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....

Feb 26, 2015

Various Submitted Kite Pics

From time to time, people submit their own photos of interesting kites. This compilation page is a sample of such submissions...

Continue reading "Various Submitted Kite Pics"

Feb 25, 2015

Flight Report:
Talk About 'Light And Variable'...

The weather station was indicating an average of 1kph gusting to 6kph just South of here. And not much more in the city to the North. So, it's a day for the real light-wind performers...

I had the Dowel Rokkaku, Dowel Delta and Multi-Dowel Delta in the car. First up was the Rok, which floated around on the merest whiff of breeze, while I took a few short movies. The air was all over the place, but mostly there seemed to be an Easterly flow over the park. Despite the clouds travelling in the opposite direction only a few thousand feet above.

After this I let out some line and played around with the light-weight Rok on about 30 meters (100 feet). Barely enough air to stay up!

Next up was the big Delta. At about 5 meters (16 feet) across from tip to tip, that's big in my books. Knowing that it was going to be hard to stay airborne, I lashed the spreader on with the leading edge spars as far apart as possible. After a few unsuccessful launch attempts, I sensibly moved right to the middle of the park. Out there, the airflow was slightly stronger and much more consistent. Up went the big floppy Delta, for several flights of a few minutes each. A little fluttering of the trailing-edge plastic was picked up by the camera's microphone as gentle gusts came through.

Oh, did I mention the breeze was now a Westerly?! Still, it was very light and it was a matter of working the line a bit from time to time, to contact slightly faster air. By this time about 60 meters of line was out. Although this kite is often flown on 200 pound Dacron, the 100 pound stuff was a better choice today. Perhaps it added a few seconds to most of the flights!

"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!

Feb 22, 2015

KAP Report - Happy Valley Reservoir 2

KAP: Looking East from 250 feet, taking in Northern, Central and Southern portions of the large Happy Valley Reservoir in Adelaide, South Australia.

Continue reading "KAP Report - Happy Valley Reservoir 2"

Feb 19, 2015

The 2 Skewer Delta Kite

An old Flight Report, written soon after re-vamping the original 2-Skewer Delta kite. Delightful flight! Includes pics and video.

Continue reading "The 2 Skewer Delta Kite"

Feb 17, 2015

Flight Report:
Tiny Roller's Roller Coaster Ride

I think I have stuffed enough R's into that title to make it ... err roll off the tongue...

At first the little kite, just 29cm (11 1/2") from tip to tip, struggled a bit in the gusty wind-shadow of the trees. Despite a moderate sea breeze pumping in from the shore just a few kilometers away to the West.

It's amazing how well small kites on simple bridles can cope with rather brisk air - as long as enough tail is used! In fact, after the first flight or two on 20 meters (70 ft) or so of 20 pound Dacron line, it was necessary to dig around the kite bag for some extra tail plastic.

The 2-point bridle looked like it was adjusted fairly far forward, so I took it back a little. With an extra-long piece of thin black plastic being knotted on, the kite would still be in good trim.

On a much longer line now, the tiny orange Roller shot away to the right. However, with some extra height, it straightened and soared way up to a very satisfying line angle. The long, long tail straight as an arrow in the freshest gusts. During lulls, the kite would descend tail-first, with the thin black ribbon behind taking on all sorts of graceful shapes.

On more than 60 meters (200 feet) of light flying line, the 1-Skewer Roller was a delight to watch in the bright and cloudless sky. And that was in fast-moving air that would ground many of my larger kites! I can't even remember the last time this particular kite flew, but it sure was a good choice today.

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.

Feb 12, 2015

Beach, Kites, Clouds

A previously published page, containing some exceptional photos of surfing kites in action. Curated, not original ;-)

Continue reading "Beach, Kites, Clouds"

Feb 10, 2015

Flight Report:
Two Big Diamonds Duel

Having just completed the 2m (7ft) Carbon Diamond #3 just days ago, it was time for a test flight. No major changes from #2. Just some improvements to the spar pockets and a small shift in the positioning of the span-wise slots which let air through the sail. This airflow reduces turbulence over the upper surface which in turn makes the kite more efficient and more stable in rough air.

On the artistic side, the main factor in choosing the two sail colors was using up all my remaining containers of poster paint! Not exactly a permanent or high-quality finish, but hey, it's cheap.

The other large Diamond design was the Multi-Dowel version which has proven itself over a very respectable wind range. Today it only had to cope with a light breeze, although it periodically gusted up to around 20kph.

Each kite was launched fairly easily, by letting out line during the gusts until the kite was hovering over the dry grass, about 20m (70ft) or so out. A few firm pull-ins would then urge the kite upwards until it contacted the faster and more consistent air above tree top height. Then it was an easy matter to let further line out. To 60m (200ft) for the plastic-sailed Multi-Dowel kite and a little less for the Tyvek-sailed Carbon kite.

With both kites up it was a real contrast in sounds and sight. The plastic sail fluttering quietly from time to time in bursts of extra wind speed. The Tyvek sail not making much noise - except for my experimental 'bib' tail which emitted loud crinkling sounds continuously! Looks like a giant baby's bib, but slit into several ribbons, and roughly square in overall shape.

This also happened to be the first occasion on which a kite flew with 'my-best-kite.com' stenciled on in black permanent marker. The letters were beautifully crisp from a distance, but almost too small to read from 200 feet! Ooops. Triple the size, wrap to two lines and try again, I think...

"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!

Feb 08, 2015

Flight Report:
AKFA February Fly Day

According to weather site predictions, a windy afternoon could be expected, despite milder winds for several days either side. It certainly turned out to be so!

A head-level wind meter check around 2pm recorded a 29kph breeze gusting to 41kph. That would mean mid-forties at least up at several hundred feet. 'Box kite weather' as I'm fond of saying.

Perhaps the high winds had discouraged others from flying, since only three of us were there. Mike was packing up his surfing kite, after experiencing almost perfect white-cap conditions out on the water. AKFA President Tony had tried a train of art kites. They eventually ended up on the sand after straining bravely away in the slowly freshening gale from the South.

Not wanting to leave without at least an attempt to fly, I rigged the Multi-Dowel Box kite next to the car in the car park. A handy bit of wind-shadow you see. Soon the big blue Box was ready to fly, and I moved out to the grassed area.

It was all a bit hairy, the Box rushing from side to side in the breeze which was not as smooth as down on the unobstructed sand. The line strain was horrendous at times, to the point where I resorted to taking a half-wrap of line round my body to keep control. The main spars took on gentle curves like an hour-glass. But what really stopped the show was a rip appearing in the leading edge of a lower cell panel. Time to call it a day! With help from my wife and young son, we got the kite down and de-rigged.

Meanwhile, Mike's red parafoil with the Boxing Kangaroo flag half-way up the line had weathered the conditions pretty well.

So, not the most relaxed kite flying ever, but it's all experience!

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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