Vented Rokkaku Kite

by Dan P.
(Lexington Park, MD, USA)

The Rok

The Rok

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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Apr 07, 2021
Floating in light wind
by: Dan P.

I flew it again today, this time in light wind. It was one of those zen flights where it just floated smoothly and peacefully up there with very little tension on the line, sometimes sinking down and needing me to work the line a little, and sometimes going straight overhead when a thermal came by. That's my favorite way to fly these MBK dowel kites, but just the right conditions don't happen every day!

Apr 07, 2021
by: Tim P.

Sounds like you have a decent kite that will get plenty of air time for years to come. I've found plastic sails do *eventually* become so brittle from UV damage that you need to go flying with a roll of sticky tape (scotch tape) in the bag. Touch the plastic anywhere and it splits! But that's after very many hours in the air, in bright sunlight. Rokkakus are great, one of my favorite tailless designs really.

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