Ariel Mini Plan
Ariel scaled to 80%

Almost any small kite like this is usually confused with the popular Micron. This is shallower and much lighter, and flies in lower wind. The response of such a light kite is amazing, as it leaps from the ground controlled by your thoughts more than your fingertips. 

The first Ariel was made for very high winds, but this is a version comparable to the zero-wind Trick-Tac. The one-piece sail is 1/2 ounce nylon with a hot-cut trailing edge, 3/4 ounce rip-stop leading edge sleeves and spine pocket. The reinforcement at the center T is rip-stop adhesive tape and whiskers are 040. It may not need an upper spreader, but the fittings are there anyway for testing. The 080 carbon spine and 24 inch leading edge spars are sewn in place to save weight, and to clean up the edges. The three main rods are inserted into the nose, and the nose folds over them like an envelope flap. The sail is reduced to 80% of the Ariel, and spars are fitted by eye. The bridle is 50 pound Dacron, thick enough to avoid snags. On other kites, very thin bridles have hung up on everything, negating any weight advantage.

Wind range starts at around 1-2 mph and at that speed tricks quite well on 35 foot lines. Re-launching from odd positions is a snap, except for that one. The upper spreader of 050 rod seems useless except  in stiff breezes. A larger Orcon version with tapered 060 rods and a bridle of sewing thread might be fun.

This is my response to the Trick-Tac, and I like it even better. With a .080 frame and a light sail, this kite loves to do tricks in light wind.  The sail is too small to be an indoor kite, but it flies outdoors when only fighters are up.  It is a durable little thing that only needs an upper spreader in medium winds.  Left off were knocks, elastic, trailing edge hem, leech line, trick line, extra seams  and reinforcements.  The sail is cut in one piece, the LE sleeves attached, and the wingtips are sewn shut. Spars are inserted into the nose and a flap of 3.8 ounce Dacron sewn over the spar ends. I did this by hand to feel and apply the right tension to the spar.  The dynamic bridle is a bit thick and short-legged to reduce snagging, and could be much lighter. 

A 10mm x 150mm strip of .75 ounce nylon forms the spine pocket. It is folded in half, then re-folded 25mm from that fold. This wraps around the tail to form a pocket for the spine

A 5mm vinyl cap serves as a T fitting. The hole for it is strengthened with rip-stop tape.

The wingtips are as simple as possible to reduce weight and line snagging protrusions. A trick line and leech line aren't necessary on such a tiny kite.

A friend liked this kite enough to swap a Micron for it, and the comparison is interesting. This kite is very different from the Micron, especially in the shallow sail and wider stance of the standoffs. The simple wingtips are similar, which surprised me.

The Micron has a higher wind range, but could still be put on a diet, and the bridle invites experimenting. 

Spars are inserted into the nose with a flap of 3.8 ounce Dacron sewn over the spar ends by hand. A machine foot would have a hard time with this lumpy juncture, and keeping tension on the spars is easier this way.

I hope to expand this method to full-sized kites using internal tensioning.

If you make one of these please let me know of any mistakes in the plan.

Fair Winds,

Frame Dimensions

Leading edge 080 Carbon 24.6 inches 625 mm
Spine 080 Carbon 14.6 inches 370 mm
Upper Spreader 050 Carbon  10.2 inches 260 mm
Lower spreader 080 Carbon  23.8 inches 605 mm
Stand-offs .040 Carbon 3.75 inches 95 mm

Parts and Materials

Leading edge strip and nose .75 ounce Nylon 20mm wide
Sail 1/2 ounce Nylon
Leech line None
Bridle line 50 pound Polyester
Nocks None
Leading edge connectors .080 rubber
Standoff to Spreader .080 rubber
Standoff to sail Smallest possible
T-connector A 6mm Vinyl end cap, pierced for spars

Bridle Dimensions

A prusik knot attaches the  tow loop (red) to the inhaul line (green), and another one ties the inhaul (green) to the purple outhaul (purple).