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 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!

Apr 27, 2016

Butterfly Kites

A little background on this most attractive type of kite, favored by females of all ages! Some photos show some great examples of these light-wind (generally!) single-line kites...

Continue reading "Butterfly Kites"

Apr 26, 2016

Flight Report:
Tiny Soft Sled Soars

A very significant moment really - seeing the little 25cm (10") Soft Sled hovering well above the neighbor's fence. The Soft Series has begun, and will not finish until a plethora of soft kite designs are published in a compilation e-book. Just like the skewer, 2-skewer, dowel and multi-dowel series were. Every month or 2, there should be a new design to look forward to. Plastic bags and tape are all you need, apart from flying line for bridling and flying of course.

Winds earllier today were gusting over 20kph and swirling over our roof and around the yard. Never-the-less, the Soft Sled spent enough time sitting stable at a respectable line angle to give cause for optimism. Not long after, I walked out to a nearby vacant block to test the kite further...

Sheer delight! Despite it's small size and lack of tails, the Soft Sled proved adequately stable in fast-moving air. Straining away to the left and right, the 20 pound dacron line was pulled almost straight at times. All 60 meters (200 ft) of it!

Admittedly, the dimensions of the kite are close to a well-proven and well-known design, the Pocket Sled. However, like every kite in the Soft Series will be, this one employs only straight lines and all panel joins are taped. Strictly no-sew!

Tree tops were waving and bits of white debris came floating across the field, scooped off the ground up-wind by a strong thermal. The little kite responded by soaring up to around 50 degrees of line angle. Most of the time it liked to sit at around 30 to 45 degrees, depending on wind strength.

Can't wait to make and fly a 60cm (2ft) version...

- 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!

Apr 22, 2016

Flight Report:
Frozen

No, not the movie - Aren dutifully clutching the flying line while cooling off very uncomfortably as the cold late-Autumn air swirled past! With not much time to spare, we had rushed out yesterday afternoon without rugging up for the weather. We had gone down to a large school field. Two corners of the grassy expanse were already occupied by after-school sports activities.

The kite was a prototype Multi-Fly Diamond sporting a 4m (12ft) traditional tail of Tyvek bows. Ever wonder why these tails aren't seen a lot these days? They get in a mess pretty easily! However, once sorted out and in the air, they work wonderfully well and look good.

I often use a long tail of bows on the top kite in a train. In that position it can't possibly get stuck on the flying line.

We didn't fly the Diamond on much more than 50 meters (100 feet) of line, since it was clear we weren't going to be there long! Some of the gusts were more than moderate in strength. Perhaps touching the fresh range in the low 30s in kph. At these times the kite straightened up and flew steeper on the 100 pound line, pulling it tight...

Usually a single 1m kite would be flown on our 50 pound line, which makes a noticeable difference in light wind. The lighter the line, the higher a kite can fly, all else being equal.

So, before long we were back in the car - with the heater on for the trip of several minutes back home.

- 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!

Apr 21, 2016

Flight Report:
Diamonds Dance Inland

School holidays and the boy wanted to go out somewhere. 'You can fly a kite Dad'. No further encouragement was required, of course!

Down at Gladys Reynell Reserve, Aren got busy on the play equipment while I got busy putting up Multi-Fly Diamond kites: yellow, red and black.

Black went on first. Next, with Black flying on 15m (50ft), I pointed Red's tail towards Black up there while slipping the line through the rear slot of the towing point guide. Pulling the line towards me, it popped into the nose slot of the kite. Then, with the kite upright and Black flying off the rear of Red's towing point guide, the line was slipped into the front slot - and passed around once more to lock. As line slipped slowly through my fingers, both kites climbed away into the cool evening air.

Winds were supposed to be gusting to 30kph down at Noarlunga and indeed, the tree-tops were being pushed around a little at the reserve. When the 30m (100ft) mark came off the winder, the attachment process was repeated for the yellow kite.

With all three kites flying nicely the line was let out to about 50 meters (160 ft). As expected, the kites charged around in random directions in the very gusty breeze. Around 10kph gusting to 22 kph as measured at head height by the wind meter. A short video was taken, before I eventually let the line out to 90 meters (300 ft). Winds were less gusty and a bit stronger up there, with a mass of dark cloud now moving over the local area.

Bringing the kites down, the line tensioned lowered quite suddenly as the top kite descended through 150 feet or so off the grass. But then, the line tightened up again as a few drops of rain fell and associated wind gusts blew through. The kites took it all in their stride and soon all three were taken off the line one by one as I wound in.

- 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!

Apr 20, 2016

Maori Kites

Did you even know that New Zealand had an indigenous kite culture? Find out more here about these ancient but air-worthy designs...

Continue reading "Maori Kites"

Apr 20, 2016

Adelaide Kite Festival 2016 - Views from the air and from the sand

Once again, at the Adelaide Kite Festival 2016, the Saturday afternoon was almost perfect for it. Captured in photos from the sand and also from around 200 feet above.

Continue reading "Adelaide Kite Festival 2016 - Views from the air and from the sand"

Apr 18, 2016

Kite Train Spectacles

The sight of a long kite train is not easily forgotten. This unique and impressive sight is often a feature at kite festivals.

Continue reading "Kite Train Spectacles"

Apr 13, 2016

Fighter Kites

A previously published page providing an overview of the world's major types of fighter kites. But it's not all as dry as that sounds...

Continue reading "Fighter Kites"

Apr 10, 2016

Flight Report:
AKFA Kite Fly - Apr 2016

A quick check of the weather station convinced me that bringing a real light-wind kite would not be essential. To be on the safe side however, we did have the 2-Skewer Barn Door in the car. On arrival at the beach near Fort Glanville at mid-afternoon, it turned out that the sea breeze was in.

Holding up the wind meter to the smooth southerly, it registered around 18kph while gusting to 23kph. A bit heavy for the Barn Door, but we put it up anyway. Several other kites of all sizes were up already. Including a traction kite and a 2-line stunt kite or two.

After a few photos, short videos, plus some conversation with other flyers, the little orange Barn Door had had enough. One of the younger AKFA members had rescued it from the dunes and was attempting to free the 20-pound dacron line from bushes. With my help the kite was packed away before more appropriate craft were brought out from the car - four Multi-Fly Diamonds!

The wind speed was smack in the middle of the Diamonds' wind range, so they flew steadily at a 45 degree line angle. Spaced less than 3 meters (10ft) apart, the color-coordinated kites flew as one. Short side-tails fluttering in contrast to the long and steady looped main tails.

With an hour or two of flying time remaining, the sun broke out at last. Perfect! Not to mention being handy for doing a little more photography. The final photos were taken by Aren (10), showing how easy the Multi-Fly Diamonds are to carry as a group. Just slip your hand through the diamond holes and grab all the vertical spar tubes at once.

A nice outing with thoroughly pleasant Autumn temperatures.

- 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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