LOVE the Barn Door!

by Marcy Marchello
(Massachusetts, USA)

My second MBK kite and another very satisfying build-and-fly experience. With one more dowel than the diamond, the barn door needs just a little more wind to launch but is still a big easy flyer. Since they launch in very light winds, I can enjoy being out in the cold without much breeze while flying.

It almost disappears in the high blue sky at dusk, then reappears as the kite lowers into the horizon colors of pink and purple. One person walking by commented - "it looks like a big jellyfish in the sky!". With the translucent sail it really does remind me of a jellyfish in the ocean too, especially as the stars come out! I continue to enjoy evening flying with these MBK kites in winter - very poetic and soul nourishing!

Thanks again Tim!

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Tell me more
by: Marcy Marchello

Fun to surprise you with the door in the snow! Tell me more about adjusting the bridle for stronger wind. Shift the prusik knot higher on the line? I am curious about approximate wind range the good ol' barn door can handle.

I'm experimenting soon with 2 tails and I added some reflective tape to enhance my dusk flying visuals. Hope to get back out there soon!

(Note from T.P. - try shifting the knot an inch or 2 higher, and be ready to also shift the upper bridle loop knot left or right (1/4" at a time) if the kite shows signs of consistently turning in one direction. The tails will also help by providing more weather-cock stability. You might be able to keep it in the air up to around 25kph!)

Kites in the snow.
by: Tim Parish

I realize it's winter over there, but the photo of the BarnDoor kite laying on snow still surprised me! Have never pictured my designs flying in snowy environments, since here in South Australia, snow is such a rarity. Just a few short-lived flakes dusting the tops of the nearby range of hills, once in a blue moon.

You should find that, with careful adjustment of the bridle, your BarnDoor will also put up with a lot more wind strength than the Diamond.

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E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

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    Oct 19, 16 07:00 AM

    A previously published page which gives some historical background to the so-called Gibson Girl box kite. Designed for military use, it's an old but impressive piece of kite technology...

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
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"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!

More E-books...

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