MBK Barn Door Kite Stories

Featuring Sticked MBK Barn Doors

The MBK Barn Door kite is similar to the diamond of the same span.

On this site, there's more kite-making info than you can poke a stick at :-)  Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads—printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Every kite in every MBK series.

Instead of a single vertical spar, there are two sticks crossed at an angle. This makes the design slightly heavier, but it can cope with somewhat more breeze than a diamond on a similar bridle setting.

Hence I tend to reach for a barn door when the breeze looks like it may be too much for other light-wind kites.

The barn-door design has its roots in early America, apparently, the frame having some resemblance to the wooden door-frames of an old-fashioned barn!

Here's a short-format flight report featuring the giant Multi-Dowel Series kite:

Rough Air at 300 Feet

About half an hour before heading out to one of the usual reserves to fly, the weather website was recording 11 kph gusting to 18 kph. This was quite ideal for the big Multi-Dowel version of the MBK Barn Door kite. Also, the flying line was set up to take a half-Picavet KAP rig. It's time for some weight tests before committing an actual camera to the sky!

MBK Barn Door kite.A reliable KAP workhorse

On arrival, the breeze was warm and seemed very gusty. Having not had a relaxing high flight from this kite yet, I decided to leave the KAP tests for a bit. Not only that, I had made some more small adjustments to the five-leg bridle and needed to be sure the kite was in good trim.

Launching in the lee of some trees was a little interesting as the huge kite bobbed way over to the left and right. Finally, with some judicious tugging on the line at the right moments, the huge 2.4 meter (8 foot) span barn door soared up into cleaner air. In no time, 30 meters (100 feet) of line was out. So far so good, so I continued to let out line until the 60 meter (200 feet) flag came off the garden-hose reel.

With the line tied around the trunk of a small tree, it was time to just stand and observe the big kite doing its thing up there. It felt rewarding after all the previous constructing, redesigning, and adjusting. Despite being buffetted by thermal turbulence and lofted to nearly vertical line-angles, the kite behaved rather nicely, never once doing a complete loop. However, the attachment points for the KAP rig looked very close to the kite, being only 10 meters (30 feet) away from the sail. The thought of a camera swinging around in rough air was not very appealing.

Finally, it seemed safe enough to let line out to 90 meters (300 feet). Even so, the huge barn-door kite promptly went vertical again! Great, long ripples slowly twitched the 200-pound Dacron line from side to side. A guy in his car, leaving the reserve, stopped for a while to gawk at it.

Soon after this, it was time to pick up Aren from school so the kite was "walked down" with the aid of a canvas glove.

Close to the ground, and somewhat sheltered, the wind meter recorded an average of 3.6 kph and a maximum gust of 9.3 kph. However, the kite at times was getting 20 kph or so, as evidenced by the 4 kg pull on the trusty spring-scales, at one point!

Tim's Blog Posts
Featuring MBK Barn Door Kites

Since these are short-format reports, they are grouped together. The page links are in descending order of kite size:

MBK Barn Door Kite Posts—Multi-Dowel

MBK Barn Door Kite Posts—Dowel

MBK Barn Door Kite Posts—Skewer

Tim's Flight Reports
Featuring MBK Barn Door Kites

The links below are full-length reports recorded by me, each featuring an MBK barn door kite of one type or another:

First Time Hoisting a Camera (Multi-Dowel)!

Rough as Guts Up There! (Multi-Dowel)

Steady Climb-Out, Soaring High at Last (Multi-Dowel)

Lolling About in Large Areas of Lift and Sink (Dowel)

Awesome Performer in Smooth Moderate Winds (Dowel)

Straight to 80 Degrees in Gentle Winter Thermals (Dowel)

Strong Thermals and Branch-Bending Gusts! (2-Skewer)

Gentle Flying Near Its Wind Range Lower Limit (2-Skewer)

Short But Successful Flights in Meager Breezes (1-Skewer)


The story or stories above document actual flying experiences. My write-ups are definitely "warts and all" since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!


As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making info here than you can poke a stick at :-)

Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads—printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Every kite in every MBK series.

Reporters' Flight Reports

Click below to see MBK Flight Reporters contributions...

First Attempt at KAP with the Goliath Barn Door Kite! 
Up until two days ago, I was convinced that Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) is for the "serious" kite flyers. I was automatically ruled out of this category. …

Multi-Dowel Barn Door: A High Flight Finale  
Yesterday was my first Sunday off in seven weeks and I wanted to do something useful with this day. After coming home at noon from the early Church service …

Dowel Barn Door Kite:
Old School Thermalling
As I mentioned last time, the more difficult or time consuming a kite is to set up, the less likely it is to get flown. This time out, I only had a …

Multi-Dowel Barn Door Kite:
Testing the Strength
As of yesterday, I had flown a total of three short test flights with my Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite. This is due to my job, recent move, and spending my …

Dowel Barn Door Kite:
Thermals Over Willamette Park
This last week, I had three successful flights on two different days! This submission describes the first outing, a typical Sunday kite flying trip at …

Dowel Barn Door Kite
First Flight
This evening was the first feature length flight of my MBK Dowel Barn Door Kite! Construction was pretty much stock according to the MBK plans and technique. …