2 sheet Panflute kite
Kite type:
Soft rammed air kite, single line
Year level: 10+ yrs
Time to make: 4 hours

A good looking soft kite which flies in light winds. Flies well as is, but looks great with a tail as the kite sways in the wind wiggling the tail. This kite requires a hot taker or low wattage soldering iron to join the sheets of plastic (could also be made with ripstop fabric and sewn though I haven't tried it yet). This was taken from a design on Anthony Thyssen's website, which has great plans for a real panflute and comments from others on the design.  Good to read as comments will apply to this design too.  This design is easier to make from plastic and has the advantage of being easy to appliqué.

2 sheet panflute

Panflute with long tail

tube tails attached to each rear vent

2 large plastic rubbish bags ◊ sticky tape ◊ string ◊ cardboard
Scissors or craft knife ◊ permanent marker ◊ sharp pencil ◊ 20+ watt soldering iron ◊ straight edge ◊ wax baking paper ◊ cutting-board
Instructions (read through first)
  • Using dimensions given on template diagram, mark out top and bottom cell templates on cardboard (or more permanent material) and cut out.
  • Cut open plastic bags so they lie flat.
  • Using single cell templates, mark out the bottom and top cell sheets onto plastic bags (refer diagram below).
  • Cut out lower and upper cells sheets.
  • Joining plastic sheets heat soldering iron, then beginning at one side make two lines of closely spaced dots  (refer kite making tips page) along each seam line joing the top and bottom sheets together.  Complete all 8 lines.
  • Reinforce front wing corners with tape and punch hole or use sharp pencil to make small hole.
  • Attach bridle (sturdy string) through small holes in the wing corners on leading edge and tie a loop at its centre point.
  • Wrap flying line around cardboard rectangle and tie to bridle loop.

Single cell templates

leading edge

  • The dimensions above do not need to be exact.  This design is quite forgiving.  The size can be increased or decreased.
  • Check you are joining the correct seam on the top sheet to the correct seam on the bottom sheet before heat joining each end to hold sheets in place. 
  • For multiple classroom kites, you can make half templates of 3 and a half cells and cut starting on the fold of a plastic sheet folded in half so it opens out to full size. 
  • Bridles for sled type kites should be at least three times as long as length of kite.
  • You can make the top cell sheet from a number of colours to improve visual appeal.