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....

Jun 29, 2015

Flight Report:
MBK Kite Fly - June 2015

On this occasion, just a few kites were flown. Very light winds were a problem, with just one kite coping well with the conditions. That was a colorful rip-stop Delta made to my Dowel Delta specs...

Some are content with rather plain-looking plastic sails but many other people who make my MBK designs do wonderful jobs with decoration. Whether it be on plastic, Tyvek or rip-stop nylon. Emails have even come in describing MBK kites made from shower curtains, table cloths, flags and who knows what else. If it's light enough and not too porous, give it a try!

A large light-wind parafoil had a few brief pull-ups before I arrived. Pull-ups followed by sink-outs. A pattern which I then repeated with two of my own large kites. The Multi-Dowel Sled and the Multi-Dowel Delta.

The briefest of gusts would provide several seconds of hope at a time. But unfortunately, that was about it. I did manage to play with the big Delta for a while, allowing it to turn and fly downwind at times to get more line out. Eventually, with all the maneuvering close to the ground, I pushed my skills a little too far and the kite came down heavily on one wing-tip, damaging the sail. No broken wood and nothing a few bits of packing tape won't fix, fortunately!

So, a bit disappointing, but there's always another day.

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.

Jun 29, 2015

Flight Report:
MBK Kite Fly - June 2015

On this occasion, just a few kites were flown. Very light winds were a problem, with just one kite coping well with the conditions. That was a colorful rip-stop Delta made to my Dowel Delta specs...

Some are content with rather plain-looking plastic sails but many other people who make my MBK designs do wonderful jobs with decoration. Whether it be on plastic, Tyvek or rip-stop nylon. Emails have even come in describing MBK kites made from shower curtains, table cloths, flags and who knows what else. If it's light enough and not too porous, give it a try!

A large light-wind parafoil had a few brief pull-ups before I arrived. Pull-ups followed by sink-outs. A pattern which I then repeated with two of my own large kites. The Multi-Dowel Sled and the Multi-Dowel Delta.

The briefest of gusts would provide several seconds of hope at a time. But unfortunately, that was about it. I did manage to play with the big Delta for a while, allowing it to turn and fly downwind at times to get more line out. Eventually, with all the maneuvering close to the ground, I pushed my skills a little too far and the kite came down heavily on one wing-tip, damaging the sail. No broken wood and nothing a few bits of packing tape won't fix, fortunately!

So, a bit disappointing, but there's always another day.

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.

Jun 24, 2015

KAP Report - Port Adelaide 1

KAP: Various perspectives of Port Adelaide in South Australia, overlooking the channel and wharves from several hundred meters East of the lighthouse.

Continue reading "KAP Report - Port Adelaide 1"

Jun 24, 2015

Bristol Kite Festival

If you've never been to a large kite festival, this short article will open your eyes to the kind of experience that can be expected. Free family entertainment at its best!

Continue reading "Bristol Kite Festival"

Jun 22, 2015

Flight Report:
Barndoor Soars In Winter Sun

Down near the big shopping complex down in Noarlunga, an opportunity came up for the two males in the family to do something other than shopping...

Bike-riding for the younger one, while the (much) older one flew a small bright-orange Barndoor kite over a grassy knoll. Yes, an actual knoll in the lush green field, although I suspect this one was originally created by a bull-dozer! Aren had fun riding down the steep side, carving prominent tracks into the clover and grass.

Just before launching the kite, the wind meter was showing a 5 kph average with a gust to 10.8 kph. Perfect for just about any 2-Skewer kite of mine. The small Barndoor twisted and turnd in the rough air down low before rising up easily into smoother air. On about 60 meters (200 feet) of line, the kite performed for the camera, the Winter sun flashing off the brightly lit plastic sail.

Later, with the line out to 120 meters (400 feet), some sag started to develop due to the length. Occasionally though, gusts would pull hard at the kite, taking most of the sag out. Just for a few seconds at a time.

A bird flew past, just missing the line, quite close to the anchor point. 20 pound line is sometimes hard to see - even for the birds!

Since the breeze up high was now pushing the small kite hard, a few adjustments to the bridle were necessary. Several times, I brought the kite all the way down to tweak the Prusik knot across one way or the other. It seems that any kite with spars on a diagonal responds very precisely to sideways movement of the towing point.

The final flight today went high and straight. However, with enough wind speed, you can get to a point where the kite will be forced into instability. It will start to loop in an unpredictable direction, despite being perfectly trimmed.

For a while it was a pleasure seeing the kite coping well on a long line. Exploring the sky at the upper end of its wind speed envelope.

Finally, my son Aren pulled in the line while I wound it onto the wooden winder, to avoid excessive tension. With the sun out, Winter flying can be pleasant enough!

"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!

Jun 19, 2015

Flight Report:
Full-on Fences Foil KAP

It was supposed to have been a very interesting KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) session. Instead, my son and I were confronted with long and high security fencing which hadn't shown up in the Google imagery! So, instead of snapping photos of Port Adelaide from just across the water from the Western side, we ended up near Fort Glanville, down by the beach...

A rather light SSE breeze was blowing along the sand, although we stuck to the grassed area just inland from there. The late afternoon Winter sun was struggling to peek through banks of cloud, but I still made an attempt to get the camera up. While fiddling with the KAP rig suspension lines, the big Tyvek and Carbon Diamond gently came to rest over the dunes, on its short 15m (50 ft) length of flying line. This kite is usually happy to suspend the rig at this distance from the sail. However, the very marginal wind speed was making things awkward today.

An attempt to re-launch only succeeded in getting the suspension lines in a tangle! After sorting that out, and stopping the photo sequence after several had gone off, the big Diamond was launched again without the KAP gear. This was easily achieved by floating the kite out on plenty of line length, before allowing it to soar right up to 200 feet or so. Beautiful and smooth. Tail-less elegance.

Despite almost no breeze being perceptible down low, the Eddy-style Diamond with its narrow span-wise slots managed to stay at a good line angle up there for several minutes. By then though, it was time to head home, as the sun slowly set over the Gulf.

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.

Jun 17, 2015

Kite Safety

A previously published page here, with some tips on staying safe if you are just getting into stunt or traction kiting.

Continue reading "Kite Safety"

Jun 15, 2015

Flight Report:
AKFA Kite Fly - June 2015

Rainy weather was approaching but it seemed far enough away to make the trip to Fort Glanville worthwhile. A nearby weather station was indicating gusts to 19kph, so I came prepared with some large kites that would enjoy that middling amount of air movement. However, it all looked a bit light on arrival. Fortunately I had tossed in the 2-Skewer Rokkaku as well, just in case...

A number of light-wind kites were already aloft. Most were flying very steadily indeed, in the smooth Northerly that was drifting down the beach. In particular, a large indoor Delta appeared to be almost motionless. Good for lifting some light-weight KAP gear, some of us thought!

It seemed easiest to just put the small Rok up first, which was soon accomplished on 60 meters (200 ft) of 20 pound Dacron. The carry-bag with spare winders and bits of gear served as an anchor with the flying line simply passed beneath it on the sand.

Next came a photo session where I documented as many kites as possible in stills and short movie clips. With that job out of the way, it was time to kick a soccer ball around with my young son, amongst the huge piles of dried seaweed.

Meanwhile the colorful array of kites caught the attention of various people who were strolling down the beach.

So far, we had seen in the air a small hawk kite, a more stylized bird kite, a very large carbon and ripstop Rokkaku, my 2-Skewer Rokkaku, a Korean fighter, a large carbon Genki and that still-as-a-statue indoor Delta mentioned earlier. I had been anticipating adding my big Multi-Dowel Barn Door to this varied mix but unfortunately there were now signs of a slowly dying breeze. Several times, we had to rescue one kite or another. They had sunk very low in lulls and had to be urged back up to slightly faster air by some firm pulls on the line.

Finally, after several kites had descended all the way to the sand, it was clearly time to call it a day. Yet again, it had paid off to bring along kites for a wide spectrum of wind speeds. You so often end up flying the 'backup 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!

 

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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Testimonials

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"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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 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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