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....

Jul 27, 2016

Japanese Fish Kites

A previously published page containing background info on these 'kites' from Japan. Very ornate and glossy, these are more correctly described as 'windsocks' since they cannot hold a positive line angle like a true kite...

Continue reading "Japanese Fish Kites"

Jul 20, 2016

A Small Child's Kite Flying Career

This previously published page documents our son's early kite-flying experiences. See him grow up, flying a variety of MBK home-made kites...

Continue reading "A Small Child's Kite Flying Career"

Jul 20, 2016

Flight Report:
Red Roller Rides High

This kite is finally trimmed out perfectly it seems. After marking the vertical spar to indicate exactly which way to orientate it after doing up the ties and returning the altered sail tether to its original length, the kite performed amazingly today.

This kite is a quick rig, even including the bow-string toggles... The line loops are a generous length which makes the toggles a little easier to insert.

Down at the nearest reserve to us, quite a small one, the breeze was from the east and consequently quite rough. Nothing but hills and houses off in that direction, which really messes with the air.

Puffs of breeze were coming across the sodden grass at regular intervals so it was easy to loft the big red Roller and get it hanging up there at about tree height, on 20 meters (60ft) of line. After a little camera-work, the line was let out to 60 meters (200ft) and the kite flew straight and true through every gust.

Max gust strength seemed to be around 20 kph which would power the Tyvek and oak dowel Roller up to 60 or 65 degrees of line angle. Good!

Despite the small size of the reserve, it seemed safe to eventually let out 90 meters (300 feet) of line. The Roller behaved impeccably, soaring around on a tight high-angled line, managing to stay aloft through all the lulls. At that height, the lulls were less extreme anyway.

Nice flight, although the sun peeked out only briefly!

- 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!

Jul 18, 2016

Flight Report:
Parafoil Prototype 1 A Bit Iffy

That last word in the title won't impress the spell-checker, but never mind... This kite has already been out a couple of times, with no real success until today. Initially the parafoil had cylindrical tubes for cells, closed at the rear end of course to make it a genuine parafoil. This, plus the towing points too far back made the kite so draggy that it wouldn't climb at all - even in fresh gusts!

Back home again, each side wall except the central one had a long pie-slice taken out. This produced a crude air-foil shape with the upper surface sloping down towards the trailing edge. In flight, the kite now looked much more 'like a bought one' and even gained a bit of height with a small drogue attached. A much windier day was needed though...

Today was that day, and the only further mod was a halving of the length of the drogue tether, to make the kite react quicker. That tail end was very keen to flick around at times.

Gusts into the high 20's in kph enabled the dodgy Parafoil to get above the tree-tops for the first time. Flying on 100 pound line didn't help, but the winder was a bit smaller than my 50 pound one so was more convenient for the short walk to the local park.

I believe 'lighter and longer' will make the next build a much more viable kite than this first prototype. Not to mention taking the 'pie slice' out of the central cell wall as well. Hence I will be developing the How To... instructions during the build of the second prototype.

- 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!

Jul 15, 2016

A kite bag for MBK Multi-Fly Diamonds

Having received the 3 diamond kite train from Tim I thought the train deserved a carry case. Yes, I could just carry the 3 assembled kites (and yes how

Continue reading "A kite bag for MBK Multi-Fly Diamonds"

Jul 14, 2016

Flight Report:
Soft Sled Outdoes Itself

After putting the MBK Soft Sled up to around 30m (100ft) I noticed a persistent lean to the left. Usually not much of a problem with this kite but today the breeze was gusting into the mid-twenties in kph. Tall trees beckoned, not far away, so it was time to trim the kite a little better...

Being a simple design offered free on this website, the bridle was just knotted in the middle, ready to take the flying line. To spare new-comers the complications of tying sliding knots such as the Prusik!

With no sliding knot to adjust, I took the somewhat cruder approach of tying a small Loop knot into one bridle line. This soon proved to be an over-correction with the kite darting off to the right. After re-tying the knot into the tiniest Loop knot I have ever done, the kite went up for another try. Bingo ... as they say!

What followed was the most amazing flight I have got out of this small 60cm-tall kite. Every gust just powered the Sled higher and higher, as it spent a great deal of its time pointing straight up. Despite flying the kite on 100 pound line today, it still managed to pull the line tight and climb to very respectable line angles with 90 meters of Dacron let out. During lulls, a fair amount of sag would develop in the flying line, only to disappear again when the next gust came through.

It's nice when you get a kite flying so well that it can be confidently let out past the distance to the nearest trees downwind. At a great height of course, just in case!

- 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!

Jul 13, 2016

The Dopero Kite

A previously published page containing background info on this plane-like type of kite. It's sometimes used for light-wind aerial photography. See photos and a video...

Continue reading "The Dopero Kite"

Jul 13, 2016

Flight Report:
Red Roller Rockets Overhead

Popped out once again with the 1m dowel-and-tyvek Red Roller kite. Also had the MBK Soft Sled as a backup in case the wind dropped. The last two days have been pretty wild, with lightning, hail and strong wind. Even snow in some of the towns out past the hills, which makes the news around here!

With Aren happily launching his paper plane off the play equipment, I put up the Soft Sled first, on about 15 meters (50 feet) of 20 pound Dacron. The Sled seemed comfortable flying around just high enough to avoid turbulence from the nearby trees. On to the Red Roller...

The Tyvek and dowel Roller was rigged with a little more care this time. The vertical spar has to be rotated correctly before being fastened with the shoe-lace ties. Otherwise, a slight bow in the dowel tends to go left or right which throws the kite off trim! This penny dropped after I had shortened a sail tether to compensate for the turning problem the kite had on its initial outing some days ago. Today, I left the tether alone just to see if the kite went the other way. It did, a little, so I'll be returning that strap to it's original length!

The breeze aloft was gusting well into the moderate range (mid 20s in kph) but the Roller just loved it, accelerating this way and that at quite steep line angles. This kite has a considerably thicker and therefore heavier vertical spar than the MBK Dowel Roller, but in combination with the Tyvek sail material, the kite seems very efficient in moderate winds. Interesting!

With the line finally out to around 45 meters (150 feet) the attractive Red kite put on a real show for anyone driving past. At times the Roller nearly over-flew, despite the cold air and minimal thermal activity.

If you ever get around to making an MBK Dowel Roller, a heavier vertical spar and a soft Tyvek sail is recommended! I shaved some wood off the nose portion of the dowel to keep the center of gravity back where it belongs on this design...

- 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!

Jul 08, 2016

The Loop Knot - And Its Kiting Applications

This is the simple Loop Knot that is commonly used for forming a Lark's Head Knot at the end of a flying line.

Continue reading "The Loop Knot - And Its Kiting Applications"

Jul 06, 2016

The Roller Kite

A previously published page containing background info on this very photogenic type of kite. Plus photos and a video...

Continue reading "The Roller Kite"

 

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."

_________________

"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!





Wind Speeds


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
38–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6