The Air Intake
were shown how to extend the tails so the Octopus kite would fly
stable. To make the air intake more robust, it is also necessary to
cut back the upper edge...
Bridle lines knotted and cut to length
straight across the upper surface plastic, taking off any rib
plastic that gets in the way. Then trim the ribs back to straight
edges again. See the top photo,
where the yellow line gives a rough indication of the initial cut.
The upper surface should extend only half as far
forward of the lower surface
as it did before.
- The cut
produces a new corner in the upper surface plastic, on the left and
right. Fit and tape a triangular piece of plastic as indicated in
the bottom photo.
One on the left and one on the right. One corner of the triangle
goes to near the bridle attachment point on the nearest (orange)
Don't forget to add tape to the new air intake as described in the
sections Reinforcing Air Intake – Sides
and Reinforcing Air Intake – Ribs.
An Extra Attachment Point
Take a moment
to review the section Creating A-lines Attachment
Points. That is, how
you created the bridle attachment loops and anchored them to the
ribs. An extra
one is required, as indicated in yellow
in the photo below...
Where to add the extra bridle attachment point
Of course, at
this point the lower surface plastic is in the way! The photo up
there is from an earlier stage of the kite's construction.
You will need
to make a small slit on each side of the central rib, in the lower
surface plastic, to get the line through. A cell or 2 might have to
be partially turned inside-out so you can get at the required bit of
the central rib to tape the line in place.
Note that, to
make things easier, the line doesn't go the whole height of the rib.
Instead, wrap it around near the corner of the square vent as shown.
Making Bridle Lines
Bridle lines knotted and cut to length
Take some 20 pound Dacron flying line and tie
a Simple Loop
knot into the free end, as in the top photo.
- Anchor the loop to something fairly narrow
and cut off the line at 160cm (63”). As illustrated in the middle
- Now make another nine bridle lines to
the same length. Anchor the lines one by one with the first line
so you can conveniently snip off a new one at the right length.
- All the lines are shown in the bottom
Steps to attach a bridle line
Take one of the lines already prepared. Push
the looped end through one of the attachment point loops nearest the
leading edge of the Head. See the first photo, above.
Yes, it's the old air intake in the photo – ignore that!
- Pass the other end of the line through the
loop, as in the second photo.
- Pull tight – as in the third photo.
- Repeat these steps, attaching a line to every
attachment loop on the lower surface of the kite.
- You should have 2 lines remaining. Poke a
hole through a bottom corner of the Head, just
missing all the sticky tape, and attach a line. See the fourth
photo, which shows part of one
of the outer tails. Do
the same at the other corner, using your last bridle line...
of flight testing, a particular set of bridle line lengths were found
to be ideal.
Be careful to
measure right to the base of each bridle attachment loop - that is,
where it leaves the lower surface plastic sheet.
Attachment point locations
number below, attach a bridle line to the matching location on the
kite, then measure and make a mark at the indicated length.
measure and mark one bridle line
at a time...
Like to see a video clip? Just scroll down to near the end...
All done? Now...
Measured bridle lines tied with a Multi-Strand Simple knot
all the lines together.
- Line up
all the marks so they are sitting together in one spot. Just above
the knot in the photo.
- Trim the
lines with a single snip with scissors a short distance above the
marks, say 2cm (1”).
- Tie all
the lines together with a Multi-Strand
Simple knot, taking care that all the marks still line up with
It doesn't matter whether the marks are slightly in front, behind or
right inside the knot – as long as they are all together.
The short bridle line, tied and attached
Cut off a piece of 50 pound flying
line 60cm (24”) long.
- Tie a Double
Loop knot into both ends. See the top photo above.
- Secure one end behind the towing point knot
by forming the loop into a Lark's
Head. See the bottom photo up there.
Bridle lines laid out
Lay the bridle lines out, away from the
leading edge, with the lower surface plastic facing up. Let the
longer lengths lie loose on the plastic as in the photo.
Tails folded onto lower surface
Fold the tails, about 1/2 Head-height at a
time, onto the plastic. Grab all 8 tails at once, each time.
Carefully squeeze the air out as you go, towards the small ends.
After a flight, the tubes will still be half inflated!
Kite folded down center-line
- Fold the kite in half, down the center-line
and squeeze the air out towards the air intake. The loose lengths of
bridle lines and all the tails are held inside.
Kite rolled up ready to stow
- Starting from the tail end, roll the Head up
quite tightly, before winding the bridle lines around. All ready to
Attach line, inflate, let out line
After unrolling the kite at a flying field,
carefully drop the tails out and let them float downwind without
fouling on the bridle lines. The tails for this kite are so long that
it pays to put a weight on the front of the kite to hold it down –
while you separate all the tails right down to their tips.
Head the flying line behind the Double Loop knot of the short
bridle line. This makes it easy to attach the flying line and take it
Avoid flying in very windy weather.
If the kite needs it, flying far off to the
left and right and even right down to the ground, tie a little Loop
knot into both of the bottom bridle lines to pull those
corners in a bit more. Be sure to shorten each line the same amount.
Further shortening can be done by putting in more knots right next to
the Loop knots.
Hope you enjoyed learning how to make my Octopus
Consider using my e-book Making Soft Kites to try any of the 5 spar-less designs in there. Hi-res, close-up photos help you through.
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