My First Simple Delta

by Pete
(England)

I made a Simple Delta from the plans on your website and took it to the river bank to see if it would fly. The wind was from the South moderate to fresh and gusty.

I made the kite of clear plastic and used gaffer tape to stick it together. The kite took off very well but the wind was too strong and the kite kept swinging sideways and hitting the ground.

I added some more tail and the kite flew for about half an hour before the 50lb. breaking strain line broke.

Vehicles passing on a nearby road slowed or stopped to watch. Since then I have made a Cody of rip stop nylon from a link in your website. Never thought to take pictures of it.

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Great Delta/Broken String
by: CLIFF

Hi Pete, glad you had fun flying your self-made plastic delta. One of the things to keep in mind when selecting the string you fly with is remember the knot you tie reduces the strength as much as 50%. Some knots are better than others.

Maybe some readers can comment on which knots they use.


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Stressed line
by: Tim Parish

Sounds like you really had the line 'singing' in a breeze like that! Even so, it's surprising that it managed to snap a 50 pound line. A frayed weak spot, or a knot let go perhaps?

I've mainly flown the Simple Delta in fairly light winds. Although there was one time, in a stiffer breeze, that the spreader pulled through the tape by a few cm, turning the kite into a high-wind version! Less effective sail area, more billow.

Perhaps this kite design is more versatile than I realized, with enough tail added.

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E-book: Making The MBK Parachute Kite

This printable 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 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.

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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