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....

Aug 24, 2016

MBK Special Kite Stories

After developing the Skewer kite series, some years ago, a few more designs were made. These ended up as bonus (non site-published) designs which were added to the Making Skewer Kites e-book compilation. Read about some flights of these kites here...

Continue reading "MBK Special Kite Stories"

Aug 24, 2016

Making Box Kites - Old-Fashioned Fun.

A handy manual for making box kites. Plenty of photos and easy instructions for 5 well-tested box kites.

Continue reading "Making Box Kites - Old-Fashioned Fun."

Aug 18, 2016

Flight Report:
Parafoil Parrys With Punishing Puffs

Punishing Winds more accurately - but Puffs had a P in it ;-) In plain English, I went out a few days ago and flew the new MBK Parafoil in rough winds which were gusting over 40kph at times. Talk about a torture test for a home-made plastic parafoil! Anyway, it coped...

On arrival at the field, the first challenge was to unfurl the drogue without letting the kite blow away. A few moments later I just launched the kite and let the drogue line unwind by itself. So, the double-blue parafoil was soon floating around close to the ground while I took a short movie.

This prototype has much less rake-forward of the air inlets. Also, it employs copious use of wide packing tape along all the seams near the leading edges. Consequently, the kite would pop open easily and hold it's shape without collapsing at the first small jerk on the flying line.

Towards the middle of the field, someone else was flying a small retail Delta Conyne. Being partly cellular, the kite was doing well in the trying conditions. Even so, the kite took on an ominous lean to the right from time to time.

As soon as 30m (100ft) of line was out, my parafoil started catching the brunt of the squally winds. At this time there was still plenty of sunshine although darker clouds were approaching quickly. The side-keels fluttered in complaint with every gust over 35kph or so. But the kite held up. Nothing folded or came apart. Mind you, the normally sedate kite took to darting and surging here and there in response to the wild air.

Finally it happened - a brief fold-up occurred but was followed with a re-inflation a moment later. As the wind strength built even further, this happened more often until finally the kite ended up on the grass. It had found it's limits!

- 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!

Aug 17, 2016

Which Bird Kite For You?

A previously published page which takes a look at a few categories of modern retail bird kites. Turning a bird species into a kite design is a natural progression, but buying rather than DIY is probably the better option for most of us!

Continue reading "Which Bird Kite For You?"

Aug 17, 2016

Flight Report - Parafoil Kite Hangs In Light Air

The third prototype of the MBK parafoil kite flew well, after much trial and error with the first two!

Continue reading "Flight Report - Parafoil Kite Hangs In Light Air"

Aug 14, 2016

Flight Report:
AKFA Kite Fly - Aug 2016

Despite the light conditions - which eventually deteriorated to very light - a good amount of flying was achieved by a variety of kites. Variety being the operative word!

Kites in flight included a small bird, large parafoil, dowel delta, dowel diamond, small soft sled, parasail and a medium 4-cell parafoil. Plus a half-inflated monkey suspended by the large parafoil.

The weather was pleasant enough with cool air and plenty of sunshine.

The newly-completed MBK Parafoil prototype #3 had it's first flights and proved capable of staying in the air tail-less - but only just. After getting a few in-flight close-ups, I put a small drogue on and let out more line. The light-wind capability of the kite was a surprise. With 3 straight lines in the design forming the upper surface curvature, the kite in flight rounded this off to a nice smooth airfoil shape. It seemed to be lifting well, considering the light air.

With back turned, kites sometimes get up to unpredictable activities...

Today was such a day, when the large parafoil inexplicably sprouted a small drogue - trailing from the exact center-line of the kite. It only took a moment for me to recognize the drogue - and realize that my own smaller parafoil had descended onto the upper surface of the much larger kite! By carefully taking in line, my own parafoil appeared, inflated and lifted off. Something that will probably never happen again.

After some time the breeze lightened further and kites started coming down. After packing away the parasail and parafoil, I brought out the Dowel Diamond which proceeded to keep company with the ripstop-sailed Dowel Delta already flying.

A small event this month, but certainly enough to educate the passing pedestrians that kite-flying is not just for kids...

- 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!

Aug 10, 2016

A History Of Box Kites

A previously published page which quickly scans over the known era of Box kite designs. It seems the further you go back, the more interesting the kites and their various uses become!

Continue reading "A History Of Box Kites"

Aug 08, 2016

Flight Report:
Parafoil 2 Pushed Hard

This time, a few strips of wide packing tape were strategically placed to stiffen up various sections of the kite. Down at Knox Park, the breeze was gusting right up into the Strong region - it would be a good test!

In the higher breeze strengths, it was certainly easier to inflate the parafoil. With sail and drogue both in the air, the more generous side keels seemed to keep the kite steadier. At times, on a short line, the kite made some rather good line angles too, considering it was dragging a slightly over-sized drogue.

So was the design ready for publication? So close really, but no. Time and again, the front end would crease up under a sudden pressure increase, either on one side or across the top. Making it look like a kid with their face up against a glass window. Either scenario would bring the kite down. When creased across the top, the parafoil would sometimes flip on it's back and continue to fly for quite a while. Albeit at a very low line angle!

Launching in a less-than-smooth manner would sometimes fold up the entire front end of the kite.

It seems the rake-forward of the air inlets is too extreme. Air pressure catches the edge and overcomes the stiffness of the inflated cell(s) when the gusts are strong enough.

Also, using sticky tape along the seams has been ok in Gentle winds, but today was a lot windier. The next prototype will have packing tape throughout, which will stiffen up the overall structure when inflated. It worked for the Soft Sled!

The MBK Parafoil will be going to a third prototype - but the resulting design should prove easier to launch and less frustrating to fly than the current one. I'm aiming for a kite which copes with Gentle, Moderate and Fresh winds with little fuss. Gotta keep the e-book customers happy!

- 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!

Aug 05, 2016

Flight Report:
Parafoil 2 Goes Higher

Higher than it did last time anyway! Winds down at Christies Beach were ideal for giving the new parafoil a good test. Disappointingly, it still required a drogue, but I'll be trying larger keels later to see if that can be fixed. Without shifting the towing point, which now seems pretty close to perfect.

The line tension was much lower than for the first prototype. This should be an advantage, allowing the kite to fly higher in fresh wind.

Even with the smooth winds, launching the kite with no helper proved tricky. It seems the best approach is to hold it by the upper surfaces of the inlets, work hands around to where the bridle lines are attached then carefully fly it on the side bridle lines. By slowly slipping the lines out, the central bridle line eventually comes up tight, where-upon flying line can be let out. Slowly and with no sudden stops!

The plastic on this kite is so light that a few extra strips of sticky tape will be necessary to reduce the problem of creasing near the front of the side inlets.

All will be fixed and documented before that e-book goes out. The exciting thing about this design is that, by scaling up, anyone will be able to make quite a large parafoil that 'looks like a bought one' from a distance, but costs maybe 10 or 15 dollars rather than 100s or even 1000s of $...

- 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!

Aug 03, 2016

Your Kite Making And Flying

This page is always available for site visitors to leave their own kiting stories. It's all about kites, but beyond that it can get somewhat unpredictable! Check it out today...

Continue reading "Your Kite Making And Flying"

 

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