortunately... On approaching the beach by car, a couple of large kites could be seen, comfortably floating over the grassed area. Minutes later, however, they were both down and the guys were scrambling for lighter-wind kites to try. I had some Multi-Fly Diamonds on board, with another tail configuration all set for a try-out. It was not to be. Not today.

Instead, out came the trusty Multi-Dowel Sled. 2.4 meters (8 feet) in height when plugged together, and great in very light air. In no time, it was rigged and several attempts were made to launch. The dowel drums securing the spars were a little loose from many hours of flight time over several years, but what could possibly go wrong on such a light day with little direct sunlight to heat the ground?

Finally, the big Sled took to the sky, being climbed out with the help of a gentle puff of air and much walking-back and working the line. Above 100 feet it was just holding it's own, but a list to the left was not helping. So, down it came, for a quick bridle-knot re-adjustment. With some help from another AKFA member, a long-line launch soon had the ponderous blue Sled back up, inching past the light grey backdrop of mid-level cloud.

For quite some time, the Sled plus a large Delta Conyne were able to hang up there at just under 300 feet of altitude. Finally, a bit of excitement...

The cloud cover burnt off and the sun blazed down. Strong thermal activity began and soon the Multi-Dowel Sled began to overfly on its 200 pound Dacron line. While directly in line with the early-afternoon sun, the kite flew out of the rising air and in all the free-falling shuffling around of the plastic and dowel, all 3 drums worked loose and the kite folded in half! Amazingly, it continued to fly for a while with the upper half folded back over the lower half. A quick, pull-in of all the line was all that could be done, but on retrieving the kite (thanks Mike) no damage could be seen.

At least something flew for while!

"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!

 

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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