Roller Kite Plans

For All The MBK Rollers

These Roller kite plans and hints are aimed at summarizing the more in-depth instructions to be found in the How To Make A Kite section of this website.

For each of the Roller plans below, there are also a pair of plan view photos.

The picture on the left is of the front surface. That is, the side of the kite which faces the flier. The other photo is of the back surface, which exposes the spars.

For all 3 designs...

Attach flying line to the bridle with a shiftable knot, for later trimming.

Also, the kites work well with light single-ply plastic for sail material. Many large plastic bags are suitable.

The sail tethers are just lengths of flying line, attached to the upper sail with strips of clear sticky tape, and knotted to the lower horizontal spar with half-hitch knots for easy un-picking and adjustment.

This Stake Line Winder from Amazon doesn't have any equivalent in your local supermarket. It's great stuff for kites and the strength is a good compromise for all the designs on this page.




Dowel Roller Kite Plans

Plan View Photos

The Dowel Roller viewed from the front.
The Dowel Roller viewed from the back.
Roller Kite Plans - the Dowel Roller.


Tips And Hints

  1. Work with 1 Dowel length equal to either 120cm of 5mm dowel, or 48" of 3/16" dowel.
  2. Reinforce the sail edges by adding clear sticking tape over the outlines, then trimming back to the outlines as you cut out the sail. To save weight, don't reinforce the trailing edge of the upper sail or the leading edge of the lower sail.
  3. Secure the sail to the spar ends using short lengths of electrical insulation tape.
  4. Add tabs to the lower sail leading edges, so you can fold them over the spar and tape down.
  5. Run a length of sticky tape the full length of the kite's center-line to help prevent stretch.
  6. Reinforce the upper sail corners where the ties are attached. I used short pieces of sticky tape, stuck to each other where they leave the plastic.
  7. Use a bridle loop of length 1.0DL (120cm, 48"), going to each side of the upper horizontal spar.
  8. Run a 3.0DL (360cm, 144") bridle line from the center of the loop to the bridle attachment point of the keel.
  9. You might find stability to be marginal in all but very light conditions. To extend the wind range, try adding weight to the trailing edge of the keel near the vertical spar tip. A couple of 5c pieces worked wonders for me!

Don't forget - an e-book is available with these plans plus step-by-step instructions and a flight report.

The Sled already rolls up into a neat bundle, for transport. For the other designs, the e-book also shows how to make the kite with removable spars so it can be rolled-up.

Another plus with the pdf e-book format is the nicely formatted printouts you can get. Also, you can work off-line with the e-book on your laptop or tablet.

 

The Dowel Roller kite in flight.




2-Skewer Roller Kite Plans

Plan View Photos

The 2-Skewer Roller, viewed from the front.
The 2-Skewer Roller, viewed from the back.
Plans for the MBK 2-Skewer Roller kite.


Tips And Hints

Out In The Field

My collection of real-life Roller kite stories is worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

  1. Reinforce the skewer joins with short lengths of skewer, 0.1SL (3cm, 1") long, glued to one or both sides of the join as in the plan. While gluing the spars with dihedral, the short reinforcers stay flat on the table.
  2. Reinforce the sail edges by adding clear sticking tape over the outlines, then trimming back to the outlines as you cut out the sail. To save weight, don't reinforce the trailing edge of the upper sail or the leading edge of the lower sail.
  3. Secure the sail to the spar ends using short lengths of electrical insulation tape.
  4. Use 4 more small pieces of tape to secure the leading edge of the lower sail to the lower horizontal spar.
  5. Try a bridle line about 3 times longer than the kite itself, tied between the uppermost attachment point and the keel.

There's our original 2-Skewer Roller kite below. A drop in wind speed has caused it to momentarily hang on the upper bridle leg...

The 2-Skewer Roller in flight.




1-Skewer Roller Kite Plans

Plan View Photos

The 1-Skewer Roller, viewed from the front.
The 1-Skewer Roller, viewed from the back.
Plans for the MBK 1-Skewer Roller.


Tips And Hints

  1. Secure the sail to the spar ends using short lengths of clear sticky tape.
  2. Include tabs along the leading edges of the lower sail. On each side, fold the tab over the spar and stick down using 3 squares of clear sticky tape.
  3. Try a bridle line about 3 times longer than the kite itself, tied between the uppermost attachment point and the keel.
  4. The 1-Skewer Roller kite requires a tail. Start with a tail about 6 times as long as the kite itself.
The 1-Skewer Roller in flight.




I hope one of these Roller kite plans is just right for you!

As mentioned earlier, this Stake Line Winder from Amazon is a good compromise, in terms of line strength, for all the designs on this page.

You might have noticed that this site has a monthly newsletter...

For single-line kite fliers and builders, it's always been a good read. But if you are interested in KAP and/or large home-made kites you won't want to miss it!

So sign up today, and download the free 95-page e-book "What Kite Is That?" straight away. Info-packed and fully photo-illustrated.

And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.

What's New!

  1. 3rd Annual Sonali Seth Kite Festival

    Aug 20, 14 08:29 PM

    Great community gathering. Music. Bollywood dancing. Food. It's Free! Great weather in Bismarck with a good breeze. Lots of kites. Free kites

    Read More





New! Comments

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E-books

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!


Kite e-book: Making The MBK Dowel Roller Kite

Download
"Making The
MBK Dowel Roller Kite"
(see flight video!)



Make
all the Dowel kites, including the one above...

Kite e-book: Making Dowel Kites

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"Making Dowel Kites"



ALL the e-books.
Best value of all...

Kite e-books: The Big MBK Book Bundle

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"MBK Book Bundle"





E-book
Testimonials

(unedited)

"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."

_________________

"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."

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"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"

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thank you"