How To Make A Paper Delta Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 3 of 3

The MBK Paper Delta


Attaching Leading Edges To Sail

Tape One Edge

The Paper Delta kite - one edge taped.One edge taped
  • Take one of the leading edge pieces and align it with a leading edge as shown. The layering of paper should be out of sight on the underside. The heavy end should be towards the nose of the sail – at left in the photo. The other end should line up with the wing tip as shown. (Heavy end? Just place the middle of the piece over your fore-finger!)
  • Tack in place with squares of sticky tape – 1 in the middle and 1 near each end.
  • All good? If not, pull off and try again. Now lay a strip of tape down the whole length, as indicated in the photo.
  • Trim off any overhanging tape using scissors.



Tape Other Edge

The Paper Delta kite - edge tacked at one end.Edge tacked at one end
  • Flip the sail over so the layering of the leading edge piece faces up.
  • Go to the wing tip and fold over the free edge of the piece so it lines up with the guide line on the sail.
  • Tack the edge down with a short strip of tape as indicated in the photo. See how the guide line is just visible, through the tape.


 

The Paper Delta kite - edge taped all along.Edge taped all along
  • Using somewhat longer lengths of tape, tack down more and more of the leading edge piece, making sure the piece edge lines up with the guide-line. Go all the way to the other end as shown in the photo.


Shape The Leading Edge

The Paper Delta kite - pinching started at one end.Pinching started at one end
  • Go to the wing tip end of the leading edge and carefully pinch it between finger and thumb, as in the photo. Just like the vertical spar, the aim is to get a crease right in the middle.


 

The Paper Sode kite - V-shape formed, all the way along.V-shape formed, all the way along
  • Work your way along the spar piece, pinching tightly all the way. I like to use both hands at once, close together.
  • Go all the way along and then back again, so nothing is missed. See the photo.



 

The Paper Delta kite - both leading edge pieces in place and shaped.Both leading edge pieces in place and shaped
  • Now tape the other leading edge piece in place. Be careful to orient and line up this piece just like the first one.
  • Shape the piece by pinching, as you did for the first one. There they both are, in the photo. Snip off any overhanging tape and/or paper at the wing-tips using scissors.
  • Snip straight across in line with the trailing edge of the sail. The leading edge spars are now complete.


Attaching Spreader To Sail

Bear in mind that most of the steps below are more easily done on a table-top. With the vertical spar up against one edge of the table-top. To keep the bit you are working on flat!



Trim End

The Paper Delta kite - where to snip off the end of each spreader piece.Where to snip off the end of each spreader piece
  • Take one of the remaining spar pieces and align it with the sail center-line and a guide-line as in the photo.
  • Tape in place. Any overhanging tape can be folded around or snipped off with scissors.


Tape One Edge

The Paper Delta kite - one edge taped.One edge taped
  • Align the spreader piece with the guide line as shown. One corner of the wider end should be touching the center-line of the kite sail, also as shown in the photo.
  • Tack in place with squares of sticky tape – 1 near each end.
  • All good? Now lay a strip of tape down the whole length, as indicated in the photo. 

Note: The end of the spreader doesn't have to fit precisely against the leading edge. A small gap or angle is quite OK.



Tape Other Edge

The Paper Delta kite - edge tacked at one end.Edge tacked at one end
  • Go to the small end of the spreader piece and line up the long edge with the guide line.
  • Tack the edge down with a short strip of tape, as indicated in the photo.

 Like to see a video clip? Just scroll down to near the end...

The Paper Delta kite - edge taped all along.Edge taped all along
  • Using another strip or 2 of tape, tack down the rest of the spreader piece, making sure the edge lines up with the guide-line.


Shape The Spreader

The Paper Delta kite - pinching started at one end.Pinching started at one end
  • Go to the large end of the spreader and carefully pinch it between finger and thumb, forming a crease right in the middle. See the photo.


 

The Paper Delta kite - V-shape formed, most of the way along.V-shape formed, most of the way along
  • Work your way along, pinching tightly as far as you can. Don't worry if you can't get a sharp crease right at the small end. See the photo.


 

The Paper Delta kite - both spreader pieces taped in place and shaped.Both spreader pieces taped in place and shaped
  • Now tape the other spreader piece in place. Again, the wider end of the piece lines up with the center-line of the sail.
  • Shape the piece by pinching, as you did for the first one. There they both are, in the photo.


Connect Spreader Pieces

The Paper Delta kite - spreader connected with 3 pieces of tape.Spreader connected with 3 pieces of tape
  • By folding the sail along the center-line, butt the 2 spreader pieces together in the middle. Hold them there with a square of sticky tape right over the top...
  • All lined up perfectly? If not, rip off the tape and try again.
  • Stick a 7cm (3”) length of sticky tape over the top and down onto the sail above and below the spreader. See the photo.
  • Stick a 5cm (2”) piece of sticky tape across the upper face and another one across the lower face, to hold the spreader together. The rectangles look narrower due to the angle of the paper.


Attaching Tail Weight

The Paper Delta kite - rectangle marked out on paper.Rectangle marked out on paper
  • Mark dots on a sheet of paper as shown, and draw lines to complete a rectangle.


 

The Paper Delta kite - the tail-weight - rectangle cut out, rolled up tight and taped.The tail-weight - rectangle cut out, rolled up tight and taped
  • Cut the rectangle out using scissors.
  • Starting from a long edge, roll up the paper tightly.
  • Secure the 25cm (10”) roll with 5 strips of sticky tape, wrapped around and evenly spaced. See the photo.


 

The Paper Delta kite - tail-weight inserted and taped to trailing edge of sail.Tail-weight inserted and taped to trailing edge of sail
  • Insert the tail-weight 3cm (1”) into the tail end of the vertical spar.
  • Lay a 6cm (2 1/2”) strip of tape over the sail and tube.
  • Secure with a turn or 2 of tape wrapped around the tube. Both tapes are indicated in the photo.


Attaching Bridle Lines

Make Holes

The Paper Delta kite - where the bridle holes go.Where the bridle holes go
  • Flip the kite over so the vertical spar is facing up.
  • Measure and make marks at the positions shown in the photo.
  • Using the corner of a scissor tip, penetrate the tape and paper where the pale circles are in the photo. Twirl a pencil tip in the holes to widen them a little.


Attach Upper Line

The Paper Sode kite - upper line secured with tape.Upper line secured with tape
  • Measure and snip off a 36cm (14”) length of polyester thread.
  • Flip the kite over and put the thread through the 2 holes nearest the nose of the kite. Make the length of thread equal from each hole.
  • Hold the thread in place with a short strip of tape, as indicated in the photo.


Attach Lower Line

The Paper Delta kite - lower line secured with tape.Lower line secured with tape
  • Measure and snip off a 60cm (24”) length of polyester thread.
  • As before, put the thread through the 2 holes and make the length equal from each hole.
  • Hold the thread in place with a short strip of tape – as indicated in the photo.


Adjust Bridle Lines

The Paper Delta - bridle lines adjusted.Bridle lines adjusted
  • Bring all 4 pieces of thread together between finger and thumb.
  • Suspend the threads so they all come straight, with the kite still sitting on the floor, with as little thread as possible coming out the top of your hand.
  • Adjust so the upper bridle lines are leaning back, just a little, towards the tail end of the kite, when viewed from the side. See the photo.
  • Check that all lines have pulled straight before tying a Multi-Strand Double knot close to where you gripped them all. With the lines pulled tight, the knot should be level with a point no further back than the front edge of the spreader.
  • Trim the free ends to the same length, with scissors. Just for neatness!


The Tail

1 Sheet To Start

The Paper Delta kite - dots marked for 12 x 1cm (3/8”) strips and 2 x 3cm (1 1/8”) strips.Dots marked for 12 x 1cm (3/8”) strips and 2 x 3cm (1 1/8”) strips
  • Mark 14 dots on a sheet of paper as shown at top left. From the top, all spacings are 1cm (3/8”), except for the last 2 which are 3cm (1 1/8”).

Note: To avoid lots of measuring, just use this sheet as a template for the sheets that follow! Line up the sheets and just copy or trace the dots each time.



Add More Sheets

The Paper Delta kite - another sheet similarly marked with dots and taped on.Another sheet similarly marked with dots and taped on
  • Take another sheet of paper and mark with dots, exactly like the first one.
  • Bring the 2 sheets of paper together, short edge to short edge.
  • Lay tape all the way across the join and trim flush with the paper's edge with scissors.
  • Flip the paper and lay tape across the join again, trimming as before.
  • Flip the paper again so the dots are on top. You can just see them, under the tape in the photo.


 

The Paper Delta kite - more sheets dotted and taped, until there are 7 sheets.More sheets dotted and taped, until there are 7 sheets
  • Repeat the process, marking dots and taping both sides of the join, until you have 7 sheets of paper joined.
  • On the last sheet, add dots across both short edges.

Note: A kite made from A4 paper will have slightly longer tails than a kite made from Letter sized paper. However, the difference in flying characteristics between the 2 kites out in the field would be hard to spot!



Cut Into Tails

The Paper Delta kite - lines ruled through all the dots.Lines ruled through all the dots
  • With ruler and pen, connect all the dots along the paper from end to end.
  • Rule a line across the paper, 5cm (2”) from one short edge, stopping at the 2nd last dot. See this near the left side of the photo.


 

The Paper Delta kite - two 2-streamer tails, two 4-streamer tails and one long wide tail.Two 2-streamer tails, two 4-streamer tails and one long wide tail
  • With scissors, make cuts along 5 lines to create two 2cm (3/4”) ribbons, two 4cm (1 1/2”) ribbons and two 3cm (1 1/8) ribbons of paper.
  • Cut along the remaining long lines, right up to the line that goes across the paper. See these at the left of the photo.
  • Tape the 2 wide ribbons together end-to-end, making it twice as long as all the others. Tape on both sides of the join.


Attaching To Sail

The Paper Delta kite - tails taped to top side of sail.Tails taped to top side of sail
  • Lay the sail down with the vertical spar against the table-top or floor.
  • Align the 4 multi-streamer tails with the trailing edge of the sail referring to the photo. Tack each tail in place with just a square of tape.
  • When happy with the placement, use strips of sticky tape as indicated, folding around any overhanging bits.


 

The Paper Delta kite - tails taped on under side of sail.Tails taped on under side of sail
  • Flip the kite over and apply more sticky tape as indicated in the photo.
  • Fold around any overhanging corners of tape.


 

The Paper Delta kite - long wide tail taped to tail-weight.Long wide tail taped to tail-weight
  • Align the ruled line on the wide tail with the end of the tail-weight.
  • Wrap 2 turns of tape around so half is sticking to the tail-weight and half is sticking to the tail paper. As indicated right in the middle of the photo..
  • Also wrap tape around near the end of the tail-weight. As indicated just to the right of middle in the photo.
  • That's it. You're done!


Flying!

The MBK Soft Sled kite in flight on a 'blue' day.Nothing to it - attach line, catch breeze

After taking the kite to a flying field... Your flying line can be tied behind the Multi-Strand Double knot of the bridle lines, wrapped around all the lines. That's it, you're ready to fly.

Avoid flying in very windy weather. The thread should be good to around 30kph but there are no guarantees beyond that.


Trimming

If the kite has been made perfectly, it should not show an obvious preference for flying to the left or right. What if the Delta does tend to go in one direction much more than the other? Try adding a short length of paper or scrap of plastic to the wing-tip that is on the outside of the turn. If the problem gets worse, you have the tail-let on the wrong tip, so just swap it over to the other side!

If the kite seems very reluctant to launch despite plenty of breeze, you might need to re-tie the bridle – shifting the knot a centimeter or 2 (1/2” to 1”) towards the nose end.

Hope you enjoyed learning how to make my Paper Delta kite design!





As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making on this site 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.



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