Barn Door Kite Memories

by Bill
(TN, USA.)

I built your Barn-Door kite and it is extraordinarily stable! So much fun and impressive to see and fly.

I wanted to build a barn-door because my dad taught me how to build one "back in the day" - (early 60's), from the color "funny-paper" section of the Sunday newspaper. He used sticks harvested from a nearby field, cotton twine and a paste-glue made from flour and water. His kites were always fun to build and fly - we would try and see how high they could get with bales of cotton twine!

He also showed me how to make "parachutes" with handkerchiefs and twine and a washer weight. Once made, the "parachute" would have a bent pin inserted through the material at the apex of the chute, and, with a brisk wind, hanging it on the line would cause it to travel upwards towards the kite. When it reached the desired height, one would flick the kite line and the parachute would drop to the earth at a great distance. All the neighborhood kids would run after it in order to be the one to catch it before it hit the ground.

Thanks for reacquainting me with this thrilling simple pleasure!

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Barn Doors
by: Tim Parish

I'm guessing you have built the Dowel Barn Door. It's quite a versatile kite, and could be scaled up easily too. Imagine a 12 foot Barn Door! Glad you have had such success with it...

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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7