Kites: Site Blog

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....

Mar 27, 2015

Flight Report:
MBK Kite Fly - March 2015

Numbers are building, very slowly. But at 4 vehicles in the car park, 4 people flying kites and 4 kites in the air simultaneously at one point, it's starting to look more like an event than just Your's Truly going out for a fly! In addition, a couple of vehicles pulled up for a while in the car park - at different times - to watch.

Winds were quite light on arrival around 4pm, and unfortunately dwindled further as time passed. A couple of hours later, nothing would stay up. Still, we had one big kite up, on 105m (350ft) of line. That was the 2.4m (8ft) tall Multi-Dowel Sled, flying on 200 pound Dacron. It probably would have been safe on 50 pound line today!

A Dowel Delta with a plastic table-cloth sail performed the best, maintaining steep line angles most of the time. Other kites which flew included a shop-bought Eagle, a large home-made Bird kite, a small Pterodactyl and a fairly large Delta.

Certainly a day for light-wind designs! Launching on a long line was essential in almost every case, to take advantage of the clean air near the middle of the reserve. There are sizeable trees all around the perimeter...

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Check out the full flight report pages on this site. Or even the aerial photography pages, which also contain flight reports.

Mar 26, 2015

Rokkakus

A previously published page taking an overview of all our home-made Rokakku kites. Small to large, illustrated with photos and short videos of the kites in flight.

Continue reading "Rokkakus"

Mar 25, 2015

Flight Report:
Fresh Wind Sled At 300 Feet

This morning was meant to be another testing session but there was a possibility of severe gusts and some rain. Instead, I pulled out the Fresh Wind Sled and flew it on 200 pound line for a while.

Initially, the Sled meandered around just about level with the tree-tops upwind. This put it in slower and more chaotic air than was up higher - but the videos should be more appealing to those following along on FaceBook! Occasional gusts into the mid-thirties in kph tended to pull the Sled to the right. But I thought I would try it higher first...

On a longer line, the pull to the right was confirmed at least twice, when the kite uncharacteristically swerved all the way round in a great loop to the right. After a couple of quick bridle adjustments, the kite ended up nicely trimmed and promptly shot up to a high line angle. And that's where it stayed for half an hour or so. A check with the spring scales revealed a line tension hovering around just 3 or 4 kilograms, but popping up to 6 during the heaviest gusts.

Before leaving the field, I just had to let out more line so the kite could brush the legal altitude limit at just over 300 feet above the field. It sure was satisfying seeing the dark blue Sled flying so smooth and high, twin drogues trailing behind. One drogue line had twisted around the other, resulting in an uneven pull on the rear end of the kite. However, the effect of this must have been fairly small since the kite was high and quite straight.

While the sun peeked in and out between magnificent tall and puffy cumulus clouds, I ran the steel carabiner out to the big Sled, bringing it down. Just on impulse, I ran the carabiner all the way up the bridle lines too. Squeezing them together and thus collapsing the kite for packing away.

"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!

Mar 22, 2015

Flight Report:
Flying Kites For Melanoma Awareness

Yesterday saw hundreds of people converge on a park alongside Henley Beach, to take part in an event designed to raise awareness of Melanoma issues. Skin cancer in other words, which is a significant problem in our very sunny country of Australia. AKFA (Adelaide Kite Flyers Association), of which I am a member, was invited to provide some entertainment for the crowd. So quite a few of us turned up with our best tethered craft.

For the first hour or so, there seemed to be a near miss every few minutes! Big parafoils collapsing, lines crossing, normally stable kites making hair-raising swoops close to the sand, tails getting draped over lines and so on. The up-side? Even better entertainment for the crowd!

My large Multi-Dowel Delta was a real handful until it climbed out to 100 feet or so. Even then, after hand-flying it for a few minutes, it was decided to play safe and take it down.

My best kite (haha) on the day turned out to be the Multi-Dowel Diamond. With a bright orange drogue 'chute in tow, the big blue Diamond coped well with the rather difficult off-shore winds at first. Later, the breeze gradually swung around to the North and freshened slightly, making things a lot easier for all the big kites on show. At that point I measured a smooth 12 to 15 kph with the Windtronic meter.

A very enjoyable outing in the end, with my boy playing in the sand and wife helping out with some of the photography. Many of the public experienced something of the breadth of modern kite-flying for the first time, judging by comments overheard.

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Check out the full flight report pages on this site. Or even the aerial photography pages, which also contain flight reports.

Mar 18, 2015

Barn Door Kites

A previously published page featuring a few details about our home-made Barn Doors. A progression in size and appearance! Contains a few short videos as well.

Continue reading "Barn Door Kites"

Mar 12, 2015

Flight Report:
1-Skewer Sled Surprises

Went out earlier today for a spot of flight testing, which came to a premature end when the wind speed dropped off. However, I also had the little 1-Skewer Sled in the car. The intention was to fly it to get some video, taking advantage of its good tolerance for moderate-strength breezes. Of course, now the question was - would it fly at all, in much lighter wind?

Unwrapping the little Sled, I noticed that the plastic had become distinctly 2-tone due to the effects of UV in sunlight. Never mind, everything seemed to be holding together, and there were no splits in the sail. With the next light gust that came across the field, up it went! The increased wind speed would last for a minute or two at a time, so it was easy to get a few short videos.

Although even 20 pound line is a touch heavy for kites of this size, the 29cm (11 1/2") 1-Skewer Sled willingly rose up when more line was let out. Perhaps it was around 20 meters (65ft) in the end. Thermals had started lifting off and the tiny Sled made it to rather high line angles a few times before it was decided to wind the kite in and go home. It's a very simple and very reliable little kite.

"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!

Mar 11, 2015

Kite Photography

A previously published page with some general comments about taking photos with the aid of kites. Illustrated with some selected images by others.

Continue reading "Kite Photography"

Mar 08, 2015

Flight Report:
AKFA Kite Fly - March 2015

A weather station was showing 20kph winds gusting to 30kph near the Adelaide Airport. Not exactly the Kite Fly location, but an indication of the weather up there anyway. So, we arrived, loaded with kites which suited a 'more-or-less moderate' range of wind speeds. It turned out to be 'less', very definitely...

Quite a few kites were up, so I wandered around for a while just taking video. A large blue parafoil hoisting inflatable fish and a scuba-diver. A red parafoil hoisting a large red heart-shaped inflatable. Several soft stunt kites were zipping around, further down the beach.

But then the breeze started to falter, allowing a large 'kicking legs' inflatable to almost touch the sand. The stunt fliers had to quit for a while.

Meanwhile, the Multi-Dowel Barn Door was the nearest thing to a light-wind kite I had available. The big light-blue hexagon was comfortable up at 300 feet, but was only just holding its 55 - 60 degree line angle. One measurement with the wind meter showed around 11kph gusting to 13kph.

Thankfully, some time later the breeze picked up once more. All of a sudden the Fort Glanville stretch of sand was filled with kites of all kinds. There was a definite mini-festival feel about it! Unusual kite of the day would have been the carbon-sparred pure white design that looked like a giant pair of lips.

Not long after this, we needed to leave for another destination - but it had turned out to be a very good Kite Fly.

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Check out the full flight report pages on this site. Or even the aerial photography pages, which also contain flight reports.

 

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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