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....

Sep 28, 2016

The Eddy Kite

A previously published page covering the historical Eddy design - a large tail-less Diamond. Illustrated with our own Dowel Diamond, also tail-less, which is based on the Eddy concept...

Continue reading "The Eddy Kite"

Sep 27, 2016

Flight Report:
Parachute Shows Some Promise

The latest Soft Series kite will be a Parachute - although my first attempt looks more like those small 2-line stunt kites you see people flying. With the same style of bridle line attachment point as the MBK Parafoil uses, a small problem became apparent fairly soon...

The attachment points are like little hooks that tend to catch one of the other bridle lines when the kite is out of shape either in the air or blowing around on the ground. Annoying. Not a problem on the Parafoil, but this Parachute has 9 lines per side!

The kite seemed unwilling to climb much, despite plenty of line tension. This is a symptom of a towing point too far aft, so that is the thing to change next. For a foil such as this though, moving the towing point is not as easy as just sliding a knot along. However, once the ideal location is found, it just has to be documented properly so the builder ends up with a flying kite.

This first prototype seemed almost unstable, first hanging off to the right and then looping around to the left. After several small left/right bridle adjustments - which does involve shifting just one knot - the problem could not be cured. A long thin plastic tail was added from the rear of the central rib, but this had little effect.

However, the kite inflated well and showed signs of rising under it's own lift.

The next step will be to rake all the lines forward by 15 or 20 degrees and try again. Will the kite fly stable? That is the question!

- 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!

Sep 24, 2016

Flight Report:
High Kites At The Park

Plenty of wind, down near Noarlunga today. Two kite fliers, 4 kites. Wait - one more joined in, later in the afternoon. A star cellular, 2 identical smiley face Deltas, the MBK Parafoil and the MBK Multi-Dowel Box.

I put the Parafoil up first, knowing that a ten-minute rig of the big Box was required. This kite hadn't been flown for several months and a couple of the dowel drums were a tight fit. Moisture had changed the wood diameters! In the lee of the car - not to mention tall trees further upwind - the rig was straight-forward enough.

Meanwhile the Parafoil was coping well, after a seam failure last week in constant fresh wind speeds. The 4-cell kite seemed to be listing left more often than to the right, so I made a small bridle adjustment. Despite flying well above the surrounding tree height, the air was quite active and making considerable changes in direction.

The big Box kite was sat on it's tail for an easy launch. A couple of times, the kite sank out to the grass during lulls, while still on a short line. Finally, once well above the trees, it was off with a vengeance. Straining hard, making the 200 pound Dacron line sing.

The Box flew around between 350 and 380 feet of altitude for more than an hour. 'What a magnificent beast' I thought as the blue plastic caught the late afternoon sun and the side dowels bowed gracefully under the 30kph gusts. Line strain peaked at 9kg during the heaviest gusts, which caused the trailing edges to flutter audibly. Several times the kite encountered sinking air too, which caused the line to go almost slack as the kite suddenly belly-flopped towards the ground.

Just before packing up, the Parafoil managed to lose it's drogue, which landed a short distance downwind. Possibly due to crossed lines with the Box, since some plastic was missing from the central keel of the Parafoil!

- 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!

Sep 21, 2016

French Military Kite

A previously published page explaining the name and some background on this historical kite design. Plus a photo of a modern Double French Military...

Continue reading "French Military Kite"

Sep 19, 2016

Flight Report:
Parafoil - More Fresh Wind Flying

Down at a beach yesterday, the breeze was cold and fresh. Not to mention much smoother than the previous outing where it was only gusting into the fresh range.

To begin with, the MBK Parafoil was unpacked. As usual, a small drogue was attached to the center of the trailing edge. After some trouble with the kite flapping about in the rough air downwind of my body, I finally got the kite away cleanly. Forgot to check the line tension this time, but perhaps it was a little more than the usual 1.5kg or so. In any case, that was no problem for the 20 pound Dacron line and small sand anchor to hold.

After this, the smaller Soft Sled was tried. I say 'tried' since it didn't cope at all with air moving at over 30kph for even 10 seconds or so at a time. The ram-air spars just gave up, time and again, allowing the front end of the kite to fold right up. It was surprising, since this little kite has done well in quite windy inland weather. Right up to 300 feet or so. Just goes to show how much energy there is in smooth fast-moving air!

Meanwhile, the Parafoil had been flying smoothly at roughly 45 degrees of line angle. For almost an hour it hovered there - before finally something went wrong...

The bridle attachments again? No, as it turned out. This time a taped seam along one side had given way. Round and round the kite went before lodging into a prickly bush, causing a small slit in one keel.

Fortunately this design is already slated for a revised e-book edition. The changes will now include more use of wide packing tape over those side seams!

- 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!

Sep 16, 2016

Flight Report:
Parafoil Foiled At 300 Feet

How was it foiled? Just a bridle leg attachment point which came adrift, while under some serious strain in a cool fresh Northerly. However, the design is sound. I had just taken a shortcut in re-attaching the bridle lines after the last round of keel adjustments. Served me right :-)

Before leaving home, the online weather was consulted to confirm whether it was a good day to exercise the final Parafoil design in Fresh wind. Indeed it was! Sunshine and all.

On arriving at the field, the kite was soon in the air, trailing the usual small orange drogue. Some video was taken while the kite demonstrated it's ability to recover in very rough air, on a short line. Fresh gusts blowing through and over leafy trees upwind, you see.

With the camera threatening to lose power, I let out the line to 30 meters (100 feet) and took some more footage. This time from one side and from more underneath the kite. It was gratifying to see the Parafoil reasonably steady and smooth as the wind strength crept up and up. The drogue was working hard though.

It was time for more altitude! 400 feet or bust. Well, bust it was actually, just short of 300 feet off the grass. As already mentioned, a bridle line attachment point let go... The kite, flapping an injured wing, limped around in circles until gently contacting the ground.

No shortcuts next time.

- 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!

Sep 14, 2016

Trafeze - bringing small online businesses together for mutual benefit.

Trafeze is a growing network of solopreneurs. Some have big traffic but poor income opportunities. Others have great products but few eyeballs on them. NO FEES to join or use the network.

Continue reading "Trafeze - bringing small online businesses together for mutual benefit."

Sep 14, 2016

Baby Bat Kite

A previously published page on the ever-popular Baby Bat. Traces some history an also there's a video of a Bat kite we saw at a recent festival...

Continue reading "Baby Bat Kite"

Sep 11, 2016

Flight Report:
Big Delta Glides Near Glassy Ocean

Yesterday afternoon would normally have been the AKFA Kite Fly for September. However, most fliers didn't turn up since winds were predicted to be very light - later in the afternoon. Unfortunately for the two of us who did turn up, the ocean became like glass fairly early on. Just the occasional patch of perhaps 3kph air was disturbing the water's surface! I was not aware of this initially...

A light-wind Eagle kite had been up, briefly, just before I arrived. Soon, I had the giant Multi-Dowel Delta laid out on the grass.

While finishing the rig and doing a few minor repairs, I had a short chat with a young guy from Afghanistan. They fly big fighter kites over there - several times the size of the more well-known Indian Patang. This guy was telling me about the enormous heights at which Afghan Fighters are flown, on thousands of feet of line. Civil aviation is a little less regulated over there!

With the big Delta rigged on it's light-wind setting, I then proceeded to try and get it far enough above the dunes to catch a whiff of the sea 'breeze'...

For a few seconds at a time, the ponderous blue bird did hang in the air, before slowly succumbing to gravity. Again and again I tried, brushing up some rusty line-handling skills by flying and gliding the kite back to my hand each time. Apart from a couple of awkward wing-tip landings, which fortunately didn't do any damage.

So, that was that!

- 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!

Sep 10, 2016

Flight Report - Parafoil Kite In Gusty Moderate Air

The third prototype MBK Parafoil kite, sporting identical triple keels, had no troubles coping with a breeze gusting from Light to the high end of Moderate.

Continue reading "Flight Report - Parafoil Kite In Gusty Moderate Air"

 

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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E-books


Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





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."

_________________

"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."

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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!"

_________________

"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"




Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7