THE KITE ATTRACTION

by Vernon Walker
(Alresford, Hampshire, UK.)

I live in the southern part of the UK amongst the Water Cress Beds of Hampshire. As I drove down the road towards the nearest town I saw a beautiful sight. Tethered to a long pole amongst the Water Cress was a bird like object, a beautiful hawk-like kite with black head and neck, a white mid section and a black tail.

I stopped to have a closer view and watched for a while. It was graceful in its flight even in the mildest of winds. I later found out that it was a bird scarer used by the Water Cress farmer to protect his beds of Cress.

This reminded me of my youth in India when we went out to watch the hundreds of kites that were flying. These were flown by so many people throughout the village or town. Many hours were spent in making all different shapes and sizes of kite imaginable.

It all began to stir thoughts of making and flying kites again, so I went along to the nearest kite festival and enlisted some help from a group who were teaching children and adults to make their own kites. They gave me some information and I'm now looking for new materials (fabrics) and designs so I can begin making kites again. Because I've just come across your Web Site I thought I would like to tell you.

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As a child
by: Eric Nelson

As most people in their 60's, I think of memorable times. When in the 3rd grade, the school principal announced that there was to be a "kite day". One week to make a kite.

Luckily, my father was an engineer and helped me make a 3 foot box kite made of balsa wood and silk, brushed with lacquer. It looked great and flew great and I think I won some sort of award.

I'm going to try to replicate that kite with my 3 year old granddaughter and fly it with her.

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Birds and Kites
by: Vince

I fly quite frequently in Kent (the garden of England), where the wind is changeable at best, but I still get plenty of fun with a winged sled of my own design, and certainly enjoy hearing about traditional and practical applications for things we usually consider toys.

The kite you described was obviously shaped like a kite, the bird of prey, which birds would steer well clear of in order to avoid being eaten, but I've found that kites can attract animals too.

Sometimes in the daytime I get seagulls who like to show off by flying around near the kite, as if to say "I can do it better", and at night the occasional bat will come and check it out. I'm told that under the right conditions, the hum produced by vibrations in the line is picked up by their super-sensitive hearing.

In a way it has become a kind of relaxing and entertaining way of interacting with wildlife, as well as the wind.

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Bird Scaring
by: Tim Parish

That's a slightly different post compared to others here - bird scaring hey? Hope you enjoy your new-found kite-making hobby. It does tend to get addictive after the first few successes!

I'm aware of all the kite flying activity in India. Kite-related blog posts positively stream out from that country at certain times of the year, when the traditional kite-flying festivals are on.

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E-book special of the month (25% off)...


The
Sode is a traditional Japanese design, and this MBK version is exciting to watch in rough air!

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite takes a little more time to make. It's still a straight-forward build though, using the same techniques as used for my Dowel Diamond. 

Get the e-book for making the MBK Dowel Sode kite. The cambered sail makes this a very efficient design. Of the Dowel kites, this design is one of my personal favorites!

This Sode flies steep and steady over the Light wind range, and starts to move around quite a bit when the wind picks up to Moderate levels. Tail(s) are entirely optional, but may be added for looks.

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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  1. Parafoil Kites

    Nov 30, 16 06:00 AM

    A previously published page, describing three different kinds of parafoils. Illustrated with some great close-up photos...

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Testimonials
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"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."

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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