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!
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 :-) There's a couple of videos down there too...
2-Skewer Dopero Kite
Dopero Darts And Dives
So would most kites, with winds averaging 13kph but gusting to 33kph! Those were the figures shown by holding up the Windtronic meter for a minute or 2...
MBK 2-Skewer Dopero
All the same, the venerable
2-Skewer Dopero kite held up well in the fan-forced oven that was the
weather this afternoon. It wasn't the hottest we've had over the last
week or 2 but at over 35 degrees C - quite warm enough! I was curious to
try the quite small dopero right up near the top of it's wind range.
selecting the kite from a few other 2-skewer designs displayed around
our house, I noticed something. The kite had been somewhat refurbished
with clear tape over all the spar tips. Good! The only question was -
how would the old sail plastic hold up under high wind pressure?
bit of flying on a short line revealed a slight tendency to turn left
during gusts. With the tiniest of adjustments to the upper bridle knot,
the kite was away again. This time I let out over 30 meters (100 feet)
of 50 pound line. Normally this kite is flown on 20 pound line but today
it had no trouble pulling the heavier stuff straight!
kite's trim turned out to be almost spot-on, with the kite being forced
all the way to the ground first in one direction and then in the other.
That's flying on the edge! Contacts with the ground were fairly soft
though, right at the sides of the flying window. But for much of the
time, the little dopero darted about most impressively at high angles,
soaking up fresh bursts of very thermally active air.
sails? Ummm yes, short splits had appeared in a couple of places, so I
called it quits rather than do more damage. I suspect the main sail
corner ties had pulled through a little as well, about the same amount
on each side.
Here at home,
an online check of wind speeds returned 22kph gusting to 35kph at a
location not far from the field. One light-wind dopero tested to the
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.
2-Skewer Dopero Re-fit
Looking at the online weather site - and out the window - there appeared to be ample breeze to fly...
Why not take yet another Skewer kite? Hence the 2-Skewer Dopero was selected, since it would be tolerant of heavier gusts.
But before heading out, a quick check revealed that this old kite needed some attention...
next half an hour was spent doing a re-fit. All the electrical tape at
all 8 spar tips was carefully peeled off and replaced with sticky tape.
This was a bit of an experiment, since so far I have only used sticky
tape spar caps for the 1-Skewer Series kites.
The upper and lower bridle knots were adjusted to center. Also, one sail tie had pulled out.
at the reserve, the sky was overcast with dark patches. Active air!
Indeed, moderate strength gusts were pummeling through the trees every
For a while, the pale orange craft flew on 30 meters
(100 feet) of line. There were hints of instability, with the kite
racing to and fro and even going right over into a loop and landing at
times. And it wasn't always to the same side!
I realized that
removing heavy electrical tape had probably shifted the balance point a
little towards the nose. So the kite was certainly nice and light, but
evidently too nose-heavy to fly reliably near the top of it's wind
range. So I added 2 strips of electrical tape right across the trailing
edge of the central portion of the lower sail.
The dopero now did much better in the air!
followed an amazing flight on 60m (200 feet) of 20 pound Dacron. The
kite was steady much of the time, but pulled hard and shifted left and
right as stronger gusts in the mid-20s (kph) came through. The twin
keels were quick to kick the nose back into wind.
Delta-like flying angles were seen, but with more tolerance of high wind pressure than an equivalent delta or diamond.
Finally, during lulls, I wound line on to the block winder to bring the kite down. It wasn't a bad little outing!
1-Skewer Dopero Kite
Tiny Dopero Still Terrific!
Once again, I went out for a short fly today, taking an old Skewer kite...
I literally had to reach through cobwebs to retrieve the dusty 1-Skewer Dopero kite! This one was the original with a black plastic sail and dinky little yellow plastic keels. The kite is around 10 years old now.
MBK 1-Skewer Dopero
Down at a local primary (elementary) school field, the Dopero was
easily popped up into the Moderate strength gusts blowing across the
grass. It soon became clear that the kite was looping to the right under
pressure. Hence a minuscule adjustment was made, shifting the upper
bridle knot to the left. But not by more than a couple of millimeters.
better trim, the 1-Skewer Dopero sailed around happily on about 15
meters (50 feet) of 20 pound Dacron line. A prolonged gust then sent the
tiny black craft all the way to the grass in a graceful wide arc.
Surprisingly, another gust cartwheeled the kite sideways for a few turns
before it took off again, soaring high!
There was a large bushy
tree not far away just waiting to trap the kite. So it was decided to
move across to a more open section of the field. This time, around 50
meters (160 feet) of line went out, as the tiny kite raced around the
sky, often disappearing as it aligned with the late afternoon sun. Much
of the time, high up in smooth air, the small black craft hung off to
the left. So yet another very tiny adjustment of the sliding bridle knot
was required to get perfect balance. With kites this size, knots are
shifted a mere millimeter or 2 to make a big difference to the flight
With the knot done and the winder trapped behind
my kite bag, the Dopero was lifted up to catch the breeze. Soon the kite
was straining away and climbing like a lift, on the full length of the
What followed was the most amazing flight I think this
little kite has ever displayed! It raced left and right, climbed to high
angles and descended tail-first depending on the breeze strength. Due
to it's small size though, the Dopero never quite straightened out the
line - despite pulling it's hardest.
No wind meter readings were taken... I was far too engrossed in watching the aerial action! :-)
Diminutive Dopero Delivers
some material for a Short Flight report, that is! After a few
unsuccessful launch attempts in tricky light air, the tiny 1-Skewer
Dopero kite finally put on a nice climb and float for the camera.
It'd been a while since this kite had flown, and one of the upper
sail ties had to be re-taped into position. Not to mention a layer of
fine dust which had to be blown off the black plastic.
Being such a
small kite, these very minor changes managed to put the trim off
somewhat, causing a pull to the left in gusts. Or perhaps the bamboo
frame had warped slightly from so many months sitting on a shelf...
trim problem was enough to foil the first few attempts to get more than
several meters of 20 pound Dacron out. After a couple of little tweaks
of the bridle Prusik knots, the little black kite was left with just a
hint of a pull to the right. This was close enough, though, to get some
useful video of a half-minute flight on perhaps 15 meters (50 feet) of
I can recommend black plastic sails teamed with yellow
keels for any home-made Delta, Roller or Dopero kite. Looks good, and
the kite is highly visible against just about any skyscape. Cloudy, grey
or pure blue.
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...