Welcome to this Site Blog on kites. The bigger the better in our view! Are you keen on KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) in particular?
This page will keep you right up to date with our Flight Report posts, new KAP pages added to the site 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. I'm sure you'll find them to be a good read!)
Here's all the latest posts - enjoy....
This was a rushed affair, so we just had time to grab the Paper Sled and camera. Although there was only very light air movement, I figured we could always tow the little kite up for some video if necessary. And that's precisely what happened...
Down at a local school oval, the Sled was laid own on the grass with quite a few meters of line laid out. The humblest of flying line and winder, being polyester sewing thread wound onto a long rectangle of thick cardboard. My 8 yr-old son Aren was ready to do the videography with our camera.
The Sled is made from a single sheet of A$ paper, which is a very similar size to Letter in the U.S. Sharp creases form the 2 spars, so it's kind of half-way between a sparred kite and a 'soft' one.
The first launch was perfect. A slight puff of breeze helped the kite soar straight up to a respectable angle. Then I just let the kite drift to the ground as a piece of paper. Spinning and rocking like a falling leaf.
A second flight was similar. And then a third flight was extended by jogging around for a while with the kite in tow. After letting it fly sideways for a while, it collapsed almost to the ground. However, with a small tug on the thread it was off again - this time in the opposite direction. Eventually the small white Sled climbed high and then I let it fall flightless all the way to where my boy was standing with the camera.
Fun can be had with kites of any size!
About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Usually, video and/or photos from this flying session are posted a few days later on the MBK Facebook Page.
An old Flight Report featuring the 1.2m ( 4ft) span Dowel Diamond...
KAP: Looking North along Brighton beach in Adelaide. The jetty many hundreds of meters away, but visible in some shots.
Part of an Adelaide Kite Festival report, done in 2008. The long Dragon was unforgettable...
Aren and I turned up at the beach near Fort Glanville where at first there only seemed to be one large kite flying. A black scuba-diver with white jellyfish trailing behind moved fluidly as 'line laundry' suspended from the flying line of a large parafoil. Plus a large inflated fish was suspended near the anchor point. Close enough for kids to touch!
After a walk around, we noticed other kites too, further down the beach. A small stunt Delta was zipping around silently. Much further to the South, and not connected with the AKFA event, many kite-surfers were enjoying the smooth moderate to fresh breeze.
Having found a good open location down on the sand, we set up the Peter Powell MkIII. The very latest version of the amazingly successful original which shot to popularity in the 70's and 80's.
A steerable foil was being flown just upwind of us. These soft kites apparently pull a lot harder than sparred stunt kites of an equivalent size.
Finally, we headed back to the small grassed area where the AKFA banner had been flying on a pole and kicked a ball around for a few minutes. A couple of small Delta kites were just managing to stay in the air. The wind strength was getting a bit much, plus turbulence was coming of the low dunes nearby.
Having brought the 1.2m (4 ft) long Dowel Box kite, it seemed like a good opportunity to put it up. No real problems with that, but it did get forced all over the place in the freshening breeze, and on a rather short line. Flying low makes for clearer and more interesting videos you see...
The wind meter registered 23 kph gusting to 31 kph, held above my head. On arriving home and checking the weather online, the gust strength had climbed into the mid-forties an hour or two later!
"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!
This page links out to several flight reports done over the last couple of years. Story, photo and video of each Dopero-based design - 1-Skewer (29cm), 2-Skewer (58cm) and Dowel (1.2m)...
Another brief but enjoyable session while shopping was taking place at another location ;-) The 2-Skewer Rokkaku was pulled out this time, since the breeze didn't seem excessive in strength. After flying the kite around on a short line near one edge of a school oval, it was decided to move further out. The air was just too rough, due to some rather tall and leafy trees upwind!
With perhaps 15 or 20 meters (60 feet) of line out, and anchored to my shoe, the 60cm (2ft) span kite flew all over the place. The breeze was gusty and pushing over 25kph at times. Quite a test for the Rok which does best in light winds. But it was coping.
Due to the warm weather there was a bit of trouble with old bits of electrical tape coming off at the spar tips, but I just squeezed them back on and kept flying. The Rokkaku kite, in traditional dimensions, is an amazingly stable tail-less kite. It will stay up all day on a long line in light winds. Or moderate winds, if built a little heavier.
Checking the wind meter which I had parked on a log fence, it had registered an average of 11kph gusting to 24kph. Pretty ideal for most kites, if a little on the strong side for most of my light-wind designs!
About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Usually, video and/or photos are posted a few days later on the MBK Facebook Page. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.
This outing was at first intended to test a mod that had been done to the Carbon Diamond #2. However, the extreme gustiness and sheer wind speed resulted in a nose-in while the kite was still on a short line. Thankfully, the only damage was the lower tip of the vertical spar tube punching through the 2 layers of Tyvek of the lower corner strap.
So, out with the backup kite - the Fresh Wind Dowel Box!
This was an opportunity for this kite to really live up to its name. Rather than struggle with rigging out in the open, I retreated to the nearby toilet block. Soon, crouched outside right next to a wall, the Box was ready.
Launching was very easy, even between gusts! While letting out line, the kite dove off to the left a bit further than expected. Not usually a problem, but on its way back the kite charged straight through the twigs of a long tree branch. This pointed it towards the ground so the kite contacted the grass nose-first. Fortunately, this was during a brief lull so no damage was done. A slow-speed version of what happened to the Diamond earlier!
After this, the high-performance 2-cell dowel-and-plastic box kite was in its element. Charging around in the gusts, soaring high and sinking out on a slack line during sudden drops in wind speed. A couple of times, the kite was forced into a power dive to the right, almost to the grass. Each time, in the slower air, natural stability kicked in and the kite was soon up high again.
Naturally, I was taking video of these antics. The wind spilling around the camera itself made plenty of noise. However, from time to time, the mic also recorded the noisy fluttering of the plastic sails... The kite was picking up speed like a stunter!
There wasn't time on this occasion to let the kite up much higher, after taking video on a line length of just under 30 meters (100 feet). Had a date with my wife in a supermarket, you see...
A hurried wind speed check at shoulder height showed a gust to 31kph. After arriving home later, it turned out the gusts higher up were around 40 kph. Box kite weather, 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 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!