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 my 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 Dopero Kite
2-Skewer Dopero Re-fit
Looking at the online weather site - and out the window - there appeared to be ample breeze to fly...
MBK 2-Skewer Dopero
MBK 2-Skewer Dopero
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...
The 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.
Down at the reserve, the sky was overcast with dark patches. Active air! Indeed, moderate strength gusts were pummeling through the trees every few minutes.
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!
Then 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
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.
With 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 characteristics.
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 line.
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
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...
The 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 line.
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.
Don't forget to try my Making Skewer Kites PDF, if you are interested in making these kites for yourself. This design and all the other 1-Skewer and 2-Skewer designs are covered.
Handy for working offline or from printouts.