People sometimes wonder what is the best shape for a kite to fly. The truth is, with the right knowledge and experience, almost any shape can be made to fly. And fly well what's more! If it's light enough, has a bit of bow and/or something draggy hanging off the lower end and is bridled appropriately - it'll float way up there.
(This motley collection makes my MBK designs look pretty dreary in comparison! Unless the thought of flying your own creation excites you more than oohing and aahing over someone else's ;-) Are you a 'how it flies' or a 'how it looks' kind of person?)
So further down this page are the photos, from the Flikr community to you, showing some quite unusual designs...
When the weather's good and you have the time, it's great to get out with a kite or 3. But what about on bad weather days? Then it's time to pull out...
"Kites Up!" - my downloadable kite-flying board game! Apart from towing indoor kites, doing a spot of imaginary flying is the next best thing :-)
Some Unusual Kite Shapes!
This design could be called a Cowboy Duck Kite, and would not be out of place on my Funny Kites page! What a mixture of kite shapes. The upper end looks like half a Rokkaku, while the bottom end vaguely resembles a Roller.
I like how the lines tethering the lower sail help to define the
edges of the face. Even the lines were not there, the overall effect is
still that of a face. Well, a cartoon duck head anyway. The design seems
pretty sound actually. I can imagine it flying high and stable on a
Well, the owner and creator of this design has stumbled across it here - and has provided extra info. The design is named 'Agent P.' P for Platypus that is! So I was half-right about the duck bill :-)
Also, this was a very successful kite... In 2010 the American Kitefliers Association selected it as 'best flying kite'.
It's not often you come across a genuinely asymmetric kite. In
this case, the main lifting portion of the design is based on a Delta.
However, from the trailing edge back, the left and right sides have
several differences in outline.
But of course, the thing that leaps out at you is the very
appealing Panda image! A real attention-getting kite, this one, even if
its size is not particularly impressive.
The basic outline of this kite has some similarities to the
well-known Butterfly kite shapes. That is, an upper and lower set of
lifting surfaces, with a central lifting surface as well. On a
Butterfly, it's the single set of wings that takes on this general
shape, since the body is either painted-on or a quite slim 3D construction.
This turtle has realistic 'flippers' for sails, surrounding a
'shell', plus a 3D body which inflates from the 'mouth' air vent. All
up, a fairly un-common creature kite if you ask me! I can't imagine it
being a super-efficient flier. But as long as it stays up there, showing
off its looks, that's all that is needed.
This 3D Shark kite shares some similarities to the turtle, in its
basic configuration. Flat sails, coupled with a semi-inflatable 3D body.
The realistic tail, dorsal fin and mouth detail combine to make a
smile-provoking kite! It has the ability to make a very funny first
Again, I don't think anyone would buy something like this for its
flying characteristics! Part of the humor lies in the fact that it is not as realistic as one of those giant inflatable Killer Whale kites, for example. Do you agree?
This Ladybug kite is quite a unique design! A really creative 'art kite'. The general outline is very
roughly like Diamond kite shapes, in that the maximum sail area occurs
less than 50 percent of the distance from the nose to the tail end. Of
course, the different colored segments making up the 'wings' ensure that
no-one would ever point at it and say 'oh, look at that Diamond kite!'.
Don't you love the tail on this thing - another little Ladybug! Well, I'm sure it works. Anything light enough and with enough air resistance will work as a stabilizing kite tail.
Now, I've seen this rotating Hex box kite idea in a kite shop listing or 2, but decided to include it here anyway. It's just so
far removed from most kite shapes people are familiar with! In fact, I
saw one of these at a recent festival, quite high up and rotating slowly
and mysteriously in the breeze. Have another look at the photo and see
how those little triangular sails are set at an angle to the breeze.
OK, this hexagonal box kite is hanging up indoors... But just
imagine it on the end of a flying line, with a long rod poked through
those axle-holes so the whole thing can rotate without snaring the
bridle lines. An interesting box kite indeed.
As mentioned earlier, there's another alternative to towing indoor kites if it's just not possible to fly outdoors...
"Kites Up!" is my downloadable board game. It's a PDF file which has all the documentation for the game plus images for all the components. Tokens, cards, the board itself and so on. Anyway, just click that link to see more info :-)