Loss Of A Collapsible Moon Kite

by Alex Tan
(Singapore)

Moon Kite Flying

Moon Kite Flying

Moon Kite Flying
Moon Kite Flying 2

My best kite recently is Moon Kite or Wau Bulan in Malay language, its origin was Malaysia where it was widely flown in Kelantan. I live in Singapore.

I am quite new in getting to know this kite, I have yet to see one actually flying. I built a few of this kite, they were collapsible ones. I made them close to look like Wau Bulan but honestly I do not have the right to use this name because technically mine were not the original Wau Bulan.

I tested flights with them. They achieved good vertical overhead flying at times, after some adjustments made to the bow and tow points. The only problem was it became unstable under stronger wind like above 25 knots. I am still trying to overcome this problem.

Yesterday, it was 6 Apr 2014, I lost my Wau Bulan while flying it at Woodland Ave 12 kite-flying field at about 1830 hours. The field was next to the highway and there were many giant kites like Octopus, at least 20 of them. Cruising gracefully under the blue sky.

The breeze initially was good and my Wau flew high up and seemed great, however the wind gradually was turning stronger and my Wau started spinning to the left. What I did was to release the line whenever the gust came, and pulling back the line whenever I could. It was hopeless anyway as the kite could no longer gain anymore stability, it finally ditched onto the highway centre divider.

I examined the furious highway traffic and started a recovery action. I dashed across the traffic to the central divider where my kite was stuck to the shrub, but could not get it back as the furious traffics were only inches from my kite. I gave up. I was lucky to return safely as the speed of the highway traffic was much faster than what I thought.

I would like to thank my friend for watching and helping over me, without him I might have endangered my life. The picture of the particular kite that lost is attached.

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25 knots
by: Tim Parish

Great post Alex. A very worthy addition to all the other unique kite-loss stories on this site.

Re your kite struggling above wind speeds of 25 knots - I wouldn't call that a problem! If it flew from 4knts up to 24, I'd call that a very good wind range. Maybe get a high-wind fishing Delta or a sturdy Box kite for those 25 - 30 knot days :-)

We visited Singapore recently and did notice the unusually strong winds this time. Possibly linked to your recent unusual dry spell.

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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

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
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7