Flying in the barest breeze
So, out I went. A grown man with digital camera, wind meter, and
broad-brimmed hat—all for a small plain kite made from a single sheet
of A4 copier paper! It's called commitment to providing good original
online content :-)
Arriving at the nearby school reserve, a quick check for herds of schoolboys or flocks of schoolgirls was in order.
Nope. The coast was clear, so out came the Minimum Sled Kite and other gear.
than venture out onto the main oval, which was still weed-infested, I
stayed in a small grassy clearing not far from the road.
a few surrounding gum trees, a promising light breeze wafted through
from time to time. Sure enough, the gentle gusts were enough to loft the
kite for up to half a minute at a time.
The picture on this page was taken during these short flights.
The little sled, thankfully, flew stable most of the time.
Occasionally it would flick itself inside out when a spot of rough air
came through! But at least, when a constant flow of air was there, the
kite flew like any other small sled. Line angles were modest, but you
can't expect too much from a single piece of copier paper! I was actually very pleased with the way it flew.
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.
Then followed a quiet period where the average wind speed dropped
to around 1.3 kph (less than 1 mph). So there I was, standing out in
the sun, holding a piece of line in my hand and checking out the
treetops for signs of approaching gusts. This would have been a slightly odd sight for
anyone walking past I guess, or the guy working on the school fence, not
too far away.
Just as I was considering posting about five seconds of usable video
and a grainy inflight photo of the kite, there was a rustling of
leaves. Yahoo! (The exclamation, not the search engine.)
Within seconds, the Minimum Sled kite was up and away. I let quite a
few meters of line slip through my hand, before extracting the camera
from a pocket.
Fortunately, the little sled soon slid out of the way of the sun
and went on to flying very nicely for the better part of a minute.
It sank to just a meter (3 feet) off the ground during a slight lull,
then moved back up, zipping back and forth as the gust strength increased.
Then there was a nice high climb to perhaps a 50 degree angle, before some graceful
hovering and sinking slowly back to the grass.
Great! It was all "in the can" as they say in the movie business.