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....

Nov 16, 2017

Flight Report:
Paper Diamond Dodges Rain

At a local reserve today, the breeze proved too fickle for the second MBK Paper Diamond prototype. However, after a short drive to another location, a pause was necessary while a light rain shower passed!

A brief fly on more thread showed promise, but the wind direction was not providing much room for the kite. After putting the bag down at a more suitable spot, the little paper kite rose willingly as I steadily took loops off the winder.

There was plenty of wind up there alright. But on 60 meters (200 feet) of thread the kite was soon back on the ground between gusts.

Wasting no time with a re-launch on the full length of thread, even more was let out. Lodging the winder behind the heavy bag, I paced out the horizontal distance to the kite. Including an allowance for line angle, it appeared the kite was now on about 90 meters (300 feet) of line.

Even in the wind shadow from some trees, the meter was recording gusts to almost 20 kph at shoulder level. That would mean no less than 25kph up at the kite's height. This was confirmed later when I got home and checked the online weather site.

The Paper Diamond now had just enough height to recover from short lulls without any intervention. In excess wind strength, possibly over 30 kph, the kite would loop left. Strangely, it also looped to the right a few times too. Perhaps evidence of both a very small imbalance and instability due to sheer wind speed.

All this time I had been keeping an eye on an ominous dark area in the sky, almost directly upwind of the field. Just when the situation seemed to be improving a little, I noticed light rain enveloping the Adelaide Hills to the east. But it rains first over high ground anyway. No problem. Or was it?

With the kite now having made it past 15 minutes of flight time, the rain band soon started to extend further from the hills. Hence closer to the field! I barely had time to process this development when a tiny rain drop hit my cheek...

That was it - time to act!

Walking quickly towards the flying Diamond, I ran the thread under one sleeve of my jacket. Snapping the thread several meters from the kite, I flew it back to safety in the car park. Before I had finished dealing with the kite bag and winder back at the tether point, down came the rain.

Just a light shower but definitely not what you want if you have paper in the air! A close call, having just spent 3 hours making the kite.

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!

Nov 15, 2017

Wau Bulan

This previously published page is all about the exquisitely crafted Moon Kite of Malaysia...

Continue reading "Wau Bulan"

Nov 14, 2017

Flight Report:
Southerly Struggles

At the local kite club's monthly outing last Sunday, we arrived to find several kites airborne in a rough light breeze from the south...

Apparently, everything had come to ground some minutes earlier. So, was going to be 'one of those days' perhaps?

After wandering around for some time, taking photos, I rigged the big Multi-Dowel Delta on the grass and put it up...

The breeze had freshened somewhat and the huge floppy light-wind Delta took to flapping and flying off to one side then the other. Even with a little drogue hanging off the back. There was just too much wind for a kite which is more at home wandering high overhead on a 'light wind and thermals' kind of day. Less than 10 minutes after launching, I took the big blue Delta down and packed it away.

Meanwhile, Mark's multi-colored Parafoil and the club's set of Lester's Legs were coping well. The front end of the Legs also being a parafoil! It's quite a well-known 'funny kite' design.

A mid-sized white Delta was also doing well, though the low-level turbulence sent it to the sand on one occasion. Plain in color but a very neat and functional-looking design, made in rip-stop with carbon spars.

Mike's Phoenix Delta was trying hard, recovering time and time again from the odd attitudes the rough air was putting it in. This delta was not a large kite, but the breeze strength was sufficient for it to suspend a semi-flying inflatable from the flying line.

Down on the beach I rigged a big rip-stop and fiberglass-sparred kite that bore just a small resemblance to a Rokkaku. To the extent that it had a spine and 2 horizontal spars. However, the upper horizontal spar resisted all my efforts to fit it where it apparently was supposed to go. After tying off the spar at another point and launching, the big kite swirled around over the sand, ending up on it's back a couple of times. No damage done, but evidently that upper spar is crucial to the stability of the kite. The long and elaborate 2-piece tail couldn't overcome the instability.

After that struggle with the large and unfamiliar kite I gave up and flew the 40cm tall MBK Paper Sled for a while! It took some attention. trying to avoid all the other kites competing for space over the grassy area.

But the little Sled did OK on it's sewing-thread line. Due to the chaotic wind, the Sled never got very high. In a smooth 20kph it will hold a 45 degree angle, no problem.

A couple of mid-sized Diamonds were spotted in the distance, flying on the beach not far from the Semaphore jetty.

It wasn't the most comfortable flying, but certainly not a total loss either...

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!

Nov 12, 2017

Global News Report:
Huge Country, Huge Kites...

We're talking Western-style kites at a large Chinese kite fair. Just the one short factual caption under each image - but what great photos!

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"A competitor flies a kite during the 18th Rudong International Kite Fair in Rudong, east China's Jiangsu Province, Nov. 4, 2017. The fair attracts more than 200 competitors of 51 groups from home and abroad."

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SOURCE: Global Times

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1073537.shtml

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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!

Nov 10, 2017

Paper Sled Kite - High In A Freshening Breeze (Flight Report)

The MBK Paper Sled kite completed it's certification flights down at a local beach, in the air with sea-gulls. See photo gallery and video.

Continue reading "Paper Sled Kite - High In A Freshening Breeze (Flight Report)"

Nov 08, 2017

Basic Kite Making

Sub-titled 'A Hand Waving Guide'. With the aid of a single diagram, the construction of the simplest possible Diamond kite is explained. Enjoy!

Continue reading "Basic Kite Making"

Nov 05, 2017

Global News Report:
Sport Kite Teams In France

Real expertise used to exist in just a few countries. But now, many countries from several continents are represented...

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An international contest for sport kiting was held in southern France in late May. In the sport, players control multiple kites in sync to create dynamic performances. It originated in the US and is popular across Europe, and now Asian players are emerging. A Japanese team, air-rex, won the championship.

Five kites zoom skywards. Their maneuvers look like airshow aerobatics. The 5 members of Team air-rex steer the kites. They have just 2 strings each to manipulate. This is how it works: when the right string is pulled, the kite turns right. When the left one is pulled, the kite moves left. These movements are combined to pilot the kites in a variety of ways.

The kites weigh 200 to 300 grams each. The team members choose which kites to use after checking how strong the wind is. The team's strength comes from the combined skills of its members.

One of them, Takatsugu Kubota, visits a gym to practice. He closes the windows and begins flying his kite. "This is to practice ways of flying the kite when there's hardly any wind," he says.

The team was set up just over 20 years ago. In the past 2 decades, they've honed their synchronized stunts, such as having all the kites bank together and flying them equally spaced apart. The trick needs smooth coordination. When the strings get tangled by accident, they quickly shift the kites in opposite directions, and untangle them.

"It's fun playing in a team. The harder you work at it, the more fun it is," says a member, Rie Tamura. "We are the champions, so we have to impress people with our performances," says Kubota.

Team air-rex rose to meet a new technical challenge. Kubota composed original music to accompany the shows. No existing music will do -- it cramps their style. So they decided they had to fit the music to the choreography.

"At one point, all the kites stop. At that moment, we turn the music off and everyone goes, 'Ah!'" says Kubota. "The trick is making a difficult thing look simple. We stay one step ahead by thinking about how we can make people feel happy with our performances. That's why we decided to change the music. That means coming up with new ideas," he says.

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SOURCE: NHK World

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/editors/6/
japanesesportkitingchampionsinthespotlight/index.html

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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!

Nov 04, 2017

Flight Report:
Paper Diamond Delights

It was just amazing, seeing some A4 paper sheets fly like that...

Earlier in the day, the breeze seemed too extreme to fly anything made of paper. However, by mid-afternoon, the wind speed had moderated somewhat. An ideal opportunity to test the new Paper Diamond right near the top of it's wind range.

With adjustments to dihedral and bridle configuration the kite was flying very nicely in the Gentle range - up to around 20kph.

Down at a local reserve, the tree tops were rustling while the sun blazed down. After a trudge to the opposite side of the reserve, it was straightforward to launch the plain little Diamond prototype.

Up and up the paper craft went, as meter after meter of thin polyester thread passed between finger and thumb. And there went a small tangle... 'That could be trouble' I thought to myself as the tiny furry ball disappeared into the distance...

Sure enough, some minutes later a big gust tugged at the kite and PTOING. Anything other than the correct knot does not leave much of a strength margin when you are flying on thread!

It wasn't long before I had retrieved the kite and repaired the line with a Multi-Strand Double knot. You can look that up on this website ;-)

What followed was an amazing wild ride with the Paper Diamond flying all over the place, including very high on nearly 200 feet of thread. Right at the very top of it's wind range. In fact, judging by the weather site when I got home, the kite was exceeding expectations by staying in the air with gusts right into the Fresh range. 35kph+! And the thread held.

Since today's flight was so encouraging, the brightly colored version and How To e-book will be started shortly.

The next prototype? A Barn-Door...

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!

Nov 02, 2017

Flight Report:
Paper Kites Cavort

Like my corny headline? At least you're here ;-)

The purpose of today's outing was 2-fold - log some more time on the Paper Sled and test the Paper Diamond with more dihedral.

First up was the Sled which went straight up on some almost Moderate gusts. But it was a warm, thermal-filled sky and so the breeze came through in waves. It would be Gentle to Moderate for a few minutes then Light to Gentle for another few minutes. Of course, the little Sled was inevitably shot down during the latter cycle!

While this was going on, I put up the Paper Diamond up on quite a few meters of line. Apart from a small imbalance to the left, the plain-paper kite flew admirably.

At the size it is, the Diamond's paper sail formed an almost solid surface like a model aircraft wing carved from balsa wood or foam. Despite being much heavier than traditional kite sail material, the little Diamond had no trouble going to quite high line angles. Amazing! I think this and following Paper designs are really going to rock in the Gentle to Moderate wind speed range.

At this point I probably should have moved to a bigger field. Then, all 120m (400ft) of thread could have been let out for the Sled. But instead, I persisted and finally managed to log a 5-minute and two 10-minute flights. In every case, the kite simply sank out in slow air. All the way from about 150 feet off the ground.

For some reason, magpies seem to be particularly attracted to the Paper Sled. At one point I counted 10 of the black and white birds. Almost motionless, they were just standing around peering at the kite as it lay on the grass. Eerie!

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!

Nov 01, 2017

How Does A Kite Fly?

This previously published page has been updated. Read about the 4 forces that govern the flight of any kite...

Continue reading "How Does A Kite Fly?"

 

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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E-books


Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





Testimonials
(unedited)

"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."

_________________

"I decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."

_________________

"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."

_________________

"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"

_________________

"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"




Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





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