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....

Oct 18, 2017

Kiting Accessories and Materials

This previously published page has info and links for everything except complete kites. See what 'serious' kite fliers take with them to the field ;-)

Continue reading "Kiting Accessories and Materials"

Oct 16, 2017

Global News Report:
"Fishin' For Smiles"

Swinging back to the USA, this is a fantastic story which could well interest a few people in flying kite trains...

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Some of us, most of us, brush our teeth every day. Some of us do the dishes every day. Some of us exercise every day. Many certainly use our smartphones every day.

Rodney Reece?

He flies kites. Every. Single. Day.

Every single day since Jan. 17, 2015, that is. Which means Thursday will be day No. 1,000.

A record of some sort?

It’s certainly a record for Reece, a 66-year-old retired mail carrier from Eugene who can be seen around town flying his “dollar-store” kites, as many as 50 or more at a time on a single string. He plans to submit evidence (in the form of daily videos) of his hobby to the Guinness Book of World Records after he hits day no. 1,096 on Jan. 16.

Why that day? Because that would make three years of daily kite-flying.

“Seems like a good, solid number,” Reece said last week, flying his kites for a 994th day in a row on Chad Drive in northeast Eugene.

What’s the current world record for consecutive days flying a kite? There doesn’t seem to be one — not officially anyway.

Guinness has four kite records listed on its website, including highest ever flown and largest ever flown but nothing for consecutive days flown.

“I haven’t found one for consecutive days, anywhere,” Reece said. “I may have had the record (after just) 10 days, I don’t know,” he added with a laugh.

The executive director of the American Kitefliers Association, Daniel Prentice, said it no longer keeps records.

However, a 2002 story in The Oklahoman newspaper told of a Woodward, Okla., man who was trying to break the world record of another Oklahoma man, E.W. Redmond of Tulsa, known as the “kite gypsy,” who had flown kites 1,296 straight days before dying in 2001 during his streak.

The story said Redmond’s record was recognized by the American Kitefliers Association, although the organization said then that neither it nor anyone was officially in charge of kite-flying records.

So, it’s conceivable that Reece could submit his evidence next year with Guinness and find himself a world-record holder. ...

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SOURCE: The Register-Guard

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/36039920-75/go-fly-a-kite-eugene-man-has-done-it-every-day-for-nearly-three-years.html.csp

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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!

Oct 11, 2017

The Sled Kite

This previously published page gives some background on this super-simple but therefore convenient type of kite. There have been an amazing number of design variations tried, over the years!

Continue reading "The Sled Kite"

Oct 08, 2017

Flight Report:
The Thickening Blue Line

It was the second Sunday of the month when club members gather at a beach location to fly...

Aren and I arrived a bit late, around 2pm. There had been some breeze around 12pm apparently, but now the air was very dead. Well, perhaps just a whiff of 2kph every couple of minutes. Grass blades dropped to the ground tended to plummet directly down with no detectable downwind direction!

After half an hour of no action, Mike decided to call it a day, having flown earlier. The rest of us hung on. And not in vain as it turned out...

A thin dark blue line had appeared on the horizon, signalling faster air contacting the water in the gulf. We kept an eye on it, but it was an exercise in patience. A light breeze many kilometers away takes a while to arrive!

At first it was unclear whether anything was happening out there, but finally Aren was pretty sure the dark line had thickened.

Time ticked. Kite talk flowed. Palm fronds across the road indicated the barest of air movement in the pleasantly warm and sunny conditions.

But finally, something did happen. The darkened region of sea water had now overtaken some boats in the distance. It was oh so subtle, but the average breeze strength had crept up by a kph or 2.

I decided to pull out the MBK Parafoil, not really expecting to succeed. However, it proceeded to hang in the air on several meters of line. 5kph! That's what it takes for this kite to stay off the grass, having measured it last month at this very location.

Trev was next, diving into his car for the ripstop-nylon Dowel Delta. With the delta up and away on the smooth light breeze, Cristina was next with a colorful retail delta. No problems at all - although it was only just flying.

Finally, Trev pulled out a light-wind Eagle which also went up nicely.

For an hour or so it made an attractive sight - 4 contrasting kites hovering on steep lines, quite close together. But never a tangle, thanks to the smooth sea air. The sight prompted the occasional comment from adults and children walking by. Meanwhile, the breeze freshened further, just a little, so in the end it was a thoroughly successful club kite fly!

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!

Oct 04, 2017

Rokkaku Kite Plans

This previously published page has plans for all the MBK Rokkaku kites. Except for the huge Multi-Dowel Rokkaku which you can find in the e-book 'Making Dowel Kites'.

Continue reading "Rokkaku Kite Plans"

Oct 04, 2017

Flight Report:
Finally, The Right Sled

Just on impulse I searched the web for high-wind Sled kite designs...

One in particular seemed very promising, having a huge claimed wind range. Now, with everything in 40 gsm paper, my version was not going to match the claims - but would it do better than my several attempts so far?

The design was an old Allison 2-sticker. My current designs were quite similar, right down to the angled longerons. But perhaps this classic one was tuned to perfection...

After getting busy with fresh sheets of paper, scissors, tape and polyester thread, a new Sled was soon ready to fly. I had a good feeling about this. For one thing, the flying area was somewhat less than my original Sled, which would help the thread stay in one piece at the upper end of the wind range. The classic version flew tail-less, but I retained a 50 cm long curtain of 1cm ribbons to keep that weighty sail from swinging around too much.

Down at the park, the breeze was initially too light to make much progress with testing. But then, with distant rain clouds approaching, the wind whipped up. Gusts were well into the 20's in kph, moving the tree tops. And the little Sled loved it!

For quite a few minutes it was a pleasure to watch and feel the Sled surging around on more than 30 meters (100 feet) of the thinnest cheapest polyester sewing thread. It held. The design is nailed. I thought it was nailed before, but the original kite was hindered by an excessively long and heavy tail that was needed to keep it stable. Also, the problem with frequent line breakages due to too much line tension. It's all good now, although tangles and knots could still part the line in fresh wind.

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!

Oct 03, 2017

Global News Report:
Back To The Birthplace

Well, as far as we know, kiting started in China several thousand years ago. Here's some more recent activity...

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(This one caption was repeated under 5 images - at least they were good ones! Plus an unexpected twist or two...)

"Participants fly kites in a kite competition in Xingren County, Southwest China’s Guizhou Province, Sept. 27, 2017. More than 30 teams competed with 368 kites of various designs in the contest. (Photo: China News Service/He Junyi)"

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SOURCE: Global Times

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1068620.shtml

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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!

Oct 02, 2017

Global News Report:
Kites in Kathmandu

Here's just the first few paras of a very informative look at the past and present kiting scene in Nepal, which borders India...

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"Kites have always been a serious business,” says Sundar Man Manandar who owns a kite shop in Kalimati, Kathmandu. Recollecting his childhood memories, Manandar states, “Flying kites was not just a game but it used to be an intense combat among neighbors and friends.”

When he was a child, the festive season of Dashain meant fun and excitement which inevitably meant kites. He remembers the clear blue skies of Kathmandu being filled with colors during this time of the year. “Kathmandu had many open spaces back during those days,” says Manandar.

“It wasn’t unusual for us to spoil other’s paddy fields by stepping on them in order to win a kite fight and we would often get beaten up in the process,” he adds. Their main motive was to win by entangling other kite. Once the opponent’s kite fell, Manandar along with his friends would run across the cultivated fields to capture the defeated kite. “The opponent’s kite would then be ours. It used to be a real battle,” he says.

Winning the kite fights was not easy. It required a lot of specialized tricks. The most effective one was to rub the kite string with a paste of pearl tapioca, egg and powdered glass known as ‘manjha’. This would make the string extremely strong. Manandar’s father used to personally make those threads coated with ‘manjha’ and sell it at his shop. These threads are now not made in Nepal as they are imported from Bareilly in India.

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SOURCE: myRepublica

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://www.myrepublica.com/news/27999/

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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!

Oct 01, 2017

Flight Report:
Weird Air Over Knox Park

Down at Knox Park for my usual end-of-month kite fly, the breeze was looking promising...

First up was the Fresh Wind Sled, to test the breeze. Soon, after some faffing around in wind shadow, the big Sled with twin orange drogues was comfortable around 200 ft over the grass.

A sharp wind gradient was evident as usual at this location. Once you get a big kite above tree height, hold on!

Some large shifts in wind direction were not so usual, but I put it down to thermal activity. There was quite a bit of fluffy cumulus cloud cover here and there.

Butch, visiting from Washington State in the USA, had a Pocket Sled or something very similar. Just the thing when circumstances limit you to what can be carried in a pocket!

Trev arrived and put up a Light-Wind Eagle. At times the kite was coping with a little more than a Light breeze but it stayed up well.

With the big Sled parked way up and giving a good indication of wind speed and direction, I pulled out the Paper Sled Mk2. After a considerable amount of flying with the first Paper Sled it was clear that it pulled a little too hard in the Moderate range of wind speeds. The polyester thread had snapped several times. Tsk tsk. Mk2 has about 40% less sail area which should fix the problem.

The little Sled danced around on plenty of thread but had insufficient stability to climb much. So, although it flew well in Gentle wind speeds it needs more tail to stay straight in stronger breezes. Easily fixed.

After a couple of hours the breeze started to die and the big Sled had to be re-launched a few times.

Eventually, leaving the Sled on the grass, I rigged and launched the huge Multi-Dowel Rokkaku. The 2.4m span blue Rok did well in the light breeze. However, the packing tape edging was showing its age by peeling off more and more as time went on! Time for a re-fit.

As an experiment, the Rok was anchored by a small but very weighty vice. Not completely successful, since the vice got dragged down a short grassy slope for a few meters!

Late in the afternoon the wind started behaving strangely. Thermal activity seemed very unlikely and yet the kites started getting pushed overhead with chaotic results. Wind direction and strength started shifting all around and stronger gusts managed to reach right down low over the field. I had a bit of fun with a Tyvek and dowel Roller which flew steeply on 50 pound Dacron.

Despite a period of rather light wind and some crazy weird air later on, it was a decent kite fly.

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!

Sep 27, 2017

Kite Flying Stories

This previously published page is an oldie. But it's a series of snapshots of an earlier time in my family's kite-flying activities. Worth a read if you are involved with small kites and small kite-fliers!

Continue reading "Kite Flying Stories"

 

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."

_________________

"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."

_________________

"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!"

_________________

"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