MBK Diamond Kite Stories
Featuring All The MBK Diamonds
The largest MBK Diamond kite needs to have the vertical spar slipped into place and secured before flying. The smaller Skewer designs are ready to go, with no setup at all. Apart from attaching the flying line of course. This classic class of kite can be a touch tricky to hand launch since it is not fully stable until the tail is floating free of the ground. But once up, they are good reliable fliers.
The Dowel Diamond is a variation that does not require a tail, so it's a bit easier to launch.
30 pound Dacron, as available on this Stake Line Winder
from Amazon, is a reasonable compromise to use for all my Skewer and Dowel kites. Except
the huge Multi-Dowel ones of course!
Here's a short-format flight report featuring the 1.2m (4ft) Dowel kite...
With the power out for a few hours, it seemed a
good idea to walk down to the local reserve with Aren. Not without a
kite of course! There was just over an hour of sunlight left in the
day and leaves were barely moving. But that's just how the Dowel
Diamond kite likes it.
The original Dowel Diamond
It turned out to be quite an interesting outing
with the pale orange Eddy-inspired MBK Diamond kite.
A few tows were
necessary to contact perhaps the 3kph necessary to stay up there.
Very marginal indeed, with the kite sometimes losing height on its
face or in the gentlest possible tail-slides, before edging upwards
In point form, here's a few highlights...
- Holding altitude
at around 150 feet, but pulling so lightly that the 25cm (10 inch)
wooden winder could just be left on the grass! Later, I put the kite
bag on it, just in case. I could have used the 20 pound line, rather
than the 50 pound it was on.
- Flying face-down
in the weakest of thermal air, holding height with the flying line
draped almost vertically down to where several meters of it just lay
in the grass!
- Took my eyes off
it for half a minute or so while winding it back in. At a very high
line angle, it managed to get itself into a vertical dive before I
noticed. The Diamond just curved round in a large languid loop
before righting itself, well above the tree tops. Whew.
- With the line
length back to around 10 meters (30 feet), I had fun dancing the
kite just out of reach of Aren. He tried pelting it with a bark
chip, and eventually succeeded in getting the chip stuck in the
bottom corner pocket of the sail. Not once, but twice.
- Checked the wind meter after half an hour or
so of flying. Peak gust strength of 4.1kph (batten down the hatches)
and average wind speed of ... 0.0 no mistake, 0.0kph! Most of the
time the cups weren't moving at all. This was near ground level of
course, but I think that 0.0 reading is a first.
Tim's Blog Posts
Featuring MBK Diamond Kites
Since these are short-format reports, they are grouped together. The page links are in descending order of kite size...
MBK Diamond Kite Posts - Multi-Dowel
MBK Diamond Kite Posts - Dowel
MBK Diamond Kite Posts - Skewer
If you are in the habit of checking the 'what's new!' link, you might remember some of these.
Tim's Flight Reports
Featuring MBK Diamond Kites
The links below are full-length reports recorded by me, each featuring an MBK Diamond kite of one type or another...
Most Unwilling To Come Down! (Multi-Dowel)
Long Climbs In Light Warm Breezes (Dowel)
Flies Like A Dream - If Thermals Not Too Extreme! (Dowel)
When Is A Hole In The Sail A Good Thing? (2-Skewer)
On A Taut 70 Meters Under A Leaden Sky (2-Skewer)
2 Orange Diamonds Flash In A Blue-Gray Setting (1-Skewer)
High Up In A Gusty Fresh Breeze (Tiny Tots)
This 30 pound Dacron line
is handy for all the MBK kites except the very large Multi-Dowel designs.
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (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
38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. 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 Parachute 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.
Aug 23, 17 06:00 AM
This previously published page gives a quick insight into the structure and materials of the original 'War Kites' by Samuel Cody. Plus some history and photos of course. Intriguing stuff...
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