My new 6-foot Barn Door kite

by Bill

My new 6-Foot Barn Door

My new 6-Foot Barn Door

After my initial success with the 4-foot Barn Door kite last fall, I decided to build the 6-foot version next. I finally got to fly it at the local riverside park and it performed quite well.

There was a moderate wind (I am guessing 10 to 15 MPH) and it went straight up and out as if on a rail. It was very stable and only bobbed and weaved when the wind would swirl and/or gust.

I noticed that strong sustained gusts produced a right-hand loop, so I intend to adjust by carefully sanding the horizontal spar on the opposite side to make it a bit more limber. This only occurred in the strongest gusts - which was probably near the kite's top wind speed tolerance.

I read the section on KAP and was intrigued by the possibilities, so, on a whim, I decided to attach my cell phone (which has low resolution video capability) to the kite string about 30 feet below the kite and see what happened. I sent the camera up about 3 or 4 hundred feet and then brought it back down.

I had captured about 9 minutes of video and after going through it frame by frame, picked out some of the most interesting ones. I am including one here which managed to catch the kite flying above the local area. The resolution is very low and the quality is poor, but it definitely got me interested in the possibilities of KAP!

I hope to take a week-long vacation to a large freshwater lake in May and I may try to use the 6-foot barn door kite for some kite-fishing. I have what I believe is a unique idea to use the kite as the basis for what I call a "traveling trotline". (A "trotline" is a fishing technique using a main line with dropper hooks which is attached at either end to the bank or to anchors)

Basically the kite will anchor one end of the line and the boat with a drift sock (sea anchor) will anchor the other end. In between and submerged by weights and buoys are the baited hooks.

In theory, with a steady wind blowing in a direction across a wide portion of the lake (several miles), the whole contraption should move steadily and slowly across the lake with some steering capability using the boat's outboard as a rudder as well as the electric trolling motor. The key will be a good steady wind.

I will report with my results when I get back. And, yes, hooks on a kite line are dangerous, but I have a lot of experience with trotlines and I intend to securely weigh down each end of the line with a ballast and a float, so the kite will pull against the weight/buoy most directly which should keep the main line fairly stable - until a 30-pound catfish is hooked to it!

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