Take a quick look at the simple plan.
A DETAILED IMAGE to print and use as a
template is here. Be sure to save it to your disk so you can print it later. Print at 300
DPI for actual size. Or use a graphics editing program to resize it so that it prints on
your printer with the width of the kite as 35mm.
These illustrations clarify some of the construction steps: img
1, img 2, img 3.
- 50mmX50mm piece of aluminized mylar(foil gift wrap)
- sewing thread for tail
- transparent cellophane tape (sticks better than the invisible)
- 60mm length of braided dacron or nylon kite line (or fishing line)
- tools: scissors, knife, straight edge, pin or needle
LET'S BUILD IT!
- Look at the drawing. The "spars" for this kite are actually just creases in
the mylar sail material. So if you were looking at a real kite, it would be setting on the
paper, with the nose just slightly bent upward, and one wingtip would be above the paper
by about 6 mm. The tail is taped in the "spine" crease, on the top side of the
kite. The flying line is taped on the spine ridge on the bottom side of the kite.
- Fold the pattern on the spine line. Then cut it out while folded. This ensures that the
pattern will be balanced.
- Fold the mylar sail material in half, and make a very sharp crease along the fold. (I
use my fingernail to sharpen it.)
- Insert the creased edge of the mylar into the fold of the pattern. Hold the pattern and
sail tightly and make 2 scissors cuts along the edges of the pattern to cut out a balanced
- Carefully open the sail and place it on a piece of paper. Place the straight edge on the
bottom part of the sail, in line with the two wing tips. Press down very hard and hold the
straight edge in place. Hold the pin or needle at a low angle and carefully score along
the straight edge to create the "cross" spar crease. If you do this right the
nose of the kite should fold up slightly. (Hint: First practice on a scrap of mylar to get
good at this.)
- Now remove the straight edge and adjust the sail so that the creases make the sail stay
folded as described in step 1. You may have to flatten the spine crease a little, or
sharpen it a bit to get the "dihedral angle" right ( the angle of the spine
- Stick a 15mm piece of tape to a cutting board or scrap of plastic. Use the knife to make
a cut across the tape. Then make a parallel cut about 2mm from the first. Then make
perpendicular cuts to make 5mm pieces for attaching the line and tail. Pick up one piece
with the knife tip, position it above the ent of the thread and press it against the
thread to pick up the thread. Line up the tail in the spine crease and press down to stick
it in place. You will have to adjust the crease, because the tape will flatten it out.
- Fray the end of the braided line so that you can grasp one of the bundles of fibers.
Hold it tightly and then slide the rest of the line down away from the free end until it
gets tight. Now squeeze the frayed end tightly and work the bunched up line down to the
other end. Now repeat this process until the fiber bundle is free. Next fray the bundle
and repeat the process to extract a single fiber. Then carefully tape it in place. It must
be centered. Adjust the crease once again.
That's it! Except for the FLIGHT TEST!
- Keep this and all small objects away from infants and pets!
- Start with about a foot of line out for your first flights.
- You must avoid the turbulent air that your own motion makes. Hold the kite at arms
- If you wind up the line it may take on kinks or twists. These will make the line act as
a "spring". Straighten the line by letting the kite hang down and gently squeeze
the line between a thumb and finger while sliding them down the line. Just a little
tension will straighten the line. Too much will BREAK it!
- Attach the line to a balloon stick, and you can fly it in figure 8's while standing
(even sitting) in place. The reason for figure 8's is to prevent twisting the line.
- I store the kites in a "15 count" clear acrylic baseball card case. Classy and
Updated 09/07/98 by Kel Krosschell [[email protected]]