These indoor kite posts once appeared in the site blog page - that's the
one you enter via the 'what's new!' site navigation link. The latest posts come first. Just scroll
down and stop at any heading that appeals :-)
MBK Indoor Delta Kite
Indoor Delta Delivered
The free online instructions for making the kite were about to be published...
the step-by-step content finished, all that remained was to take a
plan-form shot of the little delta lying on the table. Also, an
in-flight shot was needed, to go at the bottom of the instructions.
MBK Indoor Delta
Apart from the addition of decoration with permanent-color markers, this
kite was almost identical in construction to the previous prototype.
The previous kite had established that the design met all the in-flight
requirements. Such as maximum towing speed and sufficient time in the
air over a short course.
Firstly, curiosity demanded that I just fly
the thing around the house for a bit :-) Thankfully, all seemed in
order, the kite being very well behaved on just over a meter of thread.
With very little encouragement, the nose of the kite contacted the
ceiling a couple of times. So it had no trouble climbing!
nice characteristic was that the kite could be put into a controlled
glide, by maintaining just a hint of tension in the thread. There was a
particularly satisfying moment when I managed to guide such a glide from
our living-room and into the short corridor. From near the ceiling, the
feather-light delta descended slowly, just squeaking under the arch
which connected the 2 areas.
Next, it was out to the veranda to snap
some in-flight photos. A subtle breeze was wafting through which made
things tricky. Dead-calm air is the best for indoor kites! In addition,
the sky was overcast. This really lowered the margin for error in
getting a decent sharp shot from the camera. After 3 sessions out there,
taking 7 or 8 photos each time, I finally had a suitable image that
could be cropped down to grace the How To... page on the website.
Whether miniature or maxi, deltas are great at illustrating the magic of flight!
On this site, there's more kite-making info 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.
Indoor Delta Expanded
Yep, all sail dimensions were made a little bigger, resulting in a substantial increase in sail area...
Other tweaks have collectively resulted in a more rearward balance point. I added just a couple of short strips of tape to the tail end to get it perfect.
This new design is pretty close to ok. A few tows through the house showed that the kite is more stable and more willing to remain in a nose-up attitude than the old one.
The duration test is looking good too, with the kite staying in flight for around 9 seconds over the test track.
The cross member is failing right next to one end though. But only because the square of tape securing the tip is extending too far along the paper. Flattened against the plastic, the paper doesn't have enough stiffness at that point. Besides fixing the cross-member, I might try removing another centimeter from the upper ends of the leading edges. This design is getting close...
Indoor Delta Refit
Some changes have been tried, to make the little delta lighter and more stable...
With slimmed-down and shortened leading edges, plus tail-heavy spine and a redesigned cross-member I was full of hope. Alas, the craft still came up a bit short of expectations. So I pulled off the cross-member and cut it down even more before replacing it on the sail. And the kite was still nose-heavy so some strips of sticky tape were added over the tail end of the spine. Tsk tsk - that's extra weight.
After the leading-edge re-fit, the kite turned out tip-heavy on the opposite side to before :-|
Rather than add more weight by taping the lighter wing-tip, I snipped off some paper from the heavy one. That made a big difference and the delta was finally able to climb straight up.
A duration test through the living-room wasn't so good. Just 7 seconds were spent in the air, when it needs to be around 9.
More sail area is needed and even more shifting of spar weight to the rear. So it's back to the drawing board and a new sail...
My Best Glider
Going by today's efforts, that's the website the 1st prototype of the Indoor Delta kite belongs on ;-) ...
It was an interesting exercise, trying to fly the Indoor Delta through our house. The first thing that became apparent was a tendency to fly off to the left. To the point of flying on one wingtip most of the time. When I suspended the kite from it's thread line, the cause was revealed - one side was slightly heavier than the other!
That's the trouble with small kites. Accuracy is critical. A generous strip of sticky tape was added near the lighter wing-tip, which noticeably improved the balance. But all was not well...
The mini kite just loved to nose-down and take off past me like a high-performance glider :-| That got me suspicious about the center of gravity. Sure enough, when dropped face-down, the paper and plastic delta rushed forward on it's way to the floor.
A few strips of tape added near the tail end of the spine helped somewhat. However, some design changes will be required for the next build. Why add weight. Tsk tsk.
Two ideas came to mind, to shift the balance point rearwards without adding weight...
1) The spreader could be slimmed down and shifted away from the nose a little.
2) The spine could be much slimmer near the nose (where it doesn't need the strength) and much wider near the tail (in order to shift weight there).
It was pretty cool though, seeing the current kite sit back and climb, quite stable and evidently strong enough in the frame...
The story or stories above document actual flying experiences.
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!
As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making info here 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.