With a 2-leg bridle fitted, the 1 Skewer
Rokkaku kite had some great flying today, in winds gusting to over 10
kph. I brought my favorite toy from Christmas Day with me ;-) It was a
wind speed measuring device, the Windtronic 2 from Kaindl Electronic, a
German company. The wind meter was soon set up on a mini camera tripod, in fact the
one that came with our digital camera.
MBK 1-Skewer Rokkaku
MBK 1-Skewer Rokkaku
The tiny wind turbine whirred
silently while I went about attaching the flying line and putting the
This oval was not infested with tall weeds like some others
around this area! Hence no chance of the flying line or tail snagging
all the time. Somewhat annoying!
Today, the weather was very pleasant for flying. Sunny, few clouds and a light breeze.
The winds seemed so light that I ventured to remove the
last section of tail plastic from the 1 Skewer Rokkaku kite. Perhaps it
wouldn't mind, and it would be a tiny bit less drag on the kite.
Indeed, during the lulls there was not quite enough breeze to
even keep the little Rok in the air. However, I persisted, and
eventually managed to get some photos and video. About 15 meters (50
feet) of flying line was out.
The kite seemed to be pulling a bit too hard, and looping, so I shifted the towing point forward a few millimeters.
With photos out of the way, 60 meters (200 feet) of line went out after much line-working and a couple of landings!
The tiny Rok settled out at around a 30 degree angle much of the
time, sometimes lower when the wind was even lighter. To the point of
nearly half the line draping onto the grass, while the kite gamely hung
on. Just hovering there, suspended several meters above the ground!
or twice the 1 Skewer Rokkaku kite went to 60 degrees or more in some
moderately strong thermal lift. It feels like this kite will fly at around 45 degrees in ideal
wind strengths, on 60 meters (200 feet) of line. Albeit with quite a bit
Sag or no sag, there was room at this fairly large school oval to
let out more line... With 90 meters (300 feet) out, I threw the winder
around the trunk of a handy tree.
The 1 Skewer Rokkaku kite evidently has a slight right-turn built
in, which caused looping during stronger gusts, and generally limited
the height achieved. So I brought the kite down and added back the tail
section which had been removed earlier. I also shifted the towing point
back just a fraction.
Walking back to the tree, I noticed the kite's shadow creeping upwind as the little Rok soared higher and higher directly above. Watching the kite for several minutes, it was surprising how much difference the extra length of tail was making! The Rok flew straighter, smoother and higher than before. It was a pleasure to watch the long, gently weaving climbs as the wind strength freshened from time to time.
For tech-heads: regarding the maximum height, the reduced tendency to loop outweighed the effect of the increase in drag of the extra tail. By far!
According to the Windtronic wind meter, the breeze had averaged 3.3 kph most of the time, rising to 3.4 kph for a while.
Max wind speed at ground level was 10.2 kph. But I'm sure it was more like 15 kph higher up.
With 5 minutes to go before wife and child would expect to be picked up from the close-by supermarket, I brought the Rok down. Nice flight!
You can make kites by working through instructions on live Web pages. However, many people find it easier to work from printouts, or even off-line from a lap-top or tablet...
Making Skewer Kites is my handy PDF-format download of printable step-by-step instructions. All the 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!