Today's outing combined a number of
family-orientated things, but this report will stick strictly to the
flying of the 1 Skewer Dopero kite, of course! Being a tiny kite, is was
entirely practical to launch it right there in the gravel car parking
MBK 1-Skewer Dopero
MBK 1-Skewer Dopero
The previous half an hour or so had seen the very light breeze
freshen considerably, up into the 'moderate' range. That suits 1 skewer
kites, which have quite a bit of bamboo compared to their tiny amounts
of sail area.
The little Dopero shot up willingly on the end of just a few
meters of line, it's long tail loop of black plastic keeping it pointed
upwind most of the time. I had fiddled with the bridle and sail tethers
quite a bit on the previous outing, several months ago, to get the kite
to fly well. So there were no problems today!
With about 15 meters (50 feet) of 20 pound Dacron line out, we
started taking photos. Some featuring 5 year old Aren holding the line.
Plus a couple of movies.
The second movie was zoomed in quite a lot to try and fill the
camera frame with more kite and less sky, which was fairly featureless
There's 10 seconds of movie, down at the bottom of this page.
By chance, the conditions were very good for getting imagery of
the kite. The Easterly breeze allowed the kite to get illuminated from
behind by the sun, which was low in the sky to the North-West.
After completing the 2nd video, I decided to move upwind, taking
us out of the gravel patch and on to the grassy reserve. With the breeze
traveling a long way across flat grassy ground, it was quite smooth,
although still gusting a little in strength.
It was easy to continue letting out line until the 30 meter (100
feet) flag came off the winder. At that point I stopped, knowing from
previous flights that this kite would fly best on this length. When the
wind strength was just right, the Dopero would sit at around 50 degrees
of angle from the horizontal. That was quite respectable, considering
the 20 pound line is relatively heavy for such a tiny kite.
Just to illustrate the very light forces involved, this kite will fly happily in a moderate breeze with the winder, a 28cm (11") slab of wood, just sitting there on the grass! Not secured or held down in any way.
Despite the perfect conditions, the 1 Skewer Dopero did misbehave just a little, when affected by turbulence or extra-strong gusts. A large loop almost to ground level, before recovering and soaring back up again.
Another time, the kite managed to flip itself inverted and sat there at about 50 feet off the ground for a few seconds up side down. With the bridle lines passing over the leading edge! The weirdness of tiny kites.
Time was getting on, so I let my wife May take the line for a while, before starting back to the car park. Winding on flying line as we went. Finally the little Dopero hovered and dipped just a meter or 2 off the grass, teasing Aren, who tried to catch it like a cat after a bird.
All in all, an enjoyable flight with the most complex design of the 1-Skewer series!
Making Skewer Kites is my handy PDF-format download of printable step-by-step instructions. This design and all the other 1-Skewer, 2-Skewer and 3-Skewer designs are covered.
The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite.
My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!