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....

Dec 11, 2017

Global News Report:
Kite Diverts Float Planes

From a watery airport in Canada. Short, but a little unusual in topic, so I thought you might enjoy it...

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VICTORIA - Nav Canada says a high-flying kite interfered with air traffic in Victoria's inner harbour Tuesday, causing some flights to be diverted.

Victoria police say the kite was flying about 300 metres in the air and it took some time to track down the man flying it.

Const. Matt Rutherford says kite enthusiasts and others should use common sense when enjoying their hobby.

Rutherford says kites and drones shouldn't fly too high in a city, especially when there is an active airport nearby where planes and helicopters land.

He says the incident is concerning, and police will be working with Transport Canada to determine the next steps.

Victoria's harbour is used by float planes.

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SOURCE: The Canadian Press

URL (full story and/or photos, video): http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/high-flying-kite-interferes-with-air-traffic-at-victoria-harbour-1.3709926

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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!

Dec 10, 2017

Club Flying In Perfect Weather

Warm, breezy and sunny. That's how it often is at this time of year, far south of the equator...

The monthly club fly at Semaphore had a center-piece of sorts. Mike had a big red Pilot kite with an even bigger Shark inflatable flying on the same line, just a few meters below. Thanks to a large toothy intake, the Shark was apparently quite quick to inflate prior to launch. The same cannot be said for many other large inflatable designs which don't necessarily mimic something with a large mouth!

The rest of us put up smaller kites. But collectively, there was a decent display of floating color. The kites drew plenty of attention from people walking past or otherwise enjoying themselves on or around the grassed area.

There was a small parafoil with ribbon tail, a mid-sized but arty Brasington box and a few slightly larger parafoils of various kinds. I had brought along my big Carbon Diamond and the red Roller. However, with gusts reaching 28kph I decided to go with the MBK Parachute instead.

The plastic-and-tape parachute, which was based on photos of full-size sky-diving 'chutes, was comfortable in the moderate strength air. After all, it has flown successfully in 40kph winds, albeit with a ribbon tail. Today, a small bridle adjustment was needed, to stop the 'chute hanging off to the left.

Mike had a small green 4-liner up for a few minutes. Small by traction-kite standards that is. The aerobatics were interspersed with soft trailing-edge landings on the grass. It was something of a work-out, with plenty of wind power available up around 50 - 100 feet of altitude.

These days it seems there is nearly always someone somewhere flying a kite or 2 within sight on the beach. On this occasion it was a couple of 'Bali kites'. Small ship kites that were flying steadily at very modest line angles over the sand. I took a photo which by a fluke managed to include 3 seagulls very close-up, in mid-flap!

So, there was nice flying and even nicer weather for the December kite fly last weekend.

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!

Dec 06, 2017

The Prusik Knot

This previously published page details how to do the lockable Prusik sliding knot. So useful for kite bridles!

Continue reading "The Prusik Knot"

Dec 03, 2017

Simple Dowel Kites at a Cub Scout Camp

My son is a cub scout and we were invited to attend a family camp. Parents were asked to arrange activities for the cubs that would contribute towards

Continue reading "Simple Dowel Kites at a Cub Scout Camp"

Nov 29, 2017

Ripstop Nylon

This previously published page discusses the material itself and it's uses in the kiting world...

Continue reading "Ripstop Nylon"

Nov 28, 2017

Flight Report:
Better Flying At The Beach

The first stop was at a large inland field, since the breeze strength seemed adequate...

Unfortunately, the lulls were deep and it just wasn't possible to keep the Paper Diamond kite off the ground for more than 5 minutes. Despite flying at over 100 feet for a while. So, it was off to the beach.

The average breeze strength over the sand was probably much the same as inland. However, being much smoother, it was very easy to let out a few meters of line and watch the kite fly constantly.

A problem with paper spars is that once you damage one, the resulting weak spot remains. Despite careful bridle design, this can reduce the kite's wind range...

The other day, this kite got caught up on a thistle while I was pulling it across the ground. Tsk tsk, my fault entirely. The end result was a complete fold-up of the sail, putting a crinkle in the horizontal spar on one side. So now the kite doesn't want to fly at much above 20kph. Even with attempts to trim it straight, it's now a bit erratic and unpredictable.

Still, I managed to log a useful amount of air time today. A 10 minute flight and then a 15 minute flight with a bit of electrical tape hanging off one corner, to trim the kite straighter.

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 27, 2017

Flight Report:
Snaking Thread Up High

The weather site was indicating ideal wind speeds for long flights inland...

Gusts into the high end of Moderate and even into the Fresh range would mean the little Paper Diamond would have a fighting chance of staying up during lulls. Putting a lot of thread out would help too.

The first flight had the usual ending at this location. the kite simply sank out to the grass during a brief lull.

With small kites, it's easy to overestimate how much line is out. The sail looks so small out there, as if the kite is about to run out of room. So it was on this first flight - I was only using half the available area!

So, on a second attempt with much more thread in the sky, the Paper Diamond managed 10 minutes before ending up on the ground once again.

On a third try, the winds were a little more favorable as well. The pale yellow paper floated here and there at great heights in rising air.

In sinking air, the Diamond battled away at low line angles, looping and flicking from side to side in strong air pressure. The lulls were very brief, so that was not a problem after the kite had climbed back to around 200 feet.

The thread snaked through the sky, bending out in various directions as the chaos of the wind hit it differently along it's length. When the kite sank fast, the thread could barely keep up, leaving a great gently-curving loop behind. When the kite was forced into doing loops down low, the thread formed subtle spirals most of the way back to the tether point.

It was good that the Diamond kite seemed incapable of snapping the thread even at Fresh wind speeds. Sleds definitely pull more for their size.

The spectacular flying was made possible by the thin width and light weight of the cheap polyester thread. Great stuff for small kites. Once you learn to handle it right to avoid tangles and the resulting weak spots that is...

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 26, 2017

Flight Report:
Kites On Show

The local kite club was again invited to help draw a crowd at a Council-run event...

'Salisbury Plays' was put on to highlight various activities and facilities at or near the St Kilda Adventure Playground in Adelaide's north.

To cover all eventualities, we had piled a variety of kites into the car. A large carbon-framed Diamond for light-to-gentle breezes. A colorful train of soft-Tyvek Diamonds for gentle-to-moderate winds and a dirty great Box kite for moderate to fresh wind!

As it turned out, the wind was not lacking, you could say. In the car park, half a minute of holding up the wind meter showed gusts to 30kph. Who knows what it was doing at 100 feet off the grass. I really, really should get around to making a decent big Tetrahedral kite from dowel and plastic. The kind of kite that justs sits up there nice and steady in a gale!

As we approached the area reserved for flying, Henry was dealing with his big white delta that was showing the strain at the top end of it's wind range. Cristina had already given up on her smaller deltas.

Mike and others had large inflatables in the air that were doing OK. Sort of - a big Trilobyte decided to wander off to the right several times, causing some concern! The pilot kite and Cuttlefish beneath it were coping a little better. These kites were tied off to large vehicles.

A couple of small circular parafoils (ladybugs??) were staying in place, although blown down to modest line angles. A great test for the stakes which been driven into the grassy ground. You could see them bend with every gust or swirl of turbulence!

Shortly after arriving, I put up the Multi-Dowel Box on a fairly short line. Usually the big Box flies steady and steep in fresh wind on a long line. But today the line length had to be kept shorter due to lack of space and also a fairly crowded sky.

More than once, the box kite scooted far off to the left or right. With kite lines to the left and a road with cars to the right, I could not leave the kite to it's own devices. Hence the flight was cut short and I landed it in wind-shadow behind some bushes for an easier de-rig.

While spending some time with May and Aren around the playground later, I had a person come up and express how impressed they were with the kites. Mission accomplished by all the kite-fliers!

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 24, 2017

Flight Report:
That Sinking Feeling

Down at the beach, the smooth breeze gusting well into the Gentle range held much promise of a long flight. However...

Nearly all day, a substantial SW breeze had been blowing at this location. But a newsletter had to be finalized first, plus other tasks. Also, a heavy rain shower had passed through, taking out another chunk of time. To cut this long story short, the average breeze strength dropped by several kph soon after putting the kite in the air for the first time.

Launch was easy in smooth 12kph air. It was just a matter of taking thread off the winder while the Paper Diamond departed upwards and outwards at a fairly constant line angle.

Sitting on a dune nearby, I kept an eye on the thread extending skywards from my bag on the sand. Glancing upwards would bring the very steady flight of the kite into view, from a side-on perspective. But then, one such glance caught the kite in a very slow tail-first descent. All the way to the sand. No helping it, of course, that's against the rules ;-) Oh well, a 5 minute flight could be recorded.

After this, there were small variations in the breeze and the Diamond managed 2 more 5-minute flights before succumbing to Light-range wind speeds.

15 minutes of total flight time today will have to do! I've blogged it, now to log it...

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 22, 2017

Easy Kites

This previously published page highlights 2 of the most convenient-to-fly types of kites...

Continue reading "Easy Kites"

 

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