Kites: Site Blog

Welcome to this fun and educational Site Blog page on kites. Appearing here...

  • Our latest Flight Report posts and local kite club activities.
  • Interesting kite-related news stories from around the world.
  • Occasional contributions from visitors, which often includes photos or links to videos.
  • Just once a week, a good quality older page will pop up here too, so it doesn't stay buried forever. Always a good read!

My own Flight Report videos pop up on the MBK Facebook page nearly every week.

So, how do you subscribe to this blog page? Running your cursor over the orange RSS square down there on the right will bring up several ways to subscribe. Click/tap on whatever option is most familiar to you and you'll never miss a post!

Feb 15, 2020

Flight Report:
Train Tackles Wild Winds

The idea was to get footage of a 4-diamond train...

To start with I tried to loft the Dowel Tetrahedral since the breeze was gusting well into the Moderate range. Despite the occasional run of furious gusts, it proved impossible to launch the heavy tetra. A steady 35kph would have been more to it's liking!

So it was out then with 4 Diamonds from a longer train. Just 4 would be sufficient trouble today, since they would be flying in wild inland air :-| White, black, white, black was the sequence as the kites went up, each with the opposite color drogue on a couple of meters of line.

It didn't turn out too bad. Although after several minutes a kite would inevitably throw it's drogue over the flying line, they otherwise coped quite well with the very gusty conditions.

A couple of videos captured the somewhat spread-out train as it flew high, low, left, right and generally tried to turn itself inside out! Mixed in with the rough air was strong thermal lift and sink. The former air movement pushed the stack almost vertical for a while, with around 50 meters (165 feet) of line to the lowest kite.

After this I let more of the 100 pound Dacron out to see if it would help promote smoother flying. Tall trees upwind were producing plenty of wind shadow. At 60 meters (200 feet) the air was a little better but it still seemed turbulent. Those diamonds were darting, right on the edge of stability. Longer drogue lines might have settled things down, but these days I usually fly my trains at the coast, where the current drogue lines are more than adequate.

With 3 out of the 4 drogues snared around the flying line, it was time to bring down the train and pack away. At home again, a quick weather check revealed the breeze had freshened to 24kph with gusts to 37kph! No wonder the kites weren't on their best behavior...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Feb 13, 2020

Global News Report:
Photo Fest!

Here's a sampling of captions from a series of great photos published recently, mainly at locations in North Carolina, USA...

----------------------------------------------------------------

National Kite Flying Day is observed annually on February 8th and encourages exploring kite flying and making. Enthusiasts across the country mark the day by launching their kites or making plans to attend festivals. Take a look back at some of the kite flying photos we have taken over the years.

{some captions follow...}

Over one hundred kites were in the sky and thousands of people came out Saturday to the 9th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in Kure Beach, NC.

Kids play under a butterfly tent as John and Dave the Kite Guys out of Holden Beach, N.C. fly some of their kites over the Fort Fisher area. Over one hundred kites were in the sky and thousands of people came out Saturday to the 9th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in Kure Beach, NC.

Jeff King gets some help from Garry Lincon and Joyce King to get a Pegasus kite up in the air. Over one hundred kites were in the sky and thousands of people came out to the 9th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in Kure Beach, NC.

Kids play under a low flying worm kite as John and Dave the Kite Guys out of Holden Beach, N.C. fly some of their kites over the Fort Fisher area. Over one hundred kites were in the sky and thousands of people came out to the 9th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in Kure Beach, NC.

John and Dave the Kite Guys out of Holden Beach, N.C. fly some of their kites over the Fort Fisher area. Over one hundred kites were in the sky and thousands of people came out to the 9th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in Kure Beach, NC.

{and much more...}

----------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: Star News Online

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.starnewsonline.com/photogallery/NC/20200208/NEWS/208009995/PH/1

Feb 12, 2020

History Of Power Kites

This previously published page takes a look at the early days of power kites...

Continue reading "History Of Power Kites"

Feb 11, 2020

Flight Report:
Printable Genki Gyrations

Before launching into the e-book instructions for making the Indoor Genki, I put a plain one together. Just to check that the scaled-down version behaved itself in the air...

Of all the MBK Indoor designs, the Genki is perhaps the most demanding of design perfection. The long horizontal spar has to be strong enough in the middle, yet light enough at the tips for reasonable stability. The battens also need to be feather-light since they occupy the outer panels of the sail.

Today's build came so close to passing all the tests. In fact the overall lightness of the kite was great since it could fly slower than most of the other Indoor designs. The problem was stability. The kite weaved around on a short line and was unable to complete the required 3 circuits of a 1.5m (5ft) radius circular course. Sigh.

A hint of nose-heaviness was evident and also - somehow - weight needs to be removed from the extremities. Problem is, some of the paper dimensions are already close to the practical limit for most people! You'll need really good scissor-skills to make this kite :-|

So, several small adjustments have been planned. In total, the changes should shift the design just far enough in the right directions. I hope. We'll see with the next build!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Feb 10, 2020

Yesterday a Tiny Delta Kite

Yesterday a tiny delta, in a chinese shop I found, the line, the reel, all is included, cheap the price just a pound. Many kites I have already, sure

Continue reading "Yesterday a Tiny Delta Kite"

Feb 09, 2020

Flight Report:
Club Flies In Tricky Easterly

Tricky? Yeah, off-shore with a solid line of tall trees upwind. Oh and not to mention strong thermals lifting off inland and drifting over the beach, messing with the air!

It was all too much for Andy, the club 'big inflatable' enthusiast, who went home early for once. Ian and Elly's big Panda flow-form wasn't immune either, exhibiting some hairy flying at times. Mike's big delta did the best - being a sparred design :-) But even the delta got shot down by strong sinking air at one point.

I had a go with my Skewer Tetrahedral. After much line working down low, a prolonged gust at last sent the tetra out on plenty of line. Up it went, only to show up a need for a trim change. So I brought it back down and transferred some tail from one side corner to the main tail, before getting another high but fairly short flight in. Yep, it's quite a small tetra compared to some. Making big ones is notoriously time-consuming!

Simon (box kite fan) and Mark (keen KAPer) were out there too.

Hey, there's always next month...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Feb 07, 2020

Flight Report:
Hungry Bird

The MBK Indoor Bird design had to go on a diet, as I had faintly suspected might be the case...

When the printable version of the Indoor Bird kite was completed, it turned out to be a little on the heavy side. Not that any target weight was in mind, but the flying characteristics gave it away. The little kite was constantly heading off to the left or right, and refused to glide steadily along under tow.

What to do? Quite a few hours work had been done, creating text and images for the 'How To ...' e-book content. Fortunately, no dimensions needed to be altered - apart from a simple reduction in the width of every piece of paper of the frame. 10% was deemed to be sufficient. This amount meant that everything in the e-book content would look very similar to the new design. The spars page would be updated to contain shapes with the slightly slimmer dimensions. Whew. Don't tell anyone ;-) If unaware, I think only the sharpest eyes will pick up the subtle mis-match between photos and printed shapes.

So, the spars shapes page was updated and a new kite was quickly put together. It only took 5 minutes of general flying around the house to confirm that the new kite was indeed much more stable. Not quite as good as the Delta or Canard, but the feather-light Bird then went on to pass all the tests.

Talking of tests, here's a report card for the old and new Bird kites...

OLD
Duration over standard course: C
Line angle: B (not bad, but a bit hard to tell with all that weaving around!)
3 circuits around circular course: F! (couldn't get around once without losing line tension)
Max speed: A (assumed, since the kite was overly heavy/strong)

NEW
Duration over standard course: B (it's possible that even more weight could be removed from the spreader)
Line angle: A (excellent - at least 60 degrees, sustained!)
3 circuits around circular course: C (a little dodgy, but it made it)
Max speed: A (effortless 6kph, since the steep angle maintained caused little drag and hence low strain on the structure)

The old Bird went in the box with all the other completed printable kites, since it looked the part with full decoration. It might yet get another fly. Perhaps in a more spacious venue...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Feb 06, 2020

Global News Report:
Arabian Kites

Enthusiasts are getting organised in Jeddah...

----------------------------------------------------------------

* Kites KSA was established by a small group of enthusiasts who held regular meetings on Jeddah Corniche.
* The group hopes to get the activity recognized by the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and added to the events calendar for the upcoming Jeddah Season.

JEDDAH: Hundreds of colorful kites brightened a Saudi city’s winter sky during a special community event run by a newly formed group of enthusiasts.

Residents rolled up in their droves to fly kites on Jeddah Corniche as part of an initiative to encourage fun outdoor activities.

More than 200 elaborate designs, some shaped like animals and others depicting famous faces, were on display at the event organized by a team of young Saudis called Kites KSA.

Organizer, Imad Al-Salhy, said he had been contemplating the idea of launching the event for years. “We wanted to put together a team to encourage families and other people to enjoy their time with kites. Flying kites can be enjoyed by the young and old alike.

“There are a lot of people in the community that like flying kites, but they couldn’t always find others to share the fun with.”

Al-Salhy’s partner, Majed Al-Wadi, said that the group was hoping to get the activity recognized by the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and added to the events calendar for the upcoming Jeddah Season.

Kites KSA was established by a small group of enthusiasts who held regular meetings on Jeddah Corniche, and it continues to grow, promoting kite flying, and coordinating kite activities and parades at other community events.

----------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: Arab News

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.arabnews.com/node/1621466/saudi-arabia

Feb 05, 2020

Soft Kite Posts - Parasail

This previously published page is a collation of my flying experiences with the MBK Parasail design. Enjoy! (vids) ...

Continue reading "Soft Kite Posts - Parasail"

Feb 02, 2020

Flight Report:
Star Tested Over Roof

Perhaps not the best place to test a kite ;-) ...

Towards the evening, time was tight so I opted to give the Skewer Star a brief try-out over the side lawn. And over the roof. An extra skewer had been glued to the lower half of the spine, to shift the balance point back. In response, the kite seemed to behave somewhat better than on previous occasions.

Quite a few attempts were required to loft the bright-orange craft above gutter level as brief puffs of breeze worked their way through the yard.

Finally a few extra meters of 20 pound Dacron were slipped out as the Star caught smoother air over our roof. As usual the TV aerial leaped out to snare the kite but I was ready with a bit of fancy line work. Onwards and upwards. A sense of security was building as the kite hung smoothly, several meters over the apex of our roof.

All went well until a much stronger gust caused the kite to head over to the right. It was that all too familiar instability again, as I waited in vain for any sign of self-correction. Pulling in line would have made it worse and in the moment I neglected to let line out instead. So - clunk - down it went onto the veranda roof.

Oops. Going round to the side only got the out-of-sight kite jammed. But from another direction, the line freed up and the kite appeared over the gutter. No damage done.

As they say, quit while you're ahead so I did :-) I should add that this Skewer Star kite is still capable of hours in the air at good heights. It's just that when it does decide to go down, it almost always goes all the way down, so you need to be flying in an open space!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Jan 30, 2020

Global News Report:
Kites vs Screens

In much of India, kites are still putting up stiff resistance to the screens that dominate kids' spare time elsewhere in the world...

----------------------------------------------------------------

With the craze to study and settle in Canada catching up amongst youngsters, kites with the Canadian national flag have flooded the market in the area, ahead of Basant Panchami. These kites are doing a brisk business in the city and are the centre of attraction for youngsters.

Shopkeepers stated that as the trend of going to Canada is catching up among youths, kite makers are also benefitting from the passion by producing kites with the Canadian flag. Apart from these, kites of various shapes and those presenting characters such as Doraemon, Angry Birds, Mickey Mouse and Bollywood stars are also available.

Even Chinese kites have taken the market by storm. Colourful kites in the shapes of eagle, dragon, butterfly, birds, fish and beetles can be seen in the sky these days.

Even miniature plastic kites are getting a good response. Available in sizes ranging from six inches to 1.5 ft by 1.5 ft, these miniature kites are selling big. Supplied from Jaipur, these kites come in various shapes of popular cartoon characters.

On an average, a kite can be purchased for Rs10. However, kites up to Rs200 and higher are also available in the market.

Manish Kumar, a kite seller, said: “We have kites in various shapes and sizes, ranging from Rs90 to Rs160 per 20 kites. Likewise, we have ‘manjhas’ varying from Rs350 to Rs400 for 3,000 metre and Rs600 to Rs750 for 6,000 metre.”

Vijay Kumar, another kite seller, said: “Waterproof kites are in high demand this season. They survive the chilly and moist weather conditions.”

“The trend of buying kites has survived through the age of electronic gadgets. The craze of flying kites will always be there. Earlier, these were available for Rs5, but now the cost has risen to Rs10 per unit. The only thing that has affected the kite sale is the popularity of Chinese kite flying string as owing to threats posed by the string, parents dissuade children from flying kites.”

----------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: The Tribune

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/kites-with-canadian-flag-flood-city-markets-32854

Jan 29, 2020

Delta Kites

This previously published page has commentary and photos of various big deltas we have seen at the local kite festival...

Continue reading "Delta Kites"


Like/share this site...

Like/share this page...

Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...