For once, the day this new Dowel Rokkaku kite was finished, the weather outside was perfect
for a test fly! This is the most impressive MBK kite so far, in terms
of sheer size. To save some time, we just walked up to the nearby vacant
block with the kite neatly rolled up like a Sled. The sun would be down
within the hour.
MBK Dowel Rokkaku
MBK Dowel Rokkaku
A rather light breeze was coming through, gusting to a barely
moderate strength from time to time.
The Rok went together quickly and
easily, although I still have a bit of trouble with those tiny bow-line
toggles. Bigger toggles would be easier to attach, but they would also
add some extra weight. Tsk tsk tsk, can't have that on a light-wind kite!
quick pull on the line as a puff of wind came through didn't do much
for the kite.
The Rok just sat there at waist-height and strained. OK,
shift the towing point forward a couple of centimeters and try again.
time, the kite willingly sailed up, stable as a barge. However, the
nose would pull to the left with every sudden increase in wind speed, so
something was out of balance. You can see this happen in the video down at the bottom of this page, a couple of seconds in.
The problem was small, though, so I continued to fly for a while.
With some tension on the line, it was easy to slowly let it out so the
kite climbed away from me, maintaining a constant angle in the line.
Since the vacant lot was small, there was no point in letting out more
than about 30 meters or so. There were people's back-yards on one side
and power lines on the other, so it paid to be safe!
The big Dowel
Rokkaku Kite was an absolute pleasure to fly in the smooth light winds
above. It seemed to be very efficient on its 50 pound line, maintaining
between 50 and 70 degree line angles. At those high line angles, the
moderate gusts that affected the kite caused quite big changes in the
tension on the line.
The left-leaning tendency was slightly annoying, but then I noticed that both bridle knots on the bridle loops were a little to the left of center.
Aha! Easily fixed, that's exactly why the knots are shiftable!
Because the conditions were so ideal, it was possible to give my 3 year old son a brief fly too. I wouldn't normally recommend letting a 3 year-old fly a 1.2 meter kite though! The tension can come on very suddenly.
Soon after this we brought the kite down, so I could adjust those bridle knots.
A brief flight up to 5 meters or so confirmed that the left-leaning problem was fixed. A firm pull on the line just accelerated the kite straight up! Beautiful.
It might be a while before the weather is suitable again, but it should be a blast letting the Dowel Rokkaku kite right up to 400 feet, in very light to light conditions! I think this Rok will handle moderate winds OK, but basically, the lighter the better for flying pleasure.
My Making The MBK Dowel Rokkaku Kite is a handy e-book of printable step-by-step instructions. It's a PDF file download. The PDF also contains plans for the huge Multi-Dowel Rokkaku.
The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite.
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!