How to Make a Parachute Kite

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The instructions which show you how to make a parachute kite are step-by-step and illustrated throughout by high-quality closeup photographs. But first, here are a few things about this scaled-down replica of a skydiver's canopy.

Brief Summary

  • This rectangular kite has a 119 cm (48 in.) span when laid flat.
  • Like its full-size cousins, this parachute has cross-flow vents and brake lines. Also there's a tiny drogue just for looks!
  • In flight, the MBK Parachute will cope with quite strong wind.
  • Like most soft kites, setup time is essentially zero. Just attach the flying line, and suspend the sail in the breeze to inflate.
  • The whole kite and bridle roll up into a compact tube, which can be folded once and stuffed into a small plastic bag for carrying.

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But, Why Make a Parachute?

What I personally like about this design is its ability to cope with winds that would ground all my light-wind kites! There it is, waiting in the kite bag just in case.

The other thing is that it really does look a lot like a real skydiver's canopy. So it's a kind of model aircraft, if you will. Albeit one that is anchored to the ground while it flies. The final touch is that little drogue hanging out the back. Next time you see a skydiver in action, see if you can spot that detail!

My third prototype was made from fairly heavy plastic—two types of heavy-duty painters' drop-cloth. The ribs were from bright-orange two-ply garden-bag plastic. That was mainly for a splash of color!

What's So Good About Soft Kites?

Avoid the inconvenience—or impossibility!—of trying to find spar material of the right type and in the right size.  This means you can get started very quickly. Just thin plastic sheet from hardware stores or large bags from supermarkets are required. Or, if you start opening up and joining smaller more colorful bags, the possibilities are endless. You might even have enough plastic at home already!

Avoid the expense of spar material. In fact, if you have your own flying line(s) already, plus some large bags and sticky tape at home, your total spend might actually be zero!

All of my Soft Series kites are fully tested in a variety of weather conditions. So, if you can follow simple written instructions and you use similar materials, you can be sure it will fly! Big high-quality photos illustrate what to do, each step of the way.

The e-book itself is also fully tested since I build the final prototype from my own instructions. That is just to be sure the steps make sense and are error-free.

One of my Soft Series kites can be taken anywhere, anytime. They are so compact that one kite might even scrunch up into a trouser pocket or at least a jacket pocket. It would definitely fit into a spare corner of a small backpack or other carry-bag. You could go for a walk or a bike-ride. No-one would suspect that you had a decent-sized kite ready to fly at a moment's notice!

So, for any sort of outdoor setting you can get to with not much more than the clothes on your back—take a kite to fly once you get there! A small stake winder doesn't take much room either, or just wind some line directly around the kite itself.

As with any kite design from this site, whether sparred or not, there is the huge satisfaction of seeing something fly that you made with your own hands. No shop-bought kite can do that for you!

The plastic-and-tape kite made from my instructions is just a start. You could later duplicate it all with soft Tyvek and Tyvek tape. Then it becomes a canvas for an artist's work! Display your art in the sky, where many people can see it.

Working with soft Tyvek lets you turn a plastic-and-tape design into something of even greater quality, durability, and good looks.

For someone's birthday, a hand-made kite makes a great gift too. Even a plastic one. The gift receiver can't help but realize that it took a bit of work, particularly if you personalize the sail with some line art done with permanent markers. Or you could do acrylic paint on Tyvek. And of course it flies!


Here's the button for secure purchases via credit card or Paypal:

     $3.95 (USD)