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....

May 27, 2015

The Benjamin Franklin Kite

A previously published page presenting some historical background regarding Franklin's famous experiment. Did it actually occur, and what were the details of his kite? Find out...

Continue reading "The Benjamin Franklin Kite"

May 27, 2015

Flight Report:
Big Rustling Delta Goes Overhead

This week has seen something of a catch-up after the first couple of very wet weeks foiled more frequent flying down here in Adelaide. Today the weather station was reporting gusts to around 20kph. A bit fresh for the 4.8m (16ft) span Multi-Dowel Delta, but these days I just tie on a drogue to settle this kite down. Plus it's rigged with somewhat more billow in the sail, which makes for more stable flight. In smoother and lighter winds I usually spread the leading edges further apart to flatten out the sail.

Anyway, as expected due to trees upwind, the big bendy kite spent plenty of time stalling and flying sideways while low. It finally came close to the middle of the field as I let more of the 100 pound Dacron line out. At this point, it was fairly straightforward to give the line a tug when the nose was pointing directly up, accelerating the huge Delta skywards.

Once over 100 feet, the kite flew fairly smoothly. Rustling loudly whenever the gust strength climbed past 15kph or so. It was interesting watching the fast ripples in the plastic, moving from front to back. Occasionally, a lull would allow the kite to lurch sideways as it lost air pressure, but the drogue soon had it back on an even keel again. So to speak - it is it actually a keel-less design!

While explaining to a friend how the drogue also helps to prevent over-flying, the mischievous kite must have heard me... Immediately, it started moving up, up , up - until almost vertically overhead on over 60 meters (200 feet) of line! Oh well, the drogue helps a bit, being fairly small.

"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!

May 25, 2015

Flight Report:
Huge Rokkaku Rises - Only Just

A few sunny days at last. With light winds forecast it was an opportunity to loft the big Multi-Dowel Rokkaku to max allowable height. Or so I thought...

Down at the reserve the breeze was almost nothing. The 2.4 meter (8 feet) span Rok is good in very light winds, but this was going to be a challenge. Sure enough, the outing became a long series of tow-ups. Higher and higher, as more line was let out each time. But still, the kite just wanted to descend slowly back to the grass.

With a slightly aft center of gravity, the kite would reliably glide backwards when given slack in the line. I suppose it was fun doing this for quite extended periods, but really, it was time the thing just stayed up for a while! The 100 pound Dacron line would stretch noticeably as the big Rok sat back on its tail when line tension came back on. Often this would be when the tail end was within centimeters of the ground, as I prepared for another long haul up to 200 feet or so.

Finally, in the almost cloudless sky, a large but very weak thermal kept the kite at 60 degrees of line angle for a couple of minutes. Or maybe it was just a period of slightly higher wind speed up there. In any case, it was barely worth it. A sweaty back and sore finger from heavy line rub being the price for finally achieving nearly 350 feet of altitude. It wasn't going to get any better, so shortly after it was time to pack up and return home.

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.

May 25, 2015

KAP Report - Marion Shopping Centre 2

KAP: Looking West from various altitudes, at the Westfield Marion Shopping Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.

Continue reading "KAP Report - Marion Shopping Centre 2"

May 22, 2015

Great Flying Painted Kite

Thanks for the great kite instructions. We had a big kite flying event at the school and my son wanted a big kite that flew well. We decided to build

Continue reading "Great Flying Painted Kite"

May 20, 2015

Flight Report:
Big Diamond Chases The Sun

It's been hard to get out and fly this month, due to the very wet weather. And ever since the start of the month, I have been looking for an opportunity to get out to a particular location by mid-morning for some KAP (Kite Aerial Photography). Today was a possibility, but time got away and it was decided to just go for a fly instead...

Weather conditions were hard to assess from the online weather sites. One direction and strength at one location and quite different wind data at another. To cover all possibilities, I packed the Fresh Wind Sled, Multi-Dowel Diamond and the Multi-Dowel Rokkaku.

On arrival at Knox Park, the breeze seemed a little too lively for the Rok, taking into account the higher wind speeds up around 200 feet. Clouds were slipping by, so it wasn't exactly light up there.

So, the big blue Diamond was chosen. For a while I just flew it around quite low, taking movies and photos. Wouldn't you know it, the sun was doing its best to align exactly with the kite, making photography very tricky. Hence I let the kite move around a lot in the rough air down low, waiting for every little photo opportunity.

With the camera work out of the way, it was time to let the Multi-Dowel Diamond kite up high. A small rain squall was approaching, so the kite's drogue chute gave peace of mind as the gusts tugged harder and harder at the drop-sheet plastic sail. I took some more photos with the kite on 105 meters (350 feet) of line. By now the sun had disappeared behind thick cloud cover.

Not wanting to chance it with the approaching mass of even darker cloud, I took the kite down and departed. Although somewhat short, it was still a relaxing outing! As for the wind... 10 to 15kph according to the wind meter, while an online weather station recorded 11 to 19kph.

"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!

May 20, 2015

Dan Leigh Interview

A previously published page containing an email-interview with Dan Leigh. Dan is well known in kite circles for his exceptional craftsmanship. His Delta kites are pricey but very, very good fliers!

Continue reading "Dan Leigh Interview"

May 13, 2015

Delta Kites

A previously published page featuring some Deltas we have seen at past kite festivals. Some of our best Delta kite photos here!

Continue reading "Delta Kites"

 

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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