How To Make A Delta Kite
Step-by-Step - Page 1 of 4
The MBK Dowel Delta
This set of instructions on how to make a Delta kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making. You might already have some
of the simple tools and materials required. Anything you don't have is
easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something
These instructions might look quite
detailed. However, your reward is an impressive but quite cheap kite
that looks almost bird-like in the air. Watch other birds fly in for a closer look, at times!
This Delta is a tail-less
design that is 0.8DL (96cm, 38 1/2") tall and has a wingspan of 2.0DL
(240cm, 96"). Like traditional Deltas, this kite has a floating spreader
which keeps the leading edge spars apart. This design is a very light to
gentle wind flier.
The MBK Dowel Delta is designed to fold
down a slim cylindrical package like a Sled, thanks to the removable
spreader. Setting up on the flying field takes just a couple of
Of course, if you have enough room in your car, you can always
leave this kite ready-to-fly.
NOTE: Video views from this website don't appear to be counted.
I have chosen to make '1 Dowel Length' equal to 120cm for every kite in
the Dowel series. If you are in North America, 48" of 3/16" dowel is
close enough to 120cm of 5mm dowel. This will result in a kite with
similar flying characteristics to my original.
How To Make A Delta Kite
Cutting The Sail
Now's the time to read up on the kite making tools and materials required for making a Dowel Delta, if you haven't already.
The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...
Note: Although it's based on 120cm meter dowels, the Delta design means the total wingspan is a lot more than that. Hence, two garden bags are required, one for the left side of the sail and one for the right.
Hint: To mark long lines with a short ruler, try the following...
- Run a piece of flying line along the entire length, and keep in place with a weighty object at each end.
- Pull a little line through, to ensure it is under tension hence perfectly straight.
- Mark dots under the line, at intervals slightly shorter than your ruler.
- Remove the line and weights.
- With ruler and pen, join the dots!
- Firstly, take one large bag that you want to use for the sail,
cut it down one side and along the bottom and lay it flat on the floor.
dots on the plastic which correspond to the top, bottom and 'wing tip'
corners of the Template. Leave a margin of several cm (or inches)
between the center-line and the edge of the plastic.
- Using the marking pen, rule those 3 long lines.
from the 'wing tip', measure along the leading edge line, and draw in
the tabs. The short lines can be done by eye, but just make sure the
tabs are at least 5 dowel widths (diameters) wide.
- The left side of the plastic might be a bit ragged. So, draw another
black line next to the center line, all the way from top to bottom,
about 2 cm (an inch or so) away from the center-line. Now draw short
horizontal lines connecting to the top and bottom of the template, as in
- Only half the sail has been outlined. Take another bag, cutting it and laying it flat over the top of the first bag. No measuring to do now, just trace over all the black lines, making sure nothing shifts as you do each line.
scissors, and doing one line at a time, cut along the long lines near
the center-lines. All the way from top to bottom of the plastic sheets.
- Flip the second plastic bag over and align the center-lines
of both Template shapes. Tape down both joins with clear sticky tape,
all the way from top to bottom. One join will be facing you, the other
facing the floor. The center section is darker since it is where both
sheets of plastic overlap.
When doing the following, most of the width of the tape should be inside
the kite's outline. Use just 1 or 2 lengths of tape for each line. Hold
it out straight, touch it down to the plastic at one end, then at the
other end, dab it down in the middle, then press down all along its
- Lay clear sticking tape along some of the edges, where indicated by the yellow rectangles. In a nut-shell, tape every edge except the long edges of the tabs.
- With scissors, cut along all the black outline. This will leave most of the width of the sticking tape inside the sail outline. See the photo.
- Finally, wrap clear sticky tape around the double-thickness edges at the nose and tail ends of the sail.
Continue to page 2
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft)
diameter Parasail kite. This kite performs well in gentle to moderate
wind speeds. That's from 12 to 28 kph or from 8 to 18 mph. It pulls
hard for it's size, so should not be flown by very small kids!
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 Parasail 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.
Jul 19, 17 06:00 AM
This previously published page covers the basics - an intro if you are curious about the idea of getting pulled across a flat dry surface on a wheeled board!
Return to How To Make A Kite from How To Make A Delta Kite
All the way back to Home Page