Kites: Site Blog

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

Keeping you up to date with our Flight Report posts and local kite club activities. Plus interesting kite-related news stories from around the world. Finally, there will be occasional contributions from visitors, which often includes photos or links to videos.

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

Clicking on the orange button up there on the left will ensure you never miss a post. Running your cursor over that button will also bring up alternative ways to subscribe. Use whatever is most familiar to you.

Mobile users: You'll need to scroll right down or click the navigation button to find the orange RSS button.

(P.S. 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!)

Here's all the latest posts - enjoy....

Aug 12, 2018

Flight Report:
Beating The Rain Band

The local club fly got off to a great start, there being adequate breeze for the big inflatables and parafoils...

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The forecast was for 'showers decreasing' and sure enough, in various directions there were distant clumps of dark cloud. Some of the cloud cover was dumping rain over the sea or further inland. But nothing was close enough to be a bother, so we all kept flying.

Ian and Elly had the orange parafoil as a pilot for their purple Dragon inflatable. Andy had a giant Teddy inflatable under a yellow pilot kite. Mike was flying his red pilot kite with a Hammerhead Shark inflatable underneath. Steve had a stylized 747 inflatable under a multi-colored pilot parafoil. Henry was flying the white light-wind pilot kite with a Gecko inflatable hanging off the line.

At some point a giant Ball ground-based inflatable made an appearance while Aren and I went down to the sand...

After half-filling a green calico shopping bag with sand, I set about putting up my 9 - no, 10 - kite Diamond train. Last month the kites had swirled about with rather too much gusto. So this time, I had added a meter of line between the tail-end of each kite and it's drogue bridle lines. That settled things down!

The train flew beautifully stable as the breeze hovered around 14kph gusting up to 18kph. Yep, measured it with the wind meter.

Aren had noticed how a couple of rain showers had scooted along the horizon. More concerning was a rain band visible on the sea directly upwind of us! The rain looked barely 15 minutes off, so we hurriedly started taking down the train. Sure enough, the last kite was stacked on the pile as rain drops started to fall.

It didn't turn out to be much of a shower, but by that stage, everyone had got busy taking down kites.

Haste makes waste and a couple of us managed to lodge a large parafoil high up in a car-park tree. :-( But thanks to an heroic effort by Henry, the tree was scaled, bridle lines removed and kite retrieved unscathed! A quick check-flight on the bridle lines confirmed the kite was still airworthy. Phew.

A club fly to remember, if not for all the right reasons!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 09, 2018

Global News Report:
Kites Over Sunny England!

They had a great day in Exmouth recently. Plenty of good photos if you choose to visit the URL (at end, below)...

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A wonderful array of kites filled the sky over Exmouth at the weekend as bumper crowds turned out for the 10th annual kite festival.

Warmer weather meant an even larger crowd than usual descended on the Imperial Recreation Ground for Exmouth and District Rotary Club’s traditional summer time event.

To mark the 10th anniversary, a public vote was held to decide which good causes benefited from the festival; the causes chosen were Children’s Hospice South West, Millwater School and Exmouth Swimming and Lifesaving Society. More than 2,000 votes were cast.

As well as the usual aerial displays by professional kite flyers, there was a range of other activities including a children’s marquee, vintage car and steam engine shows, fairground stalls and refreshments.

There was also a kite battle for the first time ever in the event’s history accompanied by music from Japanese drumming band Taiko Journey.

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SOURCE: Exmouth Journal

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/bumper-crowd-turns-out-for-exmouth-and-district-club-kite-festival-1-5641385

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"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 08, 2018

First Flight Simple Delta

Here in Cambodia its a bit difficult getting basic kite supplies. I found a garbage bag just big enough for the simple delta. There's no dowel but clumps

Continue reading "First Flight Simple Delta"

Aug 08, 2018

Flight Report:
Delta High And Dry

It's been soggy around here for days, but some sunlight yesterday and early today had largely dried out the grass...

Finally, after chasing a decent inland fly for the Paper Delta, it happened. The breeze was cool and very gusty, but the little delta managed to claw it's way right up to 200 feet in the sunny blue sky. On a bit more than 90 meters of thread.

I don't have length flags or markings on the thread, like more conventional flying line, so I just pace it out under the flying kite. When the kite is low, the method is reasonably accurate. This situation might be due to a lull in the breeze, or the opposite - the kite stressing out and looping down in fast air.

A prolonged lull in the wind brought the Paper Delta down after only 5 minutes. Not to worry - the height certification was 'in the bag'!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 08, 2018

Adelaide Kite Festival 2016

The title gives away the age of this page. But check it out anyway, if you have never been to an international kite festival before! Or if you have, take a look to see what South Australia can put on...

Continue reading "Adelaide Kite Festival 2016"

Aug 06, 2018

Flight Report:
Battling A Broken Wing

Right now, I'm chasing a long high flight inland to get height certification for the Paper Delta...

It looked ideal on the weather station report. Down at a huge square reserve near the same location, there was promising movement in the tree-tops around the perimeter.

No time was wasted getting the delta into the air. Although, as usual with flying these paper kites inland, it wasn't easy to get right up into the smooth fast air.

When the little delta did soar high over the field, an old problem re-surfaced. Even with a patch on, the left leading edge soon weakened. Every strong gust which should have pushed the kite to a high line angle instead forced it into tight circles to the left!

The right leading edge has held firm through everything the weather has thrown at this kite. So the design is ok. It's just that the other leading edge got bent by accident one day - and has never been the same since. I'll just patch it again and hope for the best on the next outing.

Another issue has been resolved today, regarding the bridle. On a simple delta kite with a straight-across trailing edge, the towing point lies right on 50% of the spine's length...

Not so for deltas like the Paper Delta which have a fixed-dihedral spreader. This arrangement keeps the upper portion of the sail rather flat, compared to the lower portion which is free to take on some billow under flight loads.

The result is that the ideal towing point is somewhat further forward than on an equivalent delta with a floating spreader.

After shifting the towing point forward by a centimeter or so today, the kite did much better.

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 02, 2018

Flight Report:
Short Flights In Wild Air

I'm really trying hard to take every opportunity to finish the testing of the Paper Delta...

Rain had been bucketing down all night so there would be nowhere dry to fly today. However, copier paper has proved resilient enough to cope with such conditions in small doses. So out I went.

It turned out to be a difficult session, with fresh gusts snapping the thread and a near-miss with trees downwind. Wind speed varied from zip to well over 30kph and the left leading edge had developed a weak spot. However, this spar has been bent before while on the ground, by accident. Which could explain the weakness.

Just to be on the safe side, I'll be strengthening the leading edges in the appropriate areas anyway. Adding external patches for the current kite, but doing something more integrated with the final colored-paper version.

After much walking back and forth, repairing thread and re-launching on as much length as I dared, the Paper Delta finally returned a 5 minute flight. The kite landed in rain (!), so a wind-in and retreat to the car happened in a hurry.

The kite and tails are stretched out on the carpet as I type, recuperating to a drier state.

It's been a tricky road, developing this delta, but we'll get there...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 02, 2018

Global News Report:
Kite Runner Territory!

A great piece with insights into how kite-flying engages people in poverty...

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Surrounded by bright-coloured tissue paper and bamboo sticks, Afghan kite maker Halim Muhammadi and his children sit in their modest living room in Kabul assembling kites in preparation for the city's flying season.

After selling hundreds of thousands of kites during the cooler months, particularly in spring when flying conditions are ideal, kite makers spend the rest of the year replenishing their stocks.

A single kite takes only minutes to make. Muhammadi, 50, expertly cuts a piece of delicate tissue paper into a diamond shape and glues it to a thin bamboo frame -- skills he has honed since he was a child.

He then passes the fragile object to his children -- daughters Madina, 18, and Nigina, 15, and his 14-year-old son Shohaib -- who adorn it with simple decorations and leave it to dry in their home.

While the main kite flying season starts in the winter and finishes at the end of spring, a breeze at any time of the year is enough to draw people of all ages to rooftops, dusty hills or cemeteries to enjoy one of the country's traditional leisure activities.

Retailing for as little as a few cents each, kites are a cheap past-time in the impoverished country.

Banned during the Taliban's repressive 1996-2001 regime, kite flying soared in popularity after the US-led invasion, which enabled kite makers, such as Muhammadi, to reopen their businesses.

Afghanistan's kite-flying culture was made famous by best-selling Afghan author Khaled Hosseini, whose 2003 novel "The Kite Runner" became a runaway global bestseller and turned into a film.

Fierce battles waged by kite flyers, who use string coated with crushed glass to cut down other kites, ensures many repeat sales for kite retailers.

"My entire family, including my sons, daughters and wife, make kites (at home)," Masood, 40, a second generation kite seller, told AFP recently at his shop in the bustling Shor Bazaar in an old neighbourhood of Kabul.

"During the winter we sell between 100,000 and 300,000 kites. I make about 300,000 afghanis (about $4,200) in three months," he added.

Inside the cramped kite stores in Shor Bazaar, huge piles of kites are testament to Afghans' love of the sport.

"People are crazy about kite flying here," said Pahlwan Karim, 65, whose family has been making kites for nearly a century.

His kites are branded with a picture of a scorpion -- after his kite-making brother's nickname.

"This market sells hundreds of thousands of kites every day in winter," he added.

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SOURCE: Richmond News

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://www.richmond-news.com/news/asia-pacific-news/soaring-production-kabul-kite-makers-prepare-for-the-flying-season-1.23383394

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"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Aug 01, 2018

Flight Report:
Delta Tries To Tickle The Dunes

Once again, to fly the Paper Delta successfully required a 35 minute car trip out to a beach, far to our north.

Also once again, the launch was marginal. Constant working of the polyester thread was necessary to keep the kite aloft while letting out more thread. Eventually the little paper craft was sitting up there, barely moving. Picture perfect against the puffy white cumulus clouds.

On the way there, taking turns off the winder caused the delta to descend slowly. Holding on would allow the kite to ascend just as slowly, gaining a little height overall.

Initially I measured the breeze at 10.5kph gusting to just over 12kph. Fortunately, this gradually built to 16kph gusting to 19kph. This kept the kite high for a good 20 minutes or so, before a short period of lighter air came in...

While I watched, the delta slowly descended to just 30 feet off the dunes. Then the air freshened once again and the kite recovered to it's previous height.

Finally though, the wind dropped right out and winding-in was necessary to prevent the kite going down in the scrub behind the dunes. At that point the clock was stopped (metaphorically!) at 35 minutes of flight time. A useful amount of time to log.

Earlier, I had paced out 110 meters across the sand, getting a rough measure of the line length while the Paper Delta was hanging in at a low line angle. Later, the kite briefly achieved a 30 degree line angle, meaning it's still slightly short of making the magic 200 feet altitude for certification. All it will take is a bit more wind.

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

Jul 26, 2018

Global News Report:
Kiting Is Big In Weifang, China

Every time a 'who invented the kite' piece comes up, there's always a new snippet of interesting historical info, or a new angle...

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China is the birthplace of many inventions, like paper money, alcohol, and the compass, but did you know that the Chinese also invented the kite? The first kites were invented not as toys, but for practical uses (like communicating during military operations, measuring distances and gauging the wind; all difficult tasks in 5th Century B.C.).

Years later, during the Tang Dynasty, kites took on a new identity as children’s toys, much like the kites of today. And now Weifang, China is known as the kite capital of the world. Weifang, located in central Shandong province, is home to the International Kite Festival, which wrapped up its 35th year this spring. The three-day event consisted of 89 teams, 220 players, and 502 kites from over 60 countries; a spectacular sight to see.

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SOURCE: CGTN America (Blog)

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://america.cgtn.com/2018/07/25/china-unknown-go-fly-a-kite

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"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and fly something high tomorrow!

 

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...



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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7