by Dan P.
(Lexington Park, MD, USA)
I built a vented Rokkaku using mostly MBK methods. It is 5 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 3 feet between the horizontal spreaders. The spine is made out of two dowels cut to 42 inches and glued and taped together over the center 24 inches.
The one departure from normal MBK techniques is the adjustable top corner strap, which has a small channel with velcro to attach the strap and hold the spine in place. The spine is removable so that the whole thing can roll up around the spreaders.
It has been very windy around here lately, but today the wind was lighter, so I took it to the park for its first test flight. The weather forecast called for a gentle breeze, but it was definitely in the moderate range. The vented Rokkaku handled it quite well, despite flexing a lot. At times it actually flexed so much that the bow line on the lower spreader went loose, and the loop slipped out of the toggle, yet it kept on flying just fine anyway. It is definitely very stable with a good wind speed range.
I don't think my other dowel kites of a similar size would have been able to handle the wind today without crashing or breaking. Later during the day I flew it from my driveway while watching the kids, and they took turns flying it too! The wind was not as strong then, and it behaved very well in the air.
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