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!

Dec 03, 2020

Global News Report:
Humming Japanese Edo Kites

Just a short piece featuring a kite master I had the pleasure of meeting briefly at our local kite festival once...

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

Mikio Toki works on Edo Kakudako kites, lucky charms for the New Year, at Tako Kobo Toki in Chosei, Chiba Prefecture. Production of the kites is at its peak, with this year’s creations featuring the ox, the zodiac animal for 2021.

Edo Kakudako kites have a curve at their top, where rattan is attached to bamboo. The rattan shakes in the wind when the kites are flown, making a buzzing sound.

Children’s kite-making kits are popular this year due to the novel coronavirus. “I want people to enjoy decorating kites and flying them on New Year’s Day,” said Toki, 70.

{plus a large photo chock-a-block with Edo kites...}

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

SOURCE: The Japan News

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0006964473

Dec 02, 2020

Simple Delta Kite

This previously published page is a flight report on the MBK Simple Delta, not long after it was first designed and made...

Continue reading "Simple Delta Kite"

Nov 30, 2020

Flight Report:
Canard Spar Re-fit

A warm breeze gusting right to the top of the Moderate range invited me to take out the 4m (13ft) canard once again....

This time I had cut deep V-shaped notches into the 3 spar tips that had caused trouble in an earlier session. The straps held but the kite seemed slightly overweight. Not to mention rather too flexible all round, in the frame. Despite this, stability was more than adequate so that's a plus. In it's current state, the kite is a poor performer but I have devious plans...

Developing large kites is another world to making the 1.2m (4ft) variety. In a word, complexity makes for a time consuming experience. Both the main components - sail and frame -- are themselves composed of several components. All sorts of little details need refinement before the final kite is something to be proud of.

Getting back to those plans for the frame... The current design uses a triangular arrangement of 3 dowels which touch each other along the full length. Theoretically, it's quite a bit better than the equivalent strength single round dowel. But for this 4m span kite and definitely for the planned 6m version, there needs to be some separation of the rods to give even more stiffness. Greater stiffness also results in more effective sail area, so that should help the wing-loading issue. Area divided by weight.

Bear in mind, carbon or any other kind of tube is not an option. This is about pushing the limits of hardwood dowel :-)

Have you heard or read the old maxim 'simplicate and add lightness'? Well, this is more like 'complicate and add lightness' - but it will work...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Nov 26, 2020

Global News Report:
Kite Beach Street

That's one sure way to raise the profile of kite-flying - rename 2 prominent streets! From Dubai...

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

Formerly, Al Saffar and Mazmala Streets, two of these key Jumeirah streets, are being renamed as Kite Beach Street.

The newly named street adjoins the Kite Beach in Dubai.

Commenting on the renaming, director-general and chairman, of the Board of Executive Directors, RTA, Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, said: "The Kite Beach Street stretches 1,500m , has 370 parking slots, and can handle up to 1,000 vehicles per hour. RTA has started the replacement of 13 ground and overhead directional signs along the street.

Kite Beach is one of the key recreational spots on Jumeirah Street. It features a high-quality infrastructure for sports and entertainment activities. The area hosts an extensive range of restaurants and cafes making it one of the most popular beaches in the city. It is served by a wide network of roads with multiple entry and exit points at Jumeirah Street."

He added: "The facility has jogging and walking tracks, cycling lanes, and services for shared bikes.The renaming of this street raises its profile among the public. It will also help promote its tourist and recreational spots, apart from supporting the government’s drive to make Dubai a bike-friendly city by encouraging outdoor cycling. The initiative will contribute to realising Dubai Vision 2021 to make the city the preferred destination lifestyle and business destination.

RTA is continuing to implement its strategy for improving personal mobility means along the beaches to integrate with the existing roads and transport infrastructure. Next year, RTA will start design and construction of cycling tracks extending 16 km along the Jumeirah Beach, including Kite Beach, which will make the site more attractive to visitors," added Al Tayer.

Kite Beach features walking, jogging and cycling lanes extending 14km from the backyard of Dubai Marine Beach Resort to Burj Al Arab Hotel. It has a 5m wide walkway, a 4m wide jogging track, retail outlets, and shaded seats overlooking the beach as well as public and sanitary facilities. The walkway features green landscaped areas and decorative lighting.

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

SOURCE: Construction Week Online

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.constructionweekonline.com/projects-and-tenders/269145-two-streets-in-jumeirah-to-be-renamed-kite-beach-street

Nov 25, 2020

Fighter Kites

This previously published page is a brief round-up of the most well-known types of fighter kites. Examples are pictured, from various countries all around the world...

Continue reading "Fighter Kites"

Nov 24, 2020

Flight Report:
Eagle Twirls, Canard Unfurls

With Gentle-strength wind blowing, it was an opportunity to test the new soft Tyvek skin on the 4m (13ft) Canard. However...

The rig went smoothly enough, but the corner straps (as I call them) were just not up to the job. The flexible frame and punchy gusts combined to make the kite shrug off those straps way too readily!

At least the kite made it into the air for half a minute or so on a fairly short line. This gave some sense of overall stability in the slightly heavier skin. The original sail for the prototype was drop-sheet plastic. Convenient and cheap for prototyping!

Once you get them right, corner straps have an advantage over corner pockets... Things can stretch or shrink a little according to conditions or over time and it just doesn't matter with straps. You pull a little tension into the tie before securing it and that's that. OK, the rig takes longer than just poking a spar into a pocket, but a big sparred kite can take a while to rig anyway, so it's no big deal.

Leaving the the pure-white beast flat on the ground with 3 slipped tips (!), it was time to reach for the backup kite :-) In this case, the trusty retail Eagle.

Being early afternoon, and warm, the air was very active indeed. So much so that while fiddling with the camera, I didn't notice the Eagle trying to turn itself inside-out up there. Finally, the rip-stop nylon and fiberglass-rod craft hit the deck with the flying line wrapped all the way around 1 wing! Rough air alright.

On somewhat more line, the Eagle had a better time of it, soaring around at all sorts of line angles. The kite threw the odd twirl left or right as 1 wing got more air than the other, just for a moment.

Pity about the canard. So it's back to the drawing board to improve the spar-tip security...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Nov 19, 2020

Global News Report:
A Very Old Kite Shop

So you've been to kite shops that were founded in, say, 1970. Check this one out, from the mid 1800s!

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

Traditional Japanese kites featuring cows to represent the Chinese zodiac's Year of the Ox in 2021 are seen at the Takomo Honten kite shop in Nagoya's Nishi Ward in this recent photo, ahead of this year's production peak. The shop was founded in the late Edo period in the mid-19th century, and continues to employ the same kitemaking methods, crafting the kites by hand. This year orders have dropped due to the pandemic, and the company plans to restrict production to around 2,000 kites. Naoki Yamada, 34, a sixth-generation kite maker at the shop, said, "It's been a hectic year due to the coronavirus. I decided on a design depicting a cow sitting firmly in the hope that next year would be calm and steady."

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

SOURCE: The Mainichi

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201114/p2a/00m/0na/025000c

Nov 18, 2020

Flight Report:
3 Kites, No (Decent) Flights :-|

I was gearing up to get the big 4m (13ft) span Canard back into the air soon, with it's new Tyvek skin, but guess what...

A particularly sneaky strain of the dreaded virus has struck. Yes, THE virus, has gone and done a Houdini, somehow escaping from a quarantine hotel here in Adelaide. Bummer. We're all in lockdown for 6 days at least. Even going out for a walk is forbidden.

Although kite-flying can be done in utter solitude in this part of the world, I'll bet there isn't a special exemption for kite-flyers at this point in time!

So, what to do? Fly over the roof, of course! After tea, out I went with the 2-Skewer Rokkaku, to try and put it up in the light breeze which was giving the odd puff through the back yard. However, having not got around to increasing the dihedral since it's last outing, the kite proved a little too unstable to rely on for yard flying. Not sure how the skewers managed to flatten out over the years, but they did. It won't be hard to rectify, by softening the glue in the dihedral join with water while under a bit of pressure. That's the plan! Anyway...

Next up was the 2-Skewer Barn Door with plenty of very light tail. This kite was nice and stable, but in the dying breeze, the small barn-door could only manage several short flights, up and over the corner of the house. We're talking flights of 5 to 10 seconds each!

Finally, out came the 2-Skewer Delta. Notice a pattern here? The 2-Skewer kites hang from our walls, hence are very convenient to just grab and fly :-)

The delta did a little better, as expected. But with very little air movement, even it could not sustain flight at all. I would pop it into the air, then run along the lawn letting the 20 pound Dacron slip through my hand just slow enough to keep the kite in a nose-up attitude near gutter height. Then, when out of room, a few firm pull-ins would accelerate the kite upwards to it's maximum height. Only to begin an inevitable descent back to the lawn, while I tried to work every little scrap of breeze. Duration record? Keeping a mental count, about 13 seconds :-|

I guess a minute or 2 of air time was logged in total by the 3 kites - a few seconds at a time!

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Nov 18, 2020

Cross Spar

This previously published page details some techniques for creating a bowed horizontal spar from hardwood dowel, with even curvature...

Continue reading "Cross Spar"

Nov 12, 2020

Global News Report:
From Selling Food To Selling Kites

A tale about a resourceful Indian restaurant manager, who had a skill to fall back on...

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

Naman Sood lost the job of a manager at a restaurant in Ludhiana during the lockdown. He was not alone — 10 other staff members were also shown the door, much to their disappointment.

Rendered unemployed, he was aware that the hard-hitting times would floor him if an alternative isn’t found soon. As time dragged on; more was slipping from his hands, he thought it was best to restart the business of making kites. A skill he had learnt from his father in childhood. His father ran a shop at Shakti Nagar area in the walled city. The 31-year-old, following in his father’s footsteps, rented a shop at Rs3,000 per month on the Dhapai road and invested all savings on buying raw material to make kites. And this bailed him out of choppy waters.

“The season of kite flying starts with winter setting in; and touches the peak in no time,” he says, before outlining his future plans, “the rest of the year I could make and stock kites.”

After going ahead with the business, he also started now buying ‘made in Jaipur’ kites, which are popular for low cost and fine quality. “I don’t think I will need to buy from the next season,” since it could curtail his investment.

Back at restaurant, he used to handle around 40 customers daily. It started last month but he did not receive a call from his employer despite the fact he had been with them for over three years. But seemingly, it doesn’t matter anymore – as of now.

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

SOURCE: The Tribune

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/by-making-selling-kites-naman-sood-is-preparing-to-soar-again-168964

Nov 11, 2020

Skewer Tetrahedral Kite Posts

Skewer Tetrahedral kite posts archived from the site blog page. The use of bamboo skewers lets this tetra do well in Gentle to Moderate breeze strengths.

Continue reading "Skewer Tetrahedral Kite Posts"

Nov 11, 2020

Multitasking

It had been a calm day. It was the early afternoon, and I was just starting some planned yard work when seemingly out of nowhere a pretty steady 5 mph

Continue reading "Multitasking"

Nov 11, 2020

Guinness World Single Kite Altitude Record

Set in 2014 at 16,009 ft. above ground level. My team used a 12.34 sq. metre DT Delta. It took about 50 flights over 8 series of attempts on a sheep station

Continue reading "Guinness World Single Kite Altitude Record"

Nov 11, 2020

Dual Line Parafoil Kites

This previously published page is a beginner-level introduction to dual-line soft kites...

Continue reading "Dual Line Parafoil Kites"

Nov 10, 2020

Adelaide Kiting Events Posts - involving our local kite club

Adelaide kiting events usually involve AKFA, our local kite club. This is a small archive of some blog posts recording such events.

Continue reading "Adelaide Kiting Events Posts - involving our local kite club"