Thermalling in train

by Craig Ensey
(Lebanon, OR, USA)

Just a quick flight report about flying kites in train or, flying two on the same line. I was out at the park again with my kite flying co-pilot, Brennan.

This afternoon, the wind was about 7 mph, but with a lot of thermals! I had noticed the way my MBK Delta likes thermals. It just sits at a level attitude with lots of slack in the line. The best way I can describe it is "nosing around for lift" very much of like a flying manta-ray. If that makes any sense.

After a while, I got out my Pearson Roller and tried setting it up. I don't care too much for that kite because it takes so much time to get the bowlines and sail ties hooked up not to mention the chronically tangled bridle. It's also made from Taffeta, which is terrible for kites since it pulls apart so easily.

After only a few flights, the Roller now has a "fringe" of tattered strings hanging from the back of both sails. I guess it makes it more stable! It flies good, but I never take it out because it's too much work to get it going. This is not an MBK Roller, by the way.

I figured "why not" and put it together, hooked it on about 100 feet from the Delta which was about 200 feet AGL. Although it was technically flying, it was not exactly a success. First off the roller was too heavy for the Delta to pull it out of ground effect. It was also tangling on the main flying line as it tried to fly. More wind would have been better for the Roller, but the Delta can't take much more than 9-10 mph.

Overall, it was a good outing.

Comments for Thermalling in train

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

by: Tim Parish

Had a quick peek at your video - it reminds me of those long-distance NASA shots of the Shuttle and other craft in earlier years. Certainly gives the impression of high altitude :-)

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to YOUR Kite Making Stories!.

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.

What's New!

  1. Gibson Girl - The Box Kite

    Oct 19, 16 07:00 AM

    A previously published page which gives some historical background to the so-called Gibson Girl box kite. Designed for military use, it's an old but impressive piece of kite technology...

    Read More



Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"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."


"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!"


"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

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