Low Wind High Flyers

by Doc Rod Hardin
(Germantown, Maryland, USA)

In the 1980s I made a 0.75 oz RS combination box kite based on a winged rombus tail and a forward Cody biplane. The longeron was about four feet down the center cutting unneeded weight. The wing span was roughly 4 feet. All hardwood dowel.

This kite was intended as a prototype. It would fly on one knot with almost no effort. It would glide at the top of a vertical line in a circle until it picked up another headwind. It won a Masters trophy from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC in 1996.

I scaled it up to twice the dimension later on that flew well enough, but it was never quite the same. It was my third and last trophy from that festival.

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Light wind designs
by: Tim Parish

Kites that excel in light conditions are always more interesting to watch, in my opinion. Like the impressive tethered aircraft described above! Thanks Doc. Bet you have a ton of memories along these sort of lines...

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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 ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
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

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