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....

May 21, 2016

Flight Report:
Slipped Out With The Soft Sled

It's been a while since flying anything at all, so out I walked to a nearby vacant block. The local council has a complete disregard for the needs of kite-fliers, planting trees across various plots of land - including this one. Tsk tsk where will it end.

Today was sunny and breezy but the next couple of days will have rain. So it was fly now or not for a while.

First up was the 60cm (2ft) tall MBK Soft Sled. After an initial attempt to get the kite away, I walked out to the middle of the small block and tried again. Few problems this time, as the small orange Sled caught a decent gust and line was steadily let out.

Soon the kite was flying on somewhat more than 60 meters (200 feet) of line, pulling left in the strongest air. Rather than fiddle with the bridle, I will experiment with slightly closing the smaller opening of the right hand inflatable spar. This should produce more drag on that side of the kite. A neater solution than a lop-sided bridle adjustment. It might take a few tries to get the opening size right though.

The Sled was flying reliably, if somewhat off to one side at times. I also put up it's small cousin - an identical but only 25cm tall version! The tiny Soft Sled - also tail-less - flew around for a while on a 20 pound Dacron line.

My thought was to get some video of both kites, with the 20 pound line's length adjusted so both kites appeared the same size in the air. In the limited time I had available, it proved too tricky in the gusty conditions, with the smaller kite often ending up on the grass. Maybe some other time, at a larger and more open field...

- 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!

May 18, 2016

Funny Kites

A previously published page covering the topic of humor in kite design!

Continue reading "Funny Kites"

May 14, 2016

Flight Report - Soft Sled Kite Slides Upwards

On its maiden flight, the new Soft Sled kite coped well with gusty moderate winds, flying around 200 feet over the field.

Continue reading "Flight Report - Soft Sled Kite Slides Upwards"

May 14, 2016

How To Make Soft Kites - Easily And Very Cheaply!

Learn how to make soft kites, from nothing more than plastic bags and packing tape. Only sound and well-tested designs here. All is explained, step by step with large photos.

Continue reading "How To Make Soft Kites - Easily And Very Cheaply!"

May 13, 2016

How To Make A Soft Sled Kite - Step-by-Step Instructions For The MBK Soft Sled

Learn how to make a soft sled kite with these easy-to-follow instructions. Fully illustrated with large photographs.

Continue reading "How To Make A Soft Sled Kite - Step-by-Step Instructions For The MBK Soft Sled"

May 11, 2016

Fiberglass Rods

A previously published page on this common kite-spar material. Includes comments on other alternatives as well...

Continue reading "Fiberglass Rods"

May 05, 2016

Flight Report:
Sample Sail Sails Into The Blue

With a batch of sails for the Multi-Fly Diamond Kite kits soon to be arriving from Thailand, a solitary sample sail had already arrived a few days ago. It checked out fine when compared to locally made sails, but it seemed logical to give it a fly anyway. Plastic tail loops are also being manufactured in Thailand, so it would be a flight test for the loops which arrived with the sail, as well.

Having arrived in an envelope, by necessity, the Tyvek had some straight-line creases in it. No problem thought I, I'll just iron those out... Unfortunately, the iron was set a little too hot and a small patch of Tyvek overheated and bubbled. So, now I was stuck with a sail that had lost its perfect symmetry, with a small area of shrinkage and waviness on one side.

Out at the field... After taking some photos while the kite was low, it was put to the test higher up. Fresh gusts were building up and shaking the tree-tops. Meanwhile, the ground-level breeze sometimes allowed the kite to float to the grass while being launched.

Sure enough, the heat-damaged sail pulled strongly to the right when the wind strength approached 40kph. I ended up shifting 2 side tail loops from the right side to the left to trim the kite straight. It sure helped, but the kite still ended up way off to the right from time to time.

Despite the trimming troubles, there were periods when the breeze strength was moderate and the kite soared high in spectacular fashion. The sail/tail combination will be just fine. Future sails will be delivered in a tube, meaning no creases! It was great seeing the first 'production kite' as it were, flying high on 90 meters (300 feet) of line.

- 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!

May 04, 2016

Helicopter Kite

A previously published page on an unusual type of kite...

Continue reading "Helicopter Kite"

May 03, 2016

Murray Bridge Kite Festival 2016

The first Murray Bridge Kite Festival occurred in April 2016. We were there to fly and record some of the action!

Continue reading "Murray Bridge Kite Festival 2016"

Apr 28, 2016

Flight Report:
Bigger Soft Sled Succeeds

But only just. This afternoon was a real low-wind test for the kite. So marginal in fact, that numerous times the 60cm (24") Soft Sled sank out to the grass on a straight line. A quick meter reading confirmed that even the gusts were barely reaching 10kph at head height.

Anyway, today's flights were proof that the sail plastic was thick enough and that the packing tape was also doing a good job as soft battens of sorts. It will be interesting to see just how much wind speed this kite will cope with, at the high end of it's wind range. Perhaps tomorrow!

After taking a photo or two and some video at low altitude, I managed to slowly coax the bright orange kite out to 90m (300ft) of line. However, the line angles remained low. Between 20 and 30 degrees, since the kite was barely supporting it's own weight. Cyclic left/right bobbing was another clue that the kite had only just enough air pressure to stay up - even at 150 feet above the grass.

Meanwhile, up around 3000 feet, smooth white clouds were moving briskly in the opposite direction to the ground-level breeze.

Not the most relaxing kite fly ever, but at least it flew! This will be a free design on this website. Coming soon.

- 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!

 

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...



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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."

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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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