How To Make A Delta Kite
Step-by-Step - Page 2 of 4
The MBK Dowel Delta
How To Make A Delta Kite
For this Delta, you need long lengths of 5mm (3/16") wooden dowel.
Enough for the 2 leading edge spars of 1.0DL (120cm, 48") and the
vertical spar of 0.8DL (96cm, 38 1/2"). Plus the spreader which is less
than 0.9DL (108cm, 43"). They are easily cut to the lengths required
with a small cheap hack-saw. But don't do any cutting just yet...
- Lay down a dowel over the center line of the sail plastic, mark
it at the exact height of the sail, and cut off at the mark. Round off
the tips with a wood file. This is the vertical spar.
- Lay down some more dowel along one leading edge of the sail, and cut to length as in the photo up there.
- Round the tips off with a wood file.
- Mark the dowel where the 2 tabs meet. This is where the spreader crosses (later).
- Do the same for the other leading edge of the kite, with another dowel. If the measurements don't match precisely
compared with the first dowel at this point, all is not lost. The kite
can still be trimmed to fly straight. More on that later...
TIP: Do your best to ensure the 2 leading edge spars are about the same stiffness. You can weigh them, or just flex them in your hands, to compare.
Now for the spreader, which holds the leading edges apart during flight.
- Lay some dowel across the sail, and cut to length so that the
tips end up between the 2 leading edge tabs. Allow the tips to over-hang
a little, using the photo over there as a guide.
- Making sure the sail is fully stretched out, make marks on the spreader, 0.005DL (0.6cm, 1/4") in-board of where it crosses the leading edge spars. See the photo again.
- Make a mark on the spreader where it crosses the center-line of the sail.
a groove into the dowel, where you marked it at each end. Make it half
the width of the dowel deep, and about the same amount in width. See the photo over there.
- Round off the tips of the spreader with a wood file.
- From another
dowel, cut off a 0.35DL (42cm, 16 3/4") length, and make a mark at its
center. Line up the center marks and bind the dowels together with 3
turns of sticky tape, at 5 spots along the spreader, as in the photo
below. (The tape is hard to see, so I have added orange rectangles at
the 5 spots.)
How To Make A Delta Kite
Each leading edge spar will have a shoe-lace tie which attaches it to one end of the spreader.
- Measure and cut off two 0.25DL (30cm, 12") lengths of shoe-lace. To prevent the cut ends from fraying, just tie a Simple Knot near the end.
- Attach the ties at the spar-crossing points which you marked on the leading edge spars. A tight Granny Knot will do, leaving equal lengths of shoe-lace on either side of the knot.
- Put some glue around the knot and onto the wood, as in the photo. Otherwise, the tie will slip rearwards when the kite flies.
For the following, you will need to use pieces of electrical insulation tape. Unless otherwise noted, make each one about 4 times longer than it is wide...
- Spread out the sail, with the edge tape facing upwards.
down the vertical spar over the sail, with the heavy end at the bottom.
Cap the top tip of the spar with tape, by sticking tape down over the
dowel and plastic then folding it around and under the plastic to stick
on the other side - a bit tricky, take your time!
- For added strength, put another piece of tape around the leading edge. See the completed cap in the top photo.
- Now do the bottom tip of the spar similarly, but just use 1 piece of tape.
the leading edge spars in place and then tape down the sail tabs with
clear sticky tape, forming those sleeves. After the first 1 or 2 test
flights, you might need to remove one leading edge spar to reduce its diameter a little with a wood file! More on this later...
- Fold a piece of tape around the lower
tip of each leading edge spar, capping the spar so it can't slide out.
Try to ensure there is very little of the dowel actually touching the
tape, in case you need to remove the spar later. Then fold another piece
of tape around the leading edge for added strength. See the middle photo.
- Place a square piece of tape over the upper tip of each leading edge spar. See the bottom photo. After the kite is flying perfectly, you can make these a little more secure by using more tape, if you want to.
Continue to page 3
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E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119cm (4 ft) wide
Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the
canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell
kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to
38kph or 13 to 24mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in
the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls
firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while
Every kite design in
the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...
- Materials are
plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
- Tools are a ruler,
scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
- All cuts are
along straight lines.
For the greatest chance
of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For
example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line
type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough,
since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small
differences from my original.
Get the e-book for making the MBK Parafoil kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.
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.
Jun 24, 17 08:27 AM
It was down at Knox Park on the last Saturday of the month, as is my custom...
Except that the weather has not cooperated on the last couple of occasions. Even today the breeze was barely there. A frie…
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