This kite reviews page was to be the start of a series of such reviews over time. However, the direction of the site has changed since then.
Many, many single-line designs of various types have been designed, made and tested over the years. Organized into a number of Series, the construction details can all be found in this resource...
The Big MBK Book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.
This page has been shifted here since it is still a useful story of what to expect, from a 'raw stunt-kiting beginner' perspective.
The format for the text below is simple. We just told the story, in some detail, of our experience. That is, from pulling the rather cheap kite from its packaging right through to its first flying session.
What actually happened is what you will read here, and see in the ummm somewhat pathetic video!
Delta Stunt Kite - Assembly
Yep, that's the actual name on the packaging! How do they get away with that, considering it's the general name for a whole class of kites?
There's the unopened kite package, leaning up against a wall at
home. It cost just 10 Aussie dollars! These are sold in a variety of
outlets, not just kite shops. Hence this particular kite is a real mass
market item, and sold alongside all kinds of other 'cheap stuff'.
Putting that aside, here's what happened. We opened the package, which contained the following items...
nylon kite sail, with 6-point bridle, 2 standoffs and the 3 main spars pre-installed
fiberglass cross spar, standing upright in the picture opposite...
glossy information card - that's it at the top of this page
2 reels with 50 meters of braided line on each
I immediately knotted the lines to the bridle rings, one on each side of the kite.
Then, it was time to check the assembly before getting out on the flying field.
The cross spar was inserted into the plastic fittings, one on
each side of the kite. Also, I clipped the standoffs onto the cross
spar. All quick and easy, no problems there.
There's the completed kite in the picture. Not totally ready-to-fly as claimed, but near enough!
Now a few words about the info card, which you can see at the top of this page. It contained the following info...
span - 160 cm
height - 80 cm
sail - nylon
frame - fiberglass
wind range -2 to 6 Bft
line - 2 x 50 m
As well, you can see the warning sticker which tells people not to fly near power lines or during thunderstorms. Very sensible.
The nice full color glossy picture of the kite flying against a
backdrop of fluffy cumulus clouds is faked. Looking closely, I could see
the bridle lines hanging limply over the cross spar, and not connected
to any flying line! Does this really matter? Nope.
After packing the kite down to a manageable bundle, we looked
outside and decided there was just enough wind to give it a shot. We all
piled into the car for the short trip to the reserve near the school,
in Old Reynella. Why this reserve, instead of the usual one? Basically
because of all the wide open space. Stunt kites spend a lot of time at
low level, so we weren't keen on having up-wind trees and bushes messing
up the air and making things difficult.
Delta Stunt Kite - Flying
We arrived and walked over to the open area, where there seemed to be a bit of breeze blowing. So far, so good.
I laid the kite on its back and assembled it, slipping in the
cross spar and clipping in the stand-offs. I had tied the flying lines
to their rings while still at home, if you remember.
Walking backwards, I let both reels unwind, using a finger from
each hand as axles! All 50 meters, so I would have a bit of time to
react when the kite got in the air.
Firstly, with a bit of breeze on my back, I attempted to ground
launch off the grass as I am so fond of doing with single line kites.
This just didn't work, with the stunt kite's nose staying firmly in the
Time to recruit the wife ;-) May dutifully held the kite up, after which I pulled it into the air from out of her hands.
The wind at this time was wavering from almost calm to somewhere
in the 2 Bft range. I'll get around to explaining the Beaufort Scale on
this site at some later stage, but 2 Bft is when the bottom edge of a
flag tends to stay straight out from the pole. On trees, small branches
start to move around.
So what happened... The kite climbed just a little before it
started to rotate to the right. I corrected a few times, but it ended up
on the ground soon after. My fault, since I had no idea just how
responsive the kite would be.
Then followed a few more short flights, where my wife learned that
throwing the kite into the air just makes things harder for the kite
pilot! These flights ended with...
the nose pitching up and down, before settling on the ground
the kite entering a total stall, then spinning to the ground
lurching up and then looping into the ground after almost entering a tail slide
Finally, we had a smooth launch into a decent gust of wind!
This time I tried to hold equal tension on both lines, letting the kite
climb away, straight up. Cautiously, I tried turning each way, managing
to cover some ground to each side of the center line. The stunter proved
difficult to keep in the air when there was hardly any tension in the
lines. Huge movements were required to get any turning response from the
We had fun for a while, with myself flying and my wife taking
pictures. I was just trying to keep the kite in the air most of the
time. The wind kept dropping, leading to a semi-stalled kite and loss of
The control feel changed a lot with wind speed and how far off-center the kite was, so it was a struggle.
Flying this kite should be a lot easier when the wind is
constantly in the 2 Bft range, or above. After all, the packaging said 2
to 6 Bft! Also, it could be that more expensive stunt kites are easier
to control. From what I read they are definitely more precise through
the air. One big factor is the stretch in the lines. The braided lines
of our cheapie behave a bit like rubber bands with 50 meters let out!
With so little opportunity to fly, development of the 5.5 meter (17 feet) span Canard has been pretty slow.... For the first time in many days, the sun managed to make an appearance. In fact, there wa…