Rogallo Flexible Kite (Flexikite)

by Victor

Kite in flight with graphic from a old magazine on dimensions to make it.

Kite in flight with graphic from a old magazine on dimensions to make it.

Kite in flight with graphic from a old magazine on dimensions to make it.
Tarp Kite
Bi-cylindrical wing version

Replica of a Rogallo Flexikite. Tarp material was used as Mylar was rather hard to find in the proper thickness. Completely sparless single membrane plastic parawing. Bi-conic wing design reminds one of the early hang gliders.

Flies at very high angles and can be easily dual lined. Very survivable even when compared to Jalbert parafoils due to its single membrane wing. This is a single keel design compared to the often twin keel NPW series and does not generate as much lift or pull as twin keel designs.

Six leg jute bridle while the flying line is thick sewing thread. Tail length is 48 inches for light winds and 87 inches or more for strong or gusty winds. Drogues are amazingly effective in stabilizing this kite.

Some data...

Artist or Author: Victor
Creation Year: 2013
Width: 15 inches
Length: 21 inches
Type: Kite Object or Accessory
Geographic: United States
Kite Type: Inflated
Materials: Plastic
Significance: Scientific

Comments for Rogallo Flexible Kite (Flexikite)

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by: Graeme Henderson

Francis Rogallo was a fraud. His claims to have been the inventor of the flexible wing is self promotion, nothing more. Further, Rogallo has no claim on any bi-conical wing, only on the all flexible diamond shaped bi-cylindrical kite with tail.

Rogallo has no claim of delta wings, and photos showing him holding a bi-conical all flexible delta wing, made from a curtain are dishonest. You will not find a photo of a young Rogallo holding the wing.

There is no connection between Rogallo's work and modern hang gliders. He made a fool of everyone and his generosity in giving his patent to the US government is a sham, the patent was worthless.
He took credit for many people's work, including John Dickenson's, whose glider Rogallo dishonestly affixed his name to.

by: Victor

Thanks Tim. I'm glad to hear that this kite evokes memories of those classic hang gliders. I appreciate the "Contribution of the Month" title and thank you for creating a great online source of kiting information.

by: Tim Parish

Thanks Victor - fascinating. The kite history buffs will appreciate this contribution! Most importantly though, it looks like it affords the simple pleasures of kite flying like any other kite big or small :-) Your mention of the Rogallo concept hang gliders brought back memories of my old Mars150 and the relaxed coastal flying I used to have in it...

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E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

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.

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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