Winds appeared fairly light outside, just nice for the Dowel Roller
kite. There didn't seem much possibility of rain despite all the cloud
cover, so out we went.
MBK Dowel Roller
MBK Dowel Roller
Before long, Aren and I were out on the grass at the Wilfred Taylor
Reserve, rigging the Roller for what would hopefully be a high flight.
Actually, Aren just watched, from his pram ;-)
bridle is rather long on this kite, and today it chose to get itself in
a tangle. Hence I spent about 2 minutes rigging the kite and maybe 10
un-tangling the bridle! Grr.
Finally, the bridle was sorted, and
the Roller spent the next few minutes going up and down on a short line.
There was just not enough wind at ground level for a
No problem. I just walked halfway across the reserve
with the kite, letting the line slip off the winder which was on the
grass next to the pram.
Then, a slow jog back to the pram with
line slipping through my fingers enabled the Dowel Roller kite to
steadily rise to around 60 or 70 feet.
From there, it was possible
to work the line a little and coax the Roller up higher in the more
consistent light breeze up at that height.
At this point, we
needed to move to one side of the reserve to gain more room to fly. No
tree or power-line is going to eat this kite today! Up on the end of 60
meters of line, the Roller was flying in ideal winds.
this kite was having a good easy flight! It's efficiency is modest,
rather similar to a Diamond kite, hanging at around 50 - 55 degrees of
line angle. From time to time, the Roller tracked off to the left or
right, as the wind shifted slightly in direction.
Wind strength varied from minute to minute, changing the line tension
from light to firm and back again. Aren could hang on ok, even when
fairly firm. This was handy, as I took some video and a couple of
photos! Image quality is down a bit, due to the height of the kite and
the low-light conditions. An almost overcast sky, in late afternoon.
were going so well, why not let out some more line? So we did, first
reaching the 90 meter marker on the line, spending a few minutes there,
then on to the 120 meter marker. During each climb, the Dowel Roller
kite maintained about a 40 degree line angle, climbing back up to 55
degrees again at the end of each climb.
The Roller found slightly faster air up there, not surprisingly. At times, it approached its limit, forcing it over into a shallow dive to the left. After losing a lot of height, it would recover and climb straight back up in the following lull.
Gradually we brought the Dowel Roller kite back down. Aren helped by sometimes pulling in line so I could wind on without tension in the line. Otherwise, I just pulled line onto the ground, then wound on without tension - while still flying with my winding hand!
'Necessity is the mother of invention'.
With the kite down after a very satisfying flight, we drove home as sunset approached. Oh, almost forgot - I discovered there is no need to remove the Lark's Head knot from the keel! Just pull enough of the bridle through when removing the vertical spar, to allow the usual placement of the spar before rolling up the kite! One less thing to do when rigging and de-rigging the Dowel Roller kite.
Making The MBK Dowel Roller Kite is one of my handy e-books of printable step-by-step instructions. It's a PDF file download.
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!