From there, I took an interest in all kinds of flying
hobbies. Paper planes, small balsa wood gliders, home-made plastic
diamond kites, shop-bought Indian kites and probably other stuff I've
forgotten. Then I moved up to balsa and tissue models, control line
models and eventually radio-controlled aircraft. A mixture of powered
and un-powered model aircraft.
That was the modeling side. Full size flying also seemed very
inviting, so I saved up some money as a teenager and went flying with
the local gliding club. Soloed at age 15, while we were living in Alice
Springs. The 'Red Centre' as tourism brochures like to call that area of
Eventually, that led to becoming a fully qualified gliding instructor with the Adelaide University gliding club in South Australia. Lots of hours in the back seat of various 2-seaters.
Since then, I have dabbled in paragliding, hang gliding and flight simulation as well.
I still live in Adelaide. Now with a wife and young son who features in some of the pics on this site. Small kids grow up so quick, don't they. Various pages documented his growth quite well, during the single-digit years!
For more than a decade, I labored over dozens of kite designs. Not to mention the field-testing...
A hard job but someone had to do it ;-)
Connections With Kiting
While writing this, an interesting thought came to mind... Four other previous flying activities besides kite-flying involved kiting a flying object up into the air. They were...
- hand-towing a free-flying model glider into the air,
- bungee-launching a radio-controlled model sailplane into the air,
- operating a V8-powered winch with a full-size sailplane on the end of the cable,
- flying a paraglider - these aircraft are the direct descendants of the parafoil kite!
So maybe I did more kiting than I realized!
Go Fly A Kite!
That's meant in the nicest possible way of course :-) ...
It all started with a 5 dollar Baby Sled kite and a tiny Delta made from clear plastic and 4 thin bamboo BBQ skewers. It came a long way from there, with the help of many other keen kite fliers from around the world who contributed to this site, right up to April 2021. The final MBK designs were 2.4 meter (8 feet) span floaters that I often used for KAP (Aerial Kite Photography).
This site is no longer being actively developed or maintained. However, the site will stay up for years to come, as a resource for kite-flying enthusiasts everywhere. And I will continue to provide support to e-book customers, via the contact form below. Perhaps it was a fitting end-marker to the venture when the New York Times found this site and commissioned me to write a kite-making article for them.
We hope you find the information you are looking for, here. Maybe even get inspired to take up some form of kite flying. Or if you're already into it, perhaps trying some new type of kite!
Keep 'em out of the trees...
Wind Speed Handy Reference
Last updated: 6 May 2021