Tetra Kites

by Tony Sangster
(Adelaide, SA, Australia)

Inspired by a recent question about tetrahedral kites, I found some 'spoon straws' at a local variety store. I gather the spoon bit on the end is used to spoon up ice slurry drinks. ) Joined two straws, part of one inside the other and stapled the spoon ends together. The unit length of each straw (cell side) was 31.5 cm. I used a short straw section internally to join cells and florist paper or paper-bag paper for the skins.

Yesterday with the breeze gradually building I managed to fly it!

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Similar to the Skewer Tetra
by: Tim Parish

The dimensions are just a fraction bigger than my Skewer tetra, so I guess it flies in quite a similar way. The straws must be quite light, possibly even lighter than bamboo skewers?

I found my own little 4 cell design to be a bit fussy in flight. Only in 'just-right' conditions would it return really high and / or long flights. However, it wasn't super-accurate in construction, with some differences creeping in at the vertex joins.

A 12-cell or 16-cell would still be dirt cheap, and fly a whole lot more stable. Speaking to myself as much as to anyone... Such a kite would be a good reward for all the patient fiddly labor!

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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