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Flying Dowels & Plastic, Jan 2013 - Huge Roks & Barn Doors.
January 29, 2013

Fresh Kite-Making And Kite-Flying News


So, 2013 is upon us. There is sooo much lined up to be rolled out later, so to speak. You can look forward to adventures in KAP (Kite Aerial Photography), more large kite designs and also, I'm hoping, some fresh new web pages contributed by professional or would-be pro kite-makers.

As a bit of a throw-back to the earliest years of MBK, it's likely that there will be a new kite design featured nearly every month from now on. However, I have freed myself from the commitment of doing full step-by-tedious-step instructions for the new bonus kite designs. Just full plans and a set of annotated close-up photos. Once someone has done the corresponding 1.2m Dowel version, they should be able to cope. All required info is present, it just doesn't 'hold your hand' so much! The process is very similar to the smaller kites.

Let's see, what has been flown around here lately, since the last newsletter...

Mainly, the big new bonus kites. The Multi-Dowel Rokkaku and Barn Door. Towards the end of the month I gave up on refining the Rok due to the high average wind speeds Adelaide was experiencing. Instead, I got cracking on the Barn Door and as of today actually, the whole thing is complete. E-book updates and all - so you could have one of these in the air the day after tomorrow if you purchase the Making The Dowel Barn Door Kite book now.

The Multi-Dowel Rok isn't forgotten. Far from it, some final modifications have been settled on, and this design should go to completion this month. A huge kite strictly for sub-20kph winds.

That might do for now.

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. KAP Corner
  5. MBK Books

Visitor Contribution Of The Month

There were a number of contributions this month. A couple were from an enthusiastic single-line flier who had tried her hand at kite-making for the first time. With MBK kites of course! Firstly the Dowel Diamond, then the Dowel Barn Door.

It's not a long read, but it gives a taste of flying in a snowy Winter environment. Quite a contrast to the experiences of most MBK visitors from the Southern Hemisphere.

Here's Marcy with her flying report called LOVE The Barn Door! Click on the small images on that page to change the large image.

Flight Report Of The Month

As existing subscribers may know, 'The Month' can refer to the time interval between this newsletter and the previous one. Today's featured flight took place on the 19th of January.

This flight was selected since it contains a little drama! Not to mention a close-up in-flight photo and a short video of the giant Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite. The sky was overcast and the wind was freshening. There I was with one slippery glove and a huge kite that didn't want to get any closer to the ground...

Check out the long-format flight report called Huge Multi-Dowel Barn Door Kite Successfully Tweaked. Gee what a boring title, what was I thinking...

MBK Kite-Making News

The Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite

Firstly, just a few comments about the Rokkaku which was temporarily abandoned this month, to be resumed next month.

The huge Rok was clearly too lightly built to even cope with 12kph or so of breeze, initially. In response to that, the center vertical spar piece was reinforced with a short length of dowel as a temporary measure. At the same time, the lower bridle loop attachment points were shifted outwards by another 10%. This made a small improvement only, although the kite in this state did climb right up to 250 feet in very light winds with no dramas.

Recalling a picture of another Rok which featured bridle lines going to the extreme upper and lower tips of the kite, I decided this was a rather good idea! Indeed, the next outing proved that the kite behaved much better. Unfortunately, I didn't get to fully adjust these extra bridle lines before a gust snapped the lower horizontal spar.

The final solution will be to shorten the vertical spar to a length of 2.25DL from 2.5DL. Also, the 8mm lower horizontal spar will be replaced with 9.5mm dowel, the same as the vertical spar. And of course, I will endevour to get those extra bridle lines fully adjusted in light winds! Actually it should be possible to get them close in the living-room with the kite flat up against the wall. And then final tweaks out on the field. The upper spar, with 4 points of bridle attachment, has shown no signs of misbehaving despite its 8mm diameter.

In the meantime, the Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite (see photo) was mapped out, constructed and flown over just a few days. In fact, it might have taken me more hours to document it in plans, diagrams and photos than it took to design and construct! Apart from a few tweaks to bridle knot positions, this kite appears to be just about right in all other respects. Hopefully, it will willingly carry up the new half-picavet KAP system for a test quite soon.

Which leads us into the...

KAP Corner

The time for initial weight-tests is getting very close! The half-picavet suspension system was partly constructed today, and will be completed tomorrow. Just waiting for some glue to dry. Then it will just be a matter of attaching a 200g weight to simulate a camera plus cradle. The 200g amount is a little excessive, so it should be a good test. Things should be that much easier with the real payload, when the time comes.

Oh, by the way, the suspension system uses 4 materials that are used to make the kites themselves. Packing tape, Dacron line and dowel! It's the MBK Way.

The first day with gust strengths under 20kph should enable an attempt. If all goes well and the kite stays stable enough, I'll eventually try again in winds gusting to around 30kph. If I feel confident at that point, it will be time to make a bamboo skewer cradle and use it with the Pentax Optio WG-2. Gulp.

MBK Books

These are advertised in the right hand columns of the My Best Kite website, and occasionally referenced in the body text of some pages. I'm sure you have seen them.

In recent months, the number of people accessing e-books on all kinds of topics has exploded, thanks largely to the Amazon company and its increasingly popular Kindle e-reader. In fact, the term 'e-book' might soon be so well known that I can stop referring to mine as 'downloadable, printable books'!

My books are of the PDF file variety, which you can view and / or print off from PCs, Macs and other computers. A bit 'old-school' now, but still pretty handy. There are even ways to access them on the Kindle. But the way of the future is with hand-held devices that are as easy to read as paper.

A little reminder...

An MBK book is a PDF file containing text and photos which can be downloaded to your computer's hard drive. These 'e-books' are handy for either reading on-screen, or printing off to paper, which is preferable for some. With a PDF, it's very easy to just print out the pages you want. For example, a couple of Appendices plus the instructions for a single kite.

Almost the entire book-published content of this site is contained in the MBK Book Bundle. Of course, the cost is much less than buying all the books separately. Also, as time goes on, the value will increase as new products are added or existing ones extended. For example, the recently-added Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite.

Plenty of people are signing up for the MBK Beginner eCourse. Feel free to reply to this email if you have tried it and have a comment or 2. A more advanced course is in the pipeline.

Why not tell a friend about this kiting newsletter.

Issued on Tuesday, January 29th 2013 Issue #0066
My Best Kite
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