I trust there is plenty in here to educate, inform and often entertain!
short flight reports once appeared in the site blog page - that's the
one you enter via the 'what's new!' site navigation link.
Just scroll down and stop at any heading that appeals :-)
2-Skewer Diamond Kite
Super Light Sortie
Going by the online weather readings, it looked like testing a new Tyvek drogue might have been on the cards...
But it was not to be. On arrival at the field, it was hard to spot a moving leaf :-( Definitely too light for the 2 Tyvek Diamonds. The intention had been to test the new Tyvek drogue on 1 kite against the shorter and fatter plastic drogue on the other. A side-by-side flight on 2 separate lines would soon show up whether the new drogue would stabilize no worse than the plastic one.
MBK 2-Skewer Diamond
With such light wind, I had to reach for the back-up kite ;-) The MBK
2-Skewer Diamond, despite it's quite small size, is light enough and
efficient enough to hang up there in very light air. Even so, after a
few minutes of working the 20 pound Dacron line in and out, the bright
orange diamond was back in my hand.
So, it was going to be one of
those sessions... Over the next hour or so, the kite spent almost
exactly half it's air time on it's face, drifting towards the ground.
And occasionally, drifting downwind just a little! The other half of the
kite's air-time was surging more or less straight up as I tugged or
brought in line.
With a certain amount of tail-sliding happening
after the firmest pull-ups, the tail found it's way through the bridle
lines. More than once. With such low wind though, the kite remained
stable despite there being much less effective tail area. A few times I
even managed to accidentally drape the tail over a leading edge! A quick
little pull-and-release always floated the tail plastic back off
The exercise in light wind flying never actually reached the
stage where the kite could be left alone for more than a few seconds. In
fact the only times I took my eye off the diamond for more than a
couple of seconds was when the line was being freed from snags. The dry
ground contained remnants of an earlier weed infestation. The broken-off
roots seemed purpose-designed to snag kite line like nothing else!
a slightly prolonged period of several kph of breeze, I managed to get
about 60 meters (200 feet) of line out. The kite peaked at a 45 degree
angle. That was a brief triumph, since the flying session had mostly
been elevator rides on less than 30 meters (100 feet) of line. There
were numerous pull-ups from just 1 meter (3 feet) off the deck. Not to
mention a number of launches by dragging right off the grass.
Today it was yet another light-wind skill-building session. But that's better than no flying at all I guess!
On this site, there's more kite-making info than you can poke a stick at :-) Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?
The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.
Every kite in every MBK series.
Epic Flight Over The Roof
The neighbor's roof over the road that is, not just our own roof!
Saturday afternoon, light gusts were disturbing palm fronds and tree
leaves. It looked good for a back yard flight with a light-wind kite...
The 2-Skewer Diamond was close at hand, hanging from the wall near our
kitchen. So out I went, kite and block winder in hand.
A few launch
attempts were made on a short line. Never an easy task, of course, in
the chaotic air between houses and fences in suburbia. But soon I had
the kite up over gutter level by dragging the diamond off the lawn grass
on a few more meters of line. After some minutes of careful flying, the
kite was bobbing and floating around over the roof in a reasonably
predictable fashion. Having a bit of dihedral, the diamond kite was more
predictable than a flat one anyway :-)
The scene was quite different
from that of a typical kite-flying outing. The lowering sun lit up a
couple of jet streams and a rising moon. Occasionally small birds would
flit past at gutter-height, just missing the flying line!
After just a
moment of consideration I made the decision to go out to 30 meters (100
feet) of line. The breeze would only smooth out more as sunset
approached and the air's speed was ideal for the kite. Gusts had just
enough energy to power the bright orange kite to 60 or 70 degrees of
angle, even on the longer length of line.
So far so good. So good in
fact that I got really bold and went for 60 meters (200 feet)! This time
the weight of the line caused much more sag, although the breeze was
gradually moderating too. Even so, the kite managed to touch about 55
degrees of angle in one of the last decent gusts of the flight. That
would equate to about 140 feet over the neighbor's house - on the far
side of the road running past our place!
In weaker air the kite would
get up a slight wobble, sending long ripples down the 20 pound Dacron.
It was at this time that I noticed that the wind direction up there was
much more southerly than at roof top height, where it was south west.
plastic diamond sail flashed through several shades as the kite's own
shadow played across the rear surface. Being light and efficient, the
2-Skewer design was sitting almost flat in the air, face down as it
maintained height or slowly floated down.
Eventually there were signs
of the breeze dying more quickly so it was decided to take the kite
down. After a long slow descent the 2-Skewer Diamond arrived right back
on the lawn close to my feet. There were no dramas despite the choppier
air down near our house roof.
Gentle stuff but a huge flight never-the-less!
Flying The Brand
Orange Diamond. Is the title making any more sense? It will in a moment...
arrival at the field yesterday, the breeze seemed very light and
variable. Looking across at an adjacent field, which I have used very
occasionally, it was decided to fly there again. Just for a change.
But what was this... Several people were fiddling about, pulling
arrows out of a large target. Now, that was a 'red flag'. I didn't want
to get shot at while flying! And close by, there it was - a literal red
flag. Just above the sign saying, and I paraphrase, 'tick off if the red
flag is up!' So I did.
Shortly after, at the more usual flying
field, the bright orange 2-Skewer Diamond was soon flitting about on
several meters of line. A prolonged gust saw the small kite quickly
climb and take out 30 meters (100 feet) of 20 pound Dacron.
diamond kite was the very one in the image that brands My Best Kite on
each online platform - website, Facebook page and Pinterest page. You
know, the orange diamond with black tail against a blue sky with a hint
of cloud. You might even see it in your browser tab up there.
to the aerial action... With the wind so very light and dropping out
completely from time to time, it was tricky keeping the kite up.
Eventually, 60 meters (200 feet) of Dacron was out. But not before
plenty of ups and downs and pulling the kite right in to within several
meters of my hand.
Sizable Spring thermals were about, shifting
the breeze direction all the time. In fact, at one point, the kite was
hanging up at 50 feet while I felt the breeze on my face! Of course,
when the kite got lower, it was hard to pull line in quick enough before
it touched the grass. A tail-wind landing!
2-Skewer Diamond Floats Over The Neighborhood
With the sun going down and an ever-so-gentle breeze barely moving the leaves on the peach tree, I decided to put up the 2-Skewer Diamond from our small backyard. This was yesterday afternoon.
The trimming hole has been sealed up with sticky tape, and its function replaced with a small length of sail plastic taped near one tip of the horizontal spar. In flight, it's really not that obvious.
Well, what a flight it turned out to be. After a few attempts to get the kite to stay above gutter level, it finally caught a waft of breeze and soared up to a high angle. A few more meters of line went out, and then a few more. Flying right on the 'edge of the envelope'. Sometimes barely able to climb, then not quite able to maintain height. Keeping yours truly busy on the line!
Eventually, the bright orange Diamond was at something like 3 or 4 times the height of our roof, and well over the neighbor's property.
Barely a wiggle and even the tail just had a few tiny ripples right near the end as the kite clung on. It was a low-risk situation though, since the wind speeds were so low. After perhaps 10 or 15 minutes of this, the wind died almost completely. Enough to defeat any level of flying skill and kite efficiency :-)
Bringing the kite in was straightforward. It's nice being only 2 strides from the back door away from a kite flying location!
A Small Wintery Window
Yesterday's 'window of opportunity' that is, to get out and fly something while the sun peeked out and wind speeds were down somewhat on previous days.
There were still some fresh gusts moving the tree tops around and loudly rustling the leaves when we arrived at the reserve. I was hoping the wind would moderate after some rain clouds moved on, out to the West. In the meantime, we put up the 2-Skewer Diamond, and it coped quite well. Soon, it was powering around the sky, occasionally being pushed down and to the right by the wind strength.
After a few minutes around 350 feet, I brought the bright-orange Diamond down, with optimistic thoughts of trying the 2-Skewer Sled.
The breeze certainly was too strong for the Sled initially, causing it to collapse frequently. This kite does re-inflate rather well though, perhaps because of the angled (non-parallel) vertical spars. Hence there was one flight where it went through an accelerate / collapse / re-inflate cycle more than half a dozen times!
Later, there was a lull in the breeze, and the 2-Skewer Sled managed to stay inflated long enough in the still-turbulent air to get a movie for the web page. Hopefully, more ideal conditions might come along later in the week so I can do justice to this very light and efficient little Sled kite.
All this time, the trusty Windtronic meter was running. The breeze had averaged 5.1 kph and peaked at 18.9 kph.
Two Kites, Four Boys
It's been school holidays for more than a week now, and Aren had three of his Grade 3 school friends over for the morning. Fast-forwarding now to the kiting bit...
May and I walked down to the nearby small reserve with the boys. The
weather: very pleasant air temperature and sunny, with a moderate amount
of high cloud about.
We had with us the Tiny Tots Diamond and the 2-Skewer Diamond. The former on polyester thread and the latter on 20 pound Dacron.
kites flew magnificently in the gusty gentle breeze. 'Gentle' in the
technical sense, meaning a wind strength no higher than 19kph (10 knts).
It's on Wikipedia, it must be true ;-) Most of the kids had a go on
both kites, not to mention having a great time trying to pelt the orange
2-Skewer Diamond with twigs and seed pods when it was low!
was a real pleasure seeing once again how the tiny Diamond on thread
was able to handle quite a wide range of wind speed. On its single-point
attachment to the flying line. The very simplest kite I have ever
designed and built - although the Simple Diamond made from dowel and
thicker plastic is essentially the same design, except scaled up.
2-Skewer Diamond could have done with a touch more tail length to stay
straighter in the freshest gusts today. But it still soared high on
around 100 feet of line. When lower down, turbulence from trees upwind
made things a bit more interesting for both kites.
All up, some easy, enjoyable and thoroughly uncomplicated flying today!
The story or stories above document actual flying experiences.
My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!
As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making info here than you can poke a stick at :-)
Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?
The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small...
Every kite in every MBK series.