Learn how to build a Delta kite with these easy-to-follow
instructions. Fully illustrated with photographs, every step of the way.
Don't worry about how long this page looks...
The steps are easy, hence this simple Delta kite comes together very quickly!
We still take out the Simple Delta occasionally. As long as the wind isn't too
strong, it's as much fun as any similar-sized shop Delta. It hovers at a steep angle on the end of our Dacron flying line.
Let the line out to
90 meters (300 feet) or more, if you want to! Or, down at a beach in a sea breeze, this kite will hover reliably on quite a short line. Put some sand into a bag to act as an anchor.
The kite does best in quite light wind, so be prepared to add some more tail if you're trying to fly in a fresher breeze.
Making Dowel Kites is an e-book that's worth a look (or printing off) when you want to explore bigger and better kites. Using similar materials and construction methods - that is, just dowels, plastic and tape.
Like to see a video clip? Just scroll down to near the end...
1. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Measuring The Sail
You might want to take a quick look at the materials and tools for making this kite, first. Then just click the Back button on your browser to get back here.
- Place your plastic bag flat on the floor, with the closed end at the top.
from just below the top-left corner of the bag, measure and mark 3 dots
on the plastic. I've high-lighted the dots in yellow, in the photo.
Judge the horizontal direction by eye. If you're careful, there's no
need for a T-square.
2. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Cutting The Sail
- Take your ruler and connect the dots with the black marker pen, as shown in the photo. (OK, the lines appear a bit faint in the photo!)
- Flip the plastic over and trace over all the black lines.
- Cut along the top and right side of the bag, and open it out to show the complete sail outline, as in the first photo above.
- Take your scissors and cut along all the black lines. As in the second photo, your Delta kite sail is nearly complete!
3. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Adding The Spars
- Take some 5mm (3/16") dowel and cut off a 70 cm (28 inch) length. Lay this down the center line of the sail.
- Now cut off 2 more lengths, each 80 cm (32 inches) in length. Lay these down over the leading edges of the sail.
- Using 6 pieces of insulation tape, each 5 cm (2 inch) long, stick them down in the positions shown in the first photo, above.
- Fold all the tapes around to the underside of the plastic. See the second photo, above.
- Cut off a 70 cm (28 inch) length of dowel and lay it across the sail, 31 cm (12 1/4 inches) from the nose. Using 2 pieces of insulation tape, each 20 cm (8 inches) long, lay them over the crossing points. See the first photo, in the group of 3.
- Carefully wind the tapes around the dowels, without getting them stuck to the sail! Now, each join should look like the second photo.
- Add an extra tape to the middle of each leading edge, to help keep the sail in place. Also tightly wind an 8 cm (3 inch) piece of tape around the spar join. See the third photo, which was actually taken after some test flying in strong wind!
4. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Attach The Flying Line
- Get your flying line, which I'm assuming has been wound onto a
spool or winder of some sort.
- Poke a hole in the plastic sail, right over where the horizontal and vertical dowels cross each other.
- Thread the flying line through the hole, and tie it firmly around the vertical spar. Do NOT tie it around the horizontal spar! This dowel floats free while the kite flies.
5. And Finally - Attach The Tail
- From spare scraps of sail plastic, make up a long narrow strip
no shorter than 4 times the length of the kite itself. The strip should
be about 5 cm (2 inches) wide.
- Thread one end of the tail
around the bottom of the vertical spar, as you can see in the photo. Tie
the tail to the dowel with a simple knot.
Just enough wind to stay up
Hope you enjoyed learning how to build a Delta kite! Up there is another shot of our original Simple Delta doing it's thing on a cloudy day with plenty of sun and just enough wind to keep the kite flying.
Out In The Field
Delta kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!
Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.
That's it, you're ready to fly. Take the kite out whenever you can
see leaves moving in the trees or bushes.
If the kite won't stay up, try
letting out plenty of line and then towing it up at jogging pace. It might find enough wind higher up!
Avoid flying in very windy weather.
Ever Made This Kite?
You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...
If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!
P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!
Flight Reports From Other Visitors
Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...
Such a simple kite and yet it flies so high in a light breeze. The video above shows this kite coping with fresh gusts that are nearly too strong for it.