Sled Kite - Reducing size of Dowel design
(Fairbanks, AK, U.S.A.)
Can I make the 48 inch Dowel Sled kite with 36 inch dowels instead?
I would be reducing the overall design by 1/4.
Will this work? Will its flying ability be affected?
The down-size should work fine, since you will end up with something similar in dimensions to the MBK Simple Sled. However, the cut-outs of the Dowel design do add to its looks!
Just be careful to check and double-check that every measurement is multiplied by 0.75 to reduce the whole thing by a quarter. The size of the cut-outs don't have to be super-accurate, but the distance down to the towing point does need to be reasonably accurate. Taking the dowel width down to 1/8" would be a little thinner than a strict 25% reduction, but should still work fine.
Try to find plastic that is a bit thicker than the cheapest garbage bag or garden bags available. This helps prevent the leading edge from folding under and collapsing the kite. Even at 3/4 size, your Sled should easily make it to 300 feet or so after you get it out of the rougher air down low!
As for flying ability, those 1/8" spars should make it a little more lightly-loaded than the full size Dowel Sled, so its light-wind performance might be even better!
Just to get you enthused, here's a flight report of the Simple Sled, which is also 36" tall and made from 2-ply orange garden bag plastic. The slightly more expensive bags, compared to the ultra-thin cheapies.
Hope to hear of some good flights!