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 16, 2018

Global News Report:
Kites vs Birds

Kite flying is not always an innocent activity. This story belongs in the 'only in India' category! ...

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

Poachers around Nalsarovar have struck upon a new modus operandi: With forest officials being on the lookout for nets, they are now using kites to snag and injure Nalsarovar’s winged visitors, and then sell or eat them.

“This is new for Nalsarovar, where poachers used nets in the past. Killing of birds using kite strings has been reported from Saurashtra, especially to bring down cranes, but this was not known in Nalsarovar area,” said a senior officer of the forest department.

Forest officials said that after frequent kite flying (which usually takes place around Uttarayan) was observed in Dharji village, inquiry revealed that kites were being flown to snag birds. After gathering sure details, range forest officer, Dr Bhavesh Patel, raided the area with his team on Wednesday and found four persons engaged in poaching.

Officials said the poachers fled on seeing the forest department team, but one Vahanbhai Kamsubhai, who is a resident of Dharji, was apprehended.

The foresters saved three greater flamingos and one purple moorhen. Two other birds including a greater flamingo and a painted stork were found critically injured and were sent to the rescue centre at Van Chetana in Ahmedabad.

SJ Pandit, deputy conservator of forests, said, “Their modus operandi involved flying multiple kites with sharp strings, while one of them would scare the birds to take off. During flight the birds got snagged in the kite strings and were injured. The poachers then collected the injured birds and used to eat them.”

In the past birds were shooed and caught in nets tied to the banks of the lake. Chief conservator of forest, Mahesh Singh, said, “We are concerned with poaching in the only Ramsar site in the state and have asked the home department to sanction a permanent SRP company for patrolling.”

Singh added, “Our division covers Ahmedabad and Surendranagar districts and the size of the territory calls for additional forces, if it is to be properly monitored.”

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

SOURCE: India Times

URL (full story and/or photos, video): https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/amid-independence-day-celebrations-gujarat-pachers-use-kites-to-snag-nalsarovar-birds-351029.html

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

"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 16, 2018

Flight Report:
Big Box And A Lone Pelican

Just for something different, I decided to go out with 3 of my MBK box kites...

It would have been a great idea to check each kite for airworthiness, before venturing out. One of them hadn't been flown in years! That was the Dowel Box for Moderate winds, which is held together with strips of electrical tape. Good for quite a few months, but age and heat eventually take their toll. A simple rip-off and re-tape procedure is then required.

The first Dowel Box soon revealed it's flaws. Loose tape and free spar-ends everywhere, so it was not going to fly today.

Not to worry, there was still the Fresh Wind Dowel Box! Hhmmm didn't remember that broken spar, thought I'd fixed it some time ago...

So in the end, it was back to the trusty Multi-Dowel giant of a box kite. Lively gusts were charging through the reserve so the conditions seemed flyable.

A lone pelican soared around in weak lift, under the ragged grey cloud cover. Meanwhile I spent nearly 15 minutes carefully rigging the big Box beside the car. Handy wind shadow you see. The packing tape and drop-sheet plastic wasn't in pristine condition but it seemed good to go for today.

After just a couple of unsuccessful launch attempts, I got some more line out. Soon the big blue Box kite was surging from side to side in moderate gusts and finally nosed up into smoother air.

It was a pleasure seeing the large kite fly steadily at about 150 feet off the grass on a tight 200 pound line. However, after about 8 minutes the breeze proved insufficient to keep the kite up there.

It wasn't long before another gust allowed the Multi-Dowel Box to ride high once again. This time, after another 8 minutes or so, I decided to take the kite down deliberately, since school pickup-time was approaching.

Not a bad little outing, despite spending roughly the same amount of time rigging as the kite actually spent in the air!

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 15, 2018

Kites, Bikes and Picnics

This previously published page is a write-up of a local event. Organized by a local kite-seller. Plenty of photos of course...

Continue reading "Kites, Bikes and Picnics"

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...

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)...

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

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.

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

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

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

"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!

 

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...



Return to Home Page from Kites: Site Blog


 

E-Book
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!





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