West Coast Park Kites
by Tim Parish
The Light Wind Eagle
A few days ago now, we were at West Coast Park in Singapore for some kite flying. We are on holiday over here for a couple of weeks. My brother-in-law Terry had brought along his Light-wind Eagle. Meanwhile, I had decided to try an ornate Fish Kite that his family had once tried to fly.
After having a good look at it, it was clear that the towing point on the double-winged Fish Kite was way too far back. This alone would stop it from rising up, even in a good breeze. On top of that, the kite was rather heavily constructed. The 2 revolving plastic eyes near the nose might look good, but they helped to make the kite nose-heavy, not to mention a bit heavier overall!
Anyway, with the towing point fixed, I just had to go out there and prove that it would fly to some extent. The wind was very light, with slightly stronger gusts coming through from time to time. However, this was enough, together with a little jogging upwind, to prove that the very traditional-looking Chinese kite would actually fly. It only reached a 20 or 25 degree line angle, and it lurched to the right half the time, but it did fly.
Terry's Eagle was a great-looking kite in the air, due to its realistic looks and decent light-wind performance. After getting used to its handling down low, it wasn't long before we had it sailing up high. The airspace above West Coast Park was crowded. In true Singapore style, as soon as a few kites got airborne successfully, others joined in until there was barely a spot to fly safely!
For me, this was a unique experience, trying to keep out of the way of all the closest kites and their flying lines. The last thing I wanted to do was to cross lines with someone and lose the kite. Sometimes it required side-stepping to put some distance between Terry's line and others. At other times, moving up or downwind a little seemed to get some more clear airspace to fly in.
Kite fliers of all experience levels were out there. The beginners tended to fly low and somewhat erratically. The most experienced fliers had big kites which sedately soared hundreds of feet above the ground. Many of these were colorful Deltas.
Wind shifts and gentle thermal activity meant you had to keep a good eye on your kite, to keep it out of trouble. For example, a light wind kite like the Eagle can get temporarily unsettled by a gust and start diving or looping around. No problem when you are on your own, but with 6 other kites nearby it can increase your pulse rate!
Might leave it there. There's the Light Wind Eagle in the photo, while we still had it low.
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
The Roller is a WW2 vintage design which is quite well known among more experienced kite enthusiasts. With it's upper and lower sails, this design has an attractive aircraft-like appearance in the air. This MBK version excels in light winds.
If you have made Diamonds before, this kite takes a little more time to make. With the help of my instructions, it's still do-able by a beginner.
Get the e-book for making the MBK Dowel Roller kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.
This Roller takes advantage of any rising air that happens to come by. By substituting a slightly wider diameter vertical spar, the kite remains comfortable right to the top of the Moderate wind range. 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.
Feb 27, 17 06:02 AM
The huge Multi-Dowel Box took to the air last Saturday, in very gusty fresh winds...
Despite a large field to fly in, the tall trees upwind and the rather low average wind speed down low made launchin…