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....

Oct 30, 2014

First Time Hoisting A Camera

An old flight report featuring the big Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite. Getting a camera in the air for the first time is a memorable thing! There's always more to learn about taking aerial photos...

Continue reading "First Time Hoisting A Camera"

Oct 25, 2014

Flight Report:
An Unexpected Success Story

My wife, May, bought a couple of cheap kites from a market stall the other day. A large Ship kite and a Butterfly. Both were mass-produced items from Indonesia, hand-made from a mixture of traditional and modern materials. Bamboo and rip-stop nylon to be specific.

The Ship at least had some instructions for assembly - although they were a bit faded and ambiguous. The kite came together reasonably quickly and looked like it might fly, despite rather average workmanship.

The Butterfly, on the other hand, had a tie missing on one of the leading edge spars. Still, we managed to jam the bits of bamboo into what appeared to be the right spot, and hoped for the best. I was not convinced it would fly successfully.

Down at Brighton beach, our 50 pound Dacron line was attached to the bridle loop with a Prusik knot. And slid along to a likely spot not far from the nose of the hull. Fortunately, the breeze happened to be perfect. Smooth off the ocean and varying between 15 and 19 kph. If these kites didn't fly today, they never would...

To my wife's delight, after the ship spun around and caught the breeze, it obediently rose up to a modest - very modest - line angle. The thing actually flew! It was really quite stable. Now I knew the concept was sound, but I was just surprised that this individual kite, with its slight unevenness in construction and some other minor flaws, seemed comfortable in the air.

Before long we had over 30 meters (100 feet) of line out and I walked around taking photos and video of the aerial / nautical marvel. Just parked up there at around 25 or 30 degrees of angle. Later, I let the line out to well over 60 meters (200 feet) and found just a few extra kph of wind speed up there.

Next up was the Butterfly. As expected, it was hopeless at first. But after adding more and more tail length to one side, it began to behave. And then I tried swapping the sticks over, where they crossed near the nose. This had an immediate positive effect, and I was able to remove most of the tail.

For perhaps two or three glorious minutes, the formerly despised Butterfly proved that it could indeed fly stable. Not only that, but at a much better angle than the Ship! Finally, it spun out of control and hit the sand.

An interesting outing though. We so rarely buy kites!

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Usually, video and/or photos are posted a few days later on the MBK Facebook Page. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.

Oct 23, 2014

A Slow, Ponderous Climb To 250 Feet

An old flight report featuring the biggest Rokkaku I have ever made. This one was a real light-wind floater - but couldn't take much extra breeze at all! A nice high sunset flight on this occasion...

Continue reading "A Slow, Ponderous Climb To 250 Feet"

Oct 22, 2014

Flight Report:
Out With The Backup Kite: 2-Skewer Sode

After getting be-calmed yesterday, today was looking much better for seeing what the little paper Sled could do on a generous length of polyester sewing thread.

However, down at the reserve, the gusty breeze uncovered a problem. The Sled had been hanging on a wall in our hallway for so long that the paper had set in the closed position. All curled up so the towing points touched. In every lull, the towing points would snap together again, causing the kite to spin and drop. Pity. But nothing an ordinary household iron wouldn't fix! So I ironed it flat when I got home, ready for another attempt.

This time I wasn't caught out without a backup kite. The 2-Skewer Sode was it for today. A little earlier, the wind meter had registered an average wind speed of around 8kph and gusts to 18kph at shoulder height. Just enough to generate some leaf noise from the nearby tree.

The Sode immediately popped into the air and I flew it around on just a few meters of line while taking video. Then it was straightforward to move upwind towards the far side of the grassed area while letting out more line.

At 60 meters (200 feet), out came the camera again for some more video. The orange-sailed Sode kite was flying about, experiencing wind speeds all over its comfort range. For a while it just sat up there, almost stationary, during a period of smoother breeze.

Later, on 90 meters 9300 feet) of line, comfort turned to stress and strain as the thermal gusts grew stronger. At wind speeds around the mid-twenties in kph, the 2-Skewer Sode goes to one side and will do a complete loop if pushed any further. Patches of moderately strong sinking and rising air affected the kite, causing it to drop and pull hard before flying way overhead at other times.

A very enjoyable flight, with the mid-sized kite really showing off on its long light Dacron line. In the almost cloudless sky, the sun lit up the bright orange sail from behind. The Sode would have been spotted by dozens of motorists in the area. Puzzled by its shape no doubt, since it's not a Diamond or a Delta!

"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 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!

Oct 21, 2014

Flight Report:
Chasing The Breeze

Almost literally. A brief foray out to the local Primary school grounds with the Paper Sled was disappointing. The 5kph gusting to 9kph recorded only half an hour before had dwindled to the occasional 'gust' to, say, 2kph! Not nearly enough for the little spar-less Sled.

Back home, the weather stations online seemed to indicate a tad more breeze to the South and closer to the coast. So I hopped in the car with the 2-Skewer Sode kite, which excels in very light air. Down at the beach, it was another fruitless exercise in kite-towing. Or rather, swift pull-ins to get the kite up high before seeing it make lifeless vertical descents back to the sand.

A launch was possible in any direction, but a tiny drift towards the West was observed on one such flight. OK, let's launch from the water's edge then, directly into the 'breeze'. Well, for about 3 seconds, it looked like some sustained flight might happen, but it wasn't to be.

On the way home, some light-weight rip-stop nylon banners taunted me, managing a slow flutter despite the almost calm conditions.

But there's always tomorrow!

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Usually, video and/or photos are posted a few days later on the MBK Facebook Page. Longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.

Oct 20, 2014

All Ages Come And Try Kite Flying Day

Plenty of photos, including some aerial ones, of the 'All Ages Come And Try Kite Flying Day' organized by AKFA in October 2014.

Continue reading "All Ages Come And Try Kite Flying Day"

Oct 16, 2014

KAP Report - Meningie from the football oval

KAP: Looking roughly south, from various altitudes up to 250 feet, from the football oval in Meningie, South Australia.

Continue reading "KAP Report - Meningie from the football oval"

Oct 16, 2014

Just Loving The Moderate Breeze!

An old flight report, featuring the tiny but trustworthy 1-Skewer Sled kite. Does well in anything from 8 to 25kph or there-abouts...

Continue reading "Just Loving The Moderate Breeze!"


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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