KAP Reports

Using Large Dowel Kites

These KAP reports document what happened when some aerial photography was done in our state of South Australia. The Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite used to see most of the action, with the Sled getting pulled out in winds that were too light for the Barn Door. Similarly, the Fresh Wind version of the huge Barn Door took over when the winds were too strong for my other kites. More recently, a Fresh Wind Sled has also been created, which has a zero rig-time.

Barn Door kite with KAP test weight

There's the huge Barn Door in the photo. A test weight is suspended in a bamboo tetrahedron which later became the cradle for my camera. Note the Half-Picavet arrangement.

This design starts to struggle around the 28 kph mark, so another Barn Door design has been created. This 'Fresh Wind Barn Door' uses the same diameter dowel, but has much less sail area and a whopping big hole in the center. It flies right up into the 30-40kph range.

Although suited to stronger winds, the Multi-Dowel Box kite has so far proved awkward for KAP. This design has a much longer setup time and is prone to sinking out to the grass when you are trying to get the camera into its cradle! However, it did successfully loft the camera rig on one occasion when the average wind strength was high enough.

Recently, a new skewer rig design has seen some action. Lo-tech materials are something of a theme on this site, you might have noticed by now :-)

The advantages of this new rig include faster insertion / extraction of the camera and full 360 degree view direction adjustment. Plus access to the buttons on top of the camera while in the rig.

Fewer photos need be taken at a time, since you can just pop the rig into the air and down again several times if need be, shifting the point of view for each flight.

KAP Reports From Around Adelaide

And sometimes beyond. Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia, one of the windiest states of Australia. Still, you occasionally can't do KAP at all, due to 'no wind'! Perhaps a large R/C blimp would come in handy on those days.

OK, here are the reports. Most recent ones first...

Adelaide CBD - 2 (Sled)

Port Adelaide - 1 (Fresh Wind Sled)

Marion Shopping Centre - 2 (Fresh Wind Sled)

Flinders University - 1 (Fresh Wind Sled)

Happy Valley Reservoir - 2 (Barn Door)

Marion Shopping Centre - 1 (Barn Door)

Brighton Beach - 1 (Sled)

Meningie Fair - 1 (Sled)

Adelaide CBD - 1 (Fresh Wind Barn Door)

Noarlunga Centre - 1 (Fresh Wind Barn Door)

Happy Valley Reservoir - 1 (Sled)

Knox Park - 1 (Barn Door)

Wilfred Taylor Reserve - 1 (Barn Door)

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This printable 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 supervised!

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.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Sunny And Light For Della Porta

    Aug 19, 17 12:29 AM

    Winter-like weather has been the norm here for many weeks. But today was sunny with very light winds. A rare opportunity to take out the tail-less Della Porta variant with it's latest mini-bridle conf…

    Read More


Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

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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