It's an archive of sorts, although there are no dates and times. Kite flying is timeless, don't you agree?
I trust there is plenty in here to educate, inform and often entertain!
Try the Making Skewer Kites PDF, if you are interested in making these bamboo-sparred kites. Handy for working offline or from printouts.
These 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 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.
Both 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!
It 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.
The 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!
Don't forget to try the Making Skewer Kites PDF, if you are interested in making these kites for yourself. Handy for working offline or from printouts.
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