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About Mikefule

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Profile Information

  • Favorite Kite(s)
    Various box kites
  • Flying Since
    Childhood, on and off
  • Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
  • Interests
    Morris dancing, concertina, Moto Guzzi motorbike, boating
  1. Amazing stories to share. Thank you. I like box kites. I have a square box, winged square box, a winged hex box, a Cody and a Conyne in my bag - all commercially made. My biggest kite is an 11 foot span delta and that pulls like a train when the wind is up. I can't imagine handling a 15 foot box kite! Book illustrations and childhood memory say that diamond kites are normally tall and thin, I agree. The British "standard" is probably the Bookite keel diamond. I prefer a bridle I can tinker with (that is, make fine technical adjustments to...) but having read the 25% rule for a single point bridle, I wanted to try it.
  2. According to the patent, an Eddy has equal length spine and spar, and these cross 19% of the way down the spine. It has a 2 leg bridle and a bow for stability, and flies with no tail. Part of the Eddy's stability comes from having a very loose fitting sail so that, in addition to the bow, it curves back either side of the spine to give the effect of a keel. The "standing wave" kite in question is not an Eddy. It is a diamond. I read that if you use equal length spine and spar and cross 25% of the way down the spine, you can bridle directly to the intersection with a single point, and this is what I did. Rather than a bow, you use a tail. This particular kite follows this pattern. It is very sensitive to what tail is attached. Because it is a paper kite, it is very stiff and flat in configuration. If I had used plastic sheeting or cloth it may have been more flexible and therefore more stable. Over the last few weeks, I have made an Eddy and a diamond using the same length of spars - each kite using two 18" garden canes. The Eddy has a plastic sail and has spar pockets so it can be dismantled. The diamond is a permanent structure with the spars taped into place. The Eddy flies like it's pinned to the sky. The diamond dances. Unfortunately, it does not always dance prettily. Sometimes it dances like a drunken uncle at a wedding. My personal preference is for kites without tails, and I also prefer "demountable"kites as I carry a bag with about 15 kites in it. I took early retirement a month or so ago and I have taken the opportunity to get out my old kites and give them a good airing, and I have also started to experiment with making a few.
  3. Full marks for"distal". You in the medical profession, or aeronautics? I don't have any commercially produced flat kites but I have been making some simple small kites recently. This one is a diamond with the spine and spar of equal length, crossing 25% of the way down the spine. There is a single point bridle at the intersection. The sail is brown paper so it is completely windproof. With a heavy tail and strong wind, the kite "nods vigorously" oscillating about the axis of the horizontal spar. In a light wind, as today, it "shakes its head vigorously", oscillating about the axis of its spine. Weird.
  4. Flying a small diamond kite with a single point bridle today. No bow and probably not quite enough tail. I was also flying it on a line that was rather too heavy for the kite, and there was only barely enough wind. The kite rocked from side to side. This set up a standing wave in the line, which was hanging rather heavily in a catenary curve. A standing wave is where the peaks and troughs have fixed positions. This means that the line has several fixed points along it, with the line between these fixed points oscillating from left to right and back again. I doubt I could have set up the perfect conditions for this deliberately!
  5. Referring to the comment upthread about multiple spools and the line becoming too heavy. Many years ago I flew my red delta from the top of a well known "pointy hill" (not really a mountain) called Thorpe Cloud (Dovedale, Derbyshire, UK) and I daisy chained a series of spools and lines. The kite went very high indeed, and a long way down wind, until I reached the stage where the line was angling down from my hand into the valley, then back up to the kite from the next spool.
  6. I have a good quality 11 foot keeled delta. I have flown it many times in extremely light winds, nursing it up by careful line management. I have also flown it in strong enough winds that I have struggled to bring it back down. I thought I was familiar with it in all its many moods. Today, I was trying to get it to fly in a very fitful teasing breeze. The wind was so weak that I couldn't be quite sure which way it was coming from. I threw tufts of grass in the air and they fell vertically. However, I could see some rustling in the leaves at the top of the nearby trees, so I knew there was something up there if only I could hook it. I therefore went for a long line launch and after several attempts, the kite started to pull reasonably strongly and I was feeding out line carefully and getting some decent height. Within a few minutes, I had it a hundred metres or more up and it was flying at a slightly lower angle than usual. Then suddenly it started to pull and climb, and after a minute or two it was exactly vertically overhead. It was not in a glide (I've had that before) but it was actually pulling. I then realised that it had gone slightly beyond directly overhead - it was slightly behind me. The line was going up in front of me, then curving BACK towards the kite and the kite was still pulling - not hard, but definitely trying to take line and go higher. For the first time in a long time, I found myself worried about something going dangerously wrong. I estimate I had 100 - 150 metres of line out, and I was less than that distance from a road in one direction and houses in another direction. In theory, these were both safely behind me and "up wind" but the kite seemed determined to go that way. To reduce the risk, I walked steadily away from the hazards. The kite continued to pull and remained almost exactly overhead, but sometimes changing its direction of heading. A couple of minutes later, the moment had passed. The wind had dropped and the line was sagging down to a less spectacular angle. I have had a kite glide and over-fly before, but this was not gliding it was pulling. I wondered about thermals, but I was in a grassy field and there were no areas of tarmac, concrete, water, roofs, etc. that might have caused a strong updraft. Has anyone come across this before? Any suggestions? I like to think of myself as an experienced kite flier, but this was outside my experience.
  7. My dad made me a traditional diamond shaped kite. Being a joiner, he used square section spars and I think he even did a "halving joint". The sail was greaseproof paper - just plain grey. As I remember it, the kite was huge: nearly as tall as I was at the time. We flew it briefly on a local field and it pulled so hard that the line snapped and the kite landed on a house roof and was lost. A few weeks ago, I was flying kites on the same field and I'm pretty sure I still know which house it was!
  8. A snatched hour today on a new flying site. Almost no wind, but I got the 11 ft delta up and nursed it ups a bit, down a bit, up a bit more, almost down, caught a breeze, the wind dropped... really challenging and rewarding.
  9. There are lists of suppliers on the Kite Society website. I've had good service from the Highwayman.
  10. Recently I had 5 SLKs up, 4 pegged out and one "in hand". A lady walked over to me and asked, "How do you keep all those kites up?" I pointed out that 4 of them were attached to pegs. "Oh," she said, "I thought you had four friends but I couldn't see them."
  11. A small to medium Conyne or Cody can be fun to fly in a strong wind. A Cody is quite heavy with all the spars so it can be a challenge to get up, but then it pulls like a train. If the wind drops, it usually falls backwards in a. straight line rather than looping or swooping. Great fun, and exhilarating and challenging to fly. A Conyne (French war kite) is less directionally stable but flourishes in strong winds.
  12. Hi. In my experience, a keeled delta is very easy to fly. I have two, both of which fly easily without a tail. One was hand made and bought from a craft stall 30 years ago. The other is a "biggie" 11 feet wingspan. Before I got the big one, the craft stall one was my "if all else fails" kite. That is, if nothing else in the bag would fly, then delta would unless there was no wind at all. Both will fly without a tail and will support sensible amounts of "line laundry" such as flags, streamers and the like. Because it is so simple and reliable, I would have thought that almost any delta kite for a few Dollars/Pounds would fly. However, your son will get more pleasure from a reasonably good quality one. I know that even as a kid, I thought that a "cloth" kite was infinitely more "real" than a plastic one. If you go for a well known make, you won't go far wrong. Names that spring to mind for me are HQ, Prism, Brookite, G├╝nther. I have had good experiences with various kites from all four of these manufacturers. Look on Amazon and you will find something. Kite flying is a visual and tactile experience. Depending on the age and personality of your son, he may like bright colours or patterns, or a cartoon character (or similar) printed on the sail. However, if they can feel the cloth fabric, get a sense of satisfaction from inserting the spars correctly, and have a nice reel/winder that is comfortable and easy to use, he will enjoy flying more.
  13. However, , where a weight will pull the back down towards the ground and the nose up, a tail will tend to pull the back downwind thus turning the nose down a little. I have one kite that is bridled in such a way that it would "fly downwards" without a tail. With the drag of a tail, all the angles change and it flies well.
  14. Rules vary from country to country, of course. True story from about 1982 or thereabouts. My then girlfriend and I were flying a kite on a local sports field late at night with bicycle lights hanging from the line. As the kite bobbed about, the lights were swinging and bobbing and moving very erratically. We then noticed a police car slow down and stop. Two policemen got out and started to approach us very cautiously, looking nervously up at the lights. When they got close enough to see that it was two "kids" flying kites, they burst out laughing, stood up straight and walked away. It turned out that someone had reported the "strange lights" and half the people in the local pub had come out to see the "UFO".
  15. Hi, I'm Michael Wilkinson from Lincolnshire, UK. I have been flying kites on and off since childhood and at various times I have done it as a "proper hobby" rather than an occasional pastime. I took early retirement a few weeks ago. Looking for things to fill my time, I got my old kite bag out and sorted the various kites and lines out. I was surprised to find I had 12 single line kites and 4 double line kites. I don't even remember buying one or two of the SLKs and I'm pretty sure that at least one had never been flown. The DLKs were given to me and I had never flown them. Since then, I have been out more or less every second day and I have had up to 5 kites in the air at one time. I particularly like the feeling of satisfaction you get when you nurse a reluctant kite in a fitful breeze until finally you hook the wind a little further up. I achieved this with my 11 ft delta the other day and the wind "up there" was so strong that I struggled to haul it back down! I prefer SLKs but have some fun with my dad's old DLKs for a few minutes at a time before I get bored with them. I am much more of a flyer than a builder, but I have started to experiment with simple plastic or paper kites using sticky tape and cheap dowel. My proudest achievement so far is an 18" Eddy kite which, when adjusted right, can fly absolutely steady with a full length of line out. A few years ago, I was a member of Midland Kite Fliers - a regional club. Unfortunately, I am now some distance from where they have most of their fly ins. You will also find me on the kit builders forum. Other hobbies include Morris dancing, playing Anglo concertina, cross country and road unicycling, cycling, and riding my Moto Guzzi motorcycle. Over the last few weeks, I have been struck by how friendly the kiting community is, with several individuals approaching me when I've been flying to tell me about their own kites or experiences.