Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News

Hello <>,

Yes, work has begun on the 2-Dowel Genki! This will be the most sophisticated MBK kite ever - despite the usual humble materials and methods used. More on the new Genki further down...

Typical chaotic Spring weather has been around in the previous few weeks. More noticeable than usual has been the local effects of rain cells on wind speed. Sometimes this is on quite a small scale, as a single large cloud mass moves over, pumping up the wind for less than half an hour. Other times it's more like a small storm, which hangs around for several hours.

So what flew this month...

  • Dowel Sled (On this occasion still having a hard time staying open with rough thermal air pummeling it from all directions!)
  • Skewer Tetra (A few outings, culminating in a good high flight in moderate winds - the subject of a full flight report with the usual photo and video.)
  • 2-Skewer Roller (A great flight, with an interesting encounter with a savage thermal! Summer is getting closer, here 'down under'.)
  • Dowel Delta (Talking about thermals, this was a day of mild thermal lift and very light winds. Perfect for climb-hungry light-wind Deltas.)

Those are the kites that flew. But in many cases another 1 or 2 were back in the car to take care of any surprises in the actual wind speeds encountered!

New Books

'Making Skewer Kites' is basically finished, but won't get 'equal billing' with the Dowel book for some time.

Also, while the 2-Dowel Genki is being built, the 'How To...' book for it is also being put together. When complete, the contents of this book will be added to the large 'Making Dowel Kites' book - thus increasing the value of this compilation even more.

Tim P.

"Every new kite is an adventure!"

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Table of Contents

  1. Visitor Contribution Of The Month
  2. Flight Report Of The Month
  3. MBK Kite Making News
  4. The KAP Kite Project

Visitor Contribution Of The Month

A bit of a mixed bag this month, but one contribution is very deserving of a highlight here... Can you imagine not being able to see, and yet successfully making a kite. Read all about how a young man did this as an AKA expert shared the love of kites on a camp for kids with cancer. Presumably the kite went on to fly, communicating down the flying line to its blind owner.

Flight Report Of The Month

Here's the short-format report on an enjoyable outing with the Dowel Delta kite. Conditions were super-light - but that's no problem for a kite that loves thermals!

Here's the report:

(titled "Flight Report - Living Dangerously With Dowel Delta On 20 Pound Line")

"Initially I pulled out the Skewer Tetra to see how it would go with some tail attached. However, there just wasn't enough breeze to even fly it at all.

Out with the Dowel Delta kite, which hasn't had a fly for some months now. Unsurprisingly, this light wind loving craft soared up on the first gentle puff that came across the weed-infested grass.

For perhaps half an hour, it was all fairly low-level flying, as the conditions were basically 'calm with moderate thermals'. Much walking here and there, working the line and generally just trying to keep the pale-orange Delta in the air. Oh yes - I had attached the 20 pound line from the earlier Tetra flying attempts. Oops - this kite is normally flown on 50 pound line! Anyway, it felt OK, even during gusts. The standard Delta kite is quite a light-pulling design!

Four loudly squawking white cockatoos checked out the Delta as it hovered at around 100 feet. Noisy fat insects briefly checked out the line-length tags, before buzzing off downwind. Beautiful Spring weather, as the sun beat down upon my Cancer Council hat with its full ear and neck protection.

Eventually the average wind strength went up a little, and soon the Dowel Delta was taking elevator rides to 300 feet, then 400 feet as I let more line out. A few times the lightly built Delta stressed hard, directly overhead, but the 20 pound Dacron held. Despite all the knots in this well-used piece of flying line...

Nice flight, although the kite fought me all the way when I wanted to get it down!

Hadn't pulled out the wind meter to this point, so I did a quick check after packing up. 3.5kph average, gusting to around 7kph at shoulder height."

Here's the How To page for the MBK Dowel Delta, in case you want to enjoy some similar flying.

MBK Kite-Making News

2-Dowel Genki Kite

The photo, which has a small amount of camera-perspective distortion at each end, shows how far the new Genki has come. Just as far as cutting out the sail, but I should be able to find time to complete the whole kite over the next few days. I promised November in the last issue of this newsletter, but it might actually fly this coming week-end - the end of this month.

Looking at it on the floor, the size is not as awe-inspiring as the 2-Dowel Sled. Although 2.4 (8 feet) meters in span, the higher aspect ratio of this design means it has around double the wing area of a 1-Dowel kite, rather than around 4 times the area.

Immediately, thoughts of a 3.6 meter (12 feet) 3-Dowel Super Genki came to mind, and I just couldn't help designing one there and then! 5-point bridle, almost elliptical planform, toed-in vertical spars for more weathercock stability rah rah rah. Ah well, it'll just have to wait. And it might require the 2-Dowel Series to be renamed to the Multi-Dowel Series instead ;-)

The KAP Kite Project

Auto Camera For Kite

This has stalled for the time being, but I have decided to keep this section in place. That's because something along these lines is going to happen sooner or later. Possibly involving that camera over there.

To visit The KAP Kite Project page to see exactly where things are at, you will need the password 'mbkkapkites'. Without the quotes of course. If you use the Firefox browser, it's an easy matter to just let it remember the password for the page.

I have added 2 photos and 2 videos of the 2-Dowel Sled. Take a look! (Added in May 2011, and no updates since)

August 2011 update: (still where it's at in Oct/Nov)

It's looking like the 2-Dowel Kites might step in to become the vehicles for these ideas! As soon as I can justify spending $100 on the RC Plane Camera up there, it will go straight onto the center spar of the 2-Dowel Sled, or possibly the Genki when it gets finished. With the addition of some fish-scales to measure line tension, the stage is set for some interesting new pages which will document the flights of these large kites. Imagery, wind speed data at height and max line tension for every outing.

Why not tell a friend about this kiting newsletter.

Issued on Tuesday, Oct 25th 2011 Issue #0051
My Best Kite
12 Muscatel Cct, Old Reynella, S.A. 5161, Australia

New! Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

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Kite Book - Making Dowel KitesMaking Dowel Kites

Kite Book - Making Skewer KitesMaking Skewer Kites

Auto Camera For Kite

Tim uses this
great wind meter...

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