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!

Jul 17, 2019

Flight Report:
Indoor Delta Expanded

Yep, all sail dimensions were made a little bigger, resulting in a substantial increase in sail area...

Other tweaks have collectively resulted in a more rearward balance point. I added just a couple of short strips of tape to the tail end to get it perfect.

This new design is pretty close to ok. A few tows through the house showed that the kite is more stable and more willing to remain in a nose-up attitude than the old one.

The duration test is looking good too, with the kite staying in flight for around 9 seconds over the test track.

The cross member is failing right next to one end though. But only because the square of tape securing the tip is extending too far along the paper. Flattened against the plastic, the paper doesn't have enough stiffness at that point.

Besides fixing the cross-member, I might try removing another centimeter from the upper ends of the leading edges. This design is getting close...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Jul 17, 2019

Soft Sled Kite

This previously published page is a flight report of my Soft Sled design. You can learn how to make one of these too...

Continue reading "Soft Sled Kite"

Jul 16, 2019

Flight Report:
Indoor Delta Refit

Some changes have been tried, to make the little delta lighter and more stable...

With slimmed-down and shortened leading edges, plus tail-heavy spine and a redesigned cross-member I was full of hope. Alas, the craft still came up a bit short of expectations. So I pulled off the cross-member and cut it down even more before replacing it on the sail. And the kite was still nose-heavy so some strips of sticky tape were added over the tail end of the spine. Tsk tsk - that's extra weight.

After the leading-edge re-fit, the kite turned out tip-heavy on the opposite side to before :-|

Rather than add more weight by taping the lighter wing-tip, I snipped off some paper from the heavy one. That made a big difference and the delta was finally able to climb straight up.

A duration test through the living-room wasn't so good. Just 7 seconds were spent in the air, when it needs to be around 9.

More sail area is needed and even more shifting of spar weight to the rear. So it's back to the drawing board and a new sail...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Jul 14, 2019

Flight Report:
Dual Line Club Fly

Yesterday at Semaphore Park we had the usual club kite fly...

However, with a stiff sou-westerly, we all opted for dual-line kites! Although Mike had the ever-present red parafoil up with some inflatables strung from the line, he also flew a medium sized foil over the grassed area.

Recent member Shah was there too, with a good quality delta sport kite. The kite was hard to miss, fitted with a tube tail from each tip plus a much longer one from the tail end of the spine. Starting over the grass, Shah later opted for flying from the sand, for a bit more room. However, even the area over the sand was diminishing as a high tide crept in...

I pulled out my Peter Powell Skystunter Mk3 and with Aren's help launched it into the smooth wind on short lines. With the classic 100ft tubular tail attached of course :-) That got some attention, as the concept had done since the original Peter Powell kite craze swept the world in the late 1970's.

I tried out some vertical and horizontal 8's, square loops in both directions and of course the usual super-low passes across the sand. With any kind of aircraft, there's nothing like a bit of low-level :-)

Aren had a good fly too, trying tight loops in both directions. Like me, he almost lost it during a dive toward the sand, missing a mishap by centimeters!

After this we handed over to Michael C., who soon got a feel for low passes and steep line angles with the high-quality diamond dual-liner. Even on the shortened length, he noticed that he wasn't flying on Dyneema though! I'll need to fix that at some point, to get some more precision into the figures. OK, it's mainly practice, but having more positive control will surely help.

Finally, a rain shower had us all scrambling to pack up, in the very chilly conditions...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Jul 12, 2019

Flight Report:
My Best Glider

Going by today's efforts, that's the website the 1st prototype of the Indoor Delta kite belongs on ;-) ...

It was an interesting exercise, trying to fly the Indoor Delta through our house. The first thing that became apparent was a tendency to fly off to the left. To the point of flying on one wingtip most of the time. When I suspended the kite from it's thread line, the cause was revealed - one side was slightly heavier than the other!

That's the trouble with small kites. Accuracy is critical. A generous strip of sticky tape was added near the lighter wing-tip, which noticeably improved the balance. But all was not well...

The mini kite just loved to nose-down and take off past me like a high-performance glider :-| That got me suspicious about the center of gravity. Sure enough, when dropped face-down, the paper and plastic delta rushed forward on it's way to the floor.

A few strips of tape added near the tail end of the spine helped somewhat. However, some design changes will be required for the next build. Why add weight. Tsk tsk.

Two ideas came to mind, to shift the balance point rearwards without adding weight...

1) The spreader could be slimmed down and shifted away from the nose a little.

2) The spine could be much slimmer near the nose (where it doesn't need the strength) and much wider near the tail (in order to shift weight there).

It was pretty cool though, seeing the current kite sit back and climb, quite stable and evidently strong enough in the frame...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Jul 10, 2019

MBK Sode Kite Stories

This previously published page links out to all the flight reports I have done on our various Sode kite designs.

Continue reading "MBK Sode Kite Stories"

Jul 09, 2019

Flight Report:
PP Mk3 Goes Tailless

The Peter Powell Mk3 hadn't seen sunlight for many many months...

That's going to change, at least until the 2020 festival. Just for a change of pace, I'm going to attempt to gain some figure flying skills in windy weather. The PP is designed to cope with a huge wind range.

Down at the big square reserve in Morphett Vale there was movement in the tree tops but not nearly enough breeze for fully controllable flight. There was definitely no point in adding the very long tubular tail, which would have made things even harder!

After several attempts, dragging the kite off the grass, it finally made it more than a couple of meters up. From there the deep blue diamond powered on to reach nearly full height on the 100 ft polyester lines. That was in a gust, mind you. After several passes this way and that, the wind strength would falter and the PP had a curious way of responding - it would swing it's nose directly at the ground! Not a frontal stall, but simply a sharp sideways turn.

Several short but quite enjoyable flights were had before the inevitable forced landing each time. Running backwards just wasn't enough in most cases! That would usually result in a momentary regaining of control, only for the kite to sag again and sink out to the grass.

Of course, the beach is the best place to fly steerable kites so that's probably where I'll go from now on. Some windy days are ahead, according to weather predictions...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Jul 08, 2019

Flight Report:
Indoor Rokkaku Rebuilt

The latest plain prototype had proved itself. So I went ahead and did the 'pretty' one, taking photos at every stage to illustrate the online how to instructions...

A few swishes around the house confirmed that the decorated kite flew, although it's stability seemed less than ideal. A short foray out to the verandah and carport was also attempted. However, puffs of breeze encroached and soon proved too much for the kite. Bother - there goes the vertical spar again! A couple of strips of sticky tape soon fixed that. That fix is also documented in the instructions :-)

Back inside again, a little experimenting found a way to improve the stability. By creasing the ends of the vertical spar sharper than the middle section, the overall shape came closer to the spine-curve that a rokkaku needs in flight. Sure enough, the Indoor Rok did better around the house. Tiny tweaks can make such a difference with tiny kites.

Of course, creases fall out after a while, so the next step is to experiment with holding the fix in, with a small amount of tape at the tail end of the kite. I'm not inclined to add any weight at all to the nose end, so no extra tape will go there. A lesson learned long go, which applies to just about any kite.

It would also be good to find a better place to get some higher flights with this kite. When not in use, large covered car parks are a possibility. These places might contain long areas of dead air, shielded from the breeze outside...

Read more flying stories...

- Tim P.

Jul 08, 2019

Learn How To Make An Indoor Rokkaku Kite, Step-by-Step

Easy instructions showing how to make an indoor rokkaku kite, from copier paper, sticky tape and plastic bags.

Continue reading "Learn How To Make An Indoor Rokkaku Kite, Step-by-Step"

Jul 04, 2019

Global News Report:
Matariki Festival, N.Z.

This piece on a New Zealand kiting event includes details of traditional Maori kite history that I have never come across before...

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Dolphin, dragon, and diamond kites floated across Tamaki Makaurau skies on Saturday as part of the Matariki Festival.

It encouraged people to look up and pay more attention to their surroundings.

Animals normally seen under the sea shared the air with their winged mates, filling the skies near Orakei and Puketepapa.

"Kites and birds were used to send messages to other realms," Ataahua Papa from the Auckland Council told Newshub.

"The idea is that the wind takes the messages of aroha- your whakaaro - up to those who have passed on," Papa said.

Not only did Māori send personal wishes to their ancestors, but kites were also used to send messages "between" villages.

"Different kites mean we've got people visiting, or come and have a kai, or something's happening in the water - this is a good fishing day, this is a good planting day," she explained.

On Saturday, it gave people a good reason to pay more attention to their surroundings, she says, and look to the sky while celebrating Māori history.

"Traditionally kites would have been made from materials you'd find growing around you like flax and the covering would be leaves, reeds, trying to keep it as light as possible is the hard part when you're using traditional materials." kite maker Perrin Melchior said.

It's not just the materials that have changed over time.

"Traditionally the shapes would have been more what you'd see around you - looking like birds, or people, fish, animals, insects, but as our knowledge and technology increased we started thinking about things from more of an engineering point of view, more like crystals and boxes," Melchior said.

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SOURCE: Newshub

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/06/dolphin-dragon-and-diamond-kites-float-across-auckland-sky-for-matariki-festival.html

Jul 03, 2019

Adelaide Kite Festival 2017

This previously published page is a photo-illustrated write-up of our participation in the AIKF of 2017.

Continue reading "Adelaide Kite Festival 2017"

Jun 28, 2019

Global News Report:
From Weifang To Jerusalem

Kite clothes?! Read on...

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China's Weifang kite exhibition with the topic of "Fluttering Multi-colored Kites" and an interactive cultural activity were held at China Cultural Center in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, attracting more than 100 Israelis.

Many different kinds of well-shaped and delicate kites were displayed on the exhibition, some of which with portraits of dragon, butterfly, birds, phoenix and mythological figures.

A fashion show was also staged during the event. As model girls from Israel wearing exquisitely-designed kite cloths came on the stage, audiences excitedly cheered and clapped.

The kites they were wearing were innovative cloths from Weifang, located in East China's Shandong Province. Weifang is famed as the home of kites. The city holds Weifang International Kite Festival every year since 1984, which attracts lots of kite fans from around the world.

Also during the event, Israeli people had the opportunities to make a kite by themselves with the help of kite artist Wang Yongxun from Weifang. Wang also works as the vice chairman of the Chinese Kite Flying Association.

{and there's more...}

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SOURCE: Xinhua

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-06/21/c_138163037.htm


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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...