Modern Cody Kites

A Great Old Design Lives On

It's just amazing that Cody kites can still be so popular, given their early origins. Over 100 years old now, the double-box design with bat-like wings and horns is still flying proudly all over the world.

A fine Cody kite we saw at a festival.We saw this Cody at a festival

From it's man-lifting origins, kite lovers now painstakingly construct and fly many varied examples of this design. Not everyone tries to be authentic in either dimensions, spar material or sail material, so there is great variety!

Most Codys are flown purely for the fun of it. On the other hand, sometimes the stable, high-lift Cody box is used for KAP (Kite Aerial Photography). Another common use for high-lift kites is hauling up 'line laundry', like inflatable figures, windsocks, ribbons and spinners.

Big, small, plain or fancy color schemes, the design is always recognizable. Of course, the best modern materials are usually used except if someone is trying to construct a perfect replica of the original. Modern Cody kites with their graphite spars and nylon sails are even more efficient than the originals!

What I personally find surprising is how such a complex kite could have such a following. Sure, some modern retail versions are quite simple to put together, but the more authentic creations are another story! Some people just like a challenge while others have deep respect for Cody himself, particularly in England where most of his work was done.

This Lutz Treczoks Cody on Amazon is possibly the best production model around. See further down for more on Lutz the designer.

Retail And Home-Built Cody Kites

Let's have a look at a real contrast with the original big Cody War kites. A small, easily rigged 'contemporary Cody'. There's a picture of one down there. But it's still unmistakably a Cody isn't it!

A small, easily rigged 'contemporary Cody kite'.A small retail Cody

As with the originals, modern cody-style designs sometimes have a top-sail as well, for more stability and a little more lifting power.

Also like the originals, some keen kite-makers make their own versions that are just as fiddly to set up and break down!

Some people like to stack their Codys up in the air by flying several at a time. Usually all the same design though, unlike the old man-lifting system. Also, as I mentioned earlier, some people use them for Kite Aerial Photography or sending up 'line laundry'.

What about prices? I've seen retail Codys anywhere from under US$25 to around US$500! But this might soon be out of date info. Point is, there's a large price range for this type of kite in the shops.

There are as many different-looking Cody boxes as there are keen builders of this design! Just to give you some idea, I've come across a site that features Codys with sails that are...

  • polka-dotted
  • glowing
  • appliqué
  • bright pink
  • patterned and striped
  • like the US flag, with over 200 red, white and blue panels

Codys come in all sizes these days. Here's a very nice large Cody that we saw at the Adelaide festival some time ago... Yes, it's another view of the same kite featured at the top of this page.

Great-looking Cody in flight, with a small red top-sail fitted.Another view of the big Cody Box we saw

How's this. You can buy a Cody Kite Plan for US$3. If you carefully follow the instructions it takes about 3 hours. You are then the proud owner of a tiny craft that weighs just one gram and has a 25 cm (10 inch) wingspan! So small, it can be flown indoors at walking speed. For this sort of thing, just search on the Internet for 'miniature kites'.

Now for the other end of the scale. Dan Flintjer has been designing and building Cody box kites for years. I've seen a photo of his biggest Cody. It's black, and the little toy soldier standing near one corner turns out to be a real person when you look closer! A massive kite, it stands nearly 7 meters (22 feet) high and has a 10 meter (33 foot) wingspan. More on Dan further down...

Two Notable Cody Box Specialists

Some people take their kite building seriously. If you are also serious about building and flying the Cody kite then you are likely to come across these names sooner or later. I'm sure there are others too, who have similar kite building achievements but aren't as visible on the Internet.

Lutz Treczoks was born in 1958 and has been making kites in Lueneburg, Germany, since 1998. He was a keen flyer before then though. After trying his hand at various kinds of kites, he finally turned to box kites, and then the Cody in particular. His 'Extend Wing Cody War Kite' is claimed by some to be 'absolutely the finest Cody Kite on the commercial market'.

With a reputation for using the finest materials and great workmanship, Lutz's designs developed a big demand. When you're selling that many kites, it's a bit hard to keep up. As a result, most of the production of his kites has been shifted offshore, to Chinese factories in particular. Now people can own an exceptional Cody for less than half the price of the German originals.

Have a look at the Lutz Treczoks Cody which is made according to Lutz's standards and specs.

Dan Flintjer has been making kites a lot longer, way back to 1983. He is particularly well known for designing the 'Buffalo Cody Kite'. His focus has always been on box kites as far as I can tell, with the Buffalo kites being particularly successful, selling in the thousands through retail stores.

Part of this success is due to his 'tree repellent' and more recently 'power line repellent' that is coated onto his kites. Secret formulas that will never be revealed. Like they say, there's a ... born every minute ;-) I take my hat off to his marketing genius.

As with all successful kite makers, quality craftsmanship can be seen in all his work. And he's still making kites himself, one at a time apparently! And that includes over 900 Codys. Wow.

These days Dan Flintjer is the Assistant Director of Education at the Niagara Aerospace Museum in Niagara Falls, New York. He spreads his love of kites and shares his building techniques in numerous schools and colleges in the U.S.


What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Rok Climbing - And Descending

    Feb 23, 18 02:58 AM

    Once again, a foray to a local reserve in the morning proved disappointing. But then, later... Noticing some tree-waving going on outside, I hastened to get back out to the same reserve with the Paper…

    Read More


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...

Return to Box Kites from Modern Cody Kites

All the way back to Home Page



Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."


"I decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."


"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."


"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"


"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

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