Watch Your Knuckles

by Ron Green
(Arkansas, U.S.A.)


Grandson and I had built a few Dopero kites to fly, but the weather was either too bad or no wind. So the other day it was about 20 degrees F. with a fairly strong wind.

Wind chill was or had to be around 15 degrees or to me it felt like 5 degrees. But when you have a chance to fly what is a few degrees. LOL.

I could not find my kite winder so we used a cheap one that had 2 knobs on one end and a handle on the other, no way to stop the line, you just used the knobs to crank in the line or let line out.

The 2 skewer 22 inch, just would not let me adjust it's bridle, or the wind was just to strong, it took a good nose dive. But did not really hurt it much. So I put on a tail help it settle down a little, I think it was cold too. Then it ripped in a couple of places, but must like flying in the cold, cause it just flew great. But I put him away so he would not get hurt any more.

Then my grandson wanted to fly the big 2 skewer kite, I used 24" skewers, so that made it 4 feet tall. Ok I used 48" dowell, I cheated. I offered it to the wind and it took it for a good flight, no tail needed. I wanted to take a few pictures, so my grandson took over the kite. I told him to let out more line, well the wind gusted and took off with the kite, the 2 knobs just kept spinning around beating his knuckles, I am looking for the kite in the camera and all I heard was Help! Grampa Help!

So the moral of the story is when it is cold make sure you wear gloves, and be careful of the cheap line winders.

The end of the story is the Kites Tim makes and show how to make is great fun for the whole family.

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Dowel kites
by: Tim P.

Thanks for that Ron. You're about 7 months ahead of me, turning out Dowel Dopero kites! I don't know if you cut up the dowel and glued dihedral into the spars or not, but I'll just be putting bow into a single length of dowel, to save weight. Sounds like yours flew great anyway!

Prussik knot stuck? Try pulling the bridle line tight with the Prussik in the middle, to unlock it. Then it should be possible to get a fingernail in there and slip it along a bit. This will actually be illustrated in a new page that is going up in a few days time.

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  1. Flight Report:
    KAP Mystery Solved

    Aug 25, 14 03:57 AM

    Last week I came home from a KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) session down at Brighton beach, here in Adelaide, South Australia. The photos were a disaster, being totally washed out. Over-exposed, to be a little more technical. At the time I thought the problem was purely the position of the sun, relative to the direction of the camera...

    Well guess what. Down at the same beach today, the photos had the same problem - and this time it definitely wasn't the sun. Camera damage seemed a small possibility since the rig had hit the sand at some speed last time, during a white-knuckle experience with the kite in rough air! Which turned out OK, but that's another story.

    Anyway, once back home today, I did a little investigating with the camera, taking some test pictures from the back yard. It was a great relief to find the explanation for the bad images...

    It seems that setting a fixed ISO is not a good idea for this camera in very bright lighting conditions. It can cause the camera to run out of adjustment room for other parameters, like shutter speed or aperture. When the camera was allowed to set ISO automatically, the exposure problem disappeared. Whew!

    The Tyvek-sailed Carbon Diamond performed wonderfully today. It was, for the first time, hoisting the KAP rig into the air. Never has the rig been so steady for so long. Sway was almost non-existent. But whenever I handled the line the camera twisted back and forth due to the rather steep line angle from the rig to the kite. Without enough horizontal separation, the suspension lines do not provide the maximum resistance to twisting. It might be an idea to separate the attachment points even further, on the flying line.

    The 2 meter (7 ft) Diamond was struggling to lift the camera in the fairly light winds coming off the ocean. At times, people on the beach had to duck under the line from me to the camera! The camera was behaving as a sort of aerial tether point, with the kite flying at a steep line angle from there.

    Measured at shoulder height, the on-shore breeze was about 4.5kph gusting to just under 7kph. More of a day for the Multi-Dowel Sled really, which hardly feels a 280g weight on the line!

    "Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe what's on offer in that message series!

    Read More








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