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About this blog

Bringing my kite builds up to date with a bit of history on each kite.

Entries in this blog

 

Wright and what's left

Looks like first flight for my new kites is going to have to be altered.. I won't be able to make the Wright festival this year after all.. Hopefully I'll get out for a few minutes to my regular flying field.. If so I'll try to  fly'em and get some footage there. Sometimes Life Happens  

riffclown

riffclown

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

I've been asked about what I use to do particular things for kite making.  Thought it'd be a good opportunity to share a quick overview of pretty much everything I use.  Some are more obvious than others. My kite making tools.. I use a sewing machine (obviously) 2 - 6' Long Metal rulers 2 - 3' Long Metal Rulers 1 - 18" Ruler (metal) 1 - 12" Ruler (metal) A Fiskars Rotary cutter. A Paper Cutter (Office Style) The normal assortment of Scissors (Including a heavy duty pair for

riffclown

riffclown

 

The Pattern Emerges

Just a short <90 second clip to share how I get to see the Diamonds pattern emerge from a striped sail each time. This is when I get to truly see the stage I call the "mock up" and is the first real indicator of how the final kite will appear.. Until this point the pattern is truly just in my head.   The Layout from the initial stripes isn't a mockup. it allows me to see the color mix but not the actual placement of segments. This difference is far more prevalent whe

riffclown

riffclown

The Hive is Complete

The Hive is Complete

This commissioned sail has been completed and is ready for initial flight tests.. this one is as close to an exact 1.5 size as I could make it and still be faithful to the diamonds techniquen. I don't usually make an exact 1.5 size and the sail isn't as tight as one would expect but a simple glide test was surprising. Bungees are left long for the moment to allow a bit of tweaking if required. This sail has the wear strips, LE Tabs, fold relief and is set up to allow French bridles and magic sti

riffclown

riffclown

 

Tails FS# 1

A full sail attempt.. While this kite flew and performed decently, the material was not ripstop and I didn't want to keep repairing it. It is now a banner. The LE from this kite was reused to create FS#2. First Flight was the Wright Kite Festival in 2016      

riffclown

riffclown

 

Spectrum Stack

Finished Sails for 5 Kites from one 96' Rainbow Transition Tail today. Will finish the Endcaps, Bungees and custom Skyshark frames this week. Hopefully first flight will be at the Wright Kite Festival in 2 weeks. It's where I flew my first home made 2 years ago.  These kites all have 72" LE sleeves and will use 74" LE.  I'm still considering putting a vertical black stripe on the center of each sail. 

riffclown

riffclown

 

Playing With Perspective

Since the new year, I've turned my attention to materials other than tails.. Nothing wrong with the tails constructions but I wanted a new perspective.. and that perspective was perspective.. Angled shapes started out as a lazy harlequin pattern in complimentary colors. Because of the pattern it became the Jester. This was my first run at edge joining materials that were not already hemmed.   The Jester followed by a vanishing point perspective in dissimilar materials.  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #6 Video

@Bill Clay was nice enough today to fly my mesh while I got a bit of video..Thank You Bill..  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #6

The center panel is the excess material from FS#3 and the sail itself is Red White Blue, G-Kites Transition tails in the front and Skywriter tails in the back. My second kite with a proper LE and I did induce a slight curve to the LE to mimic the positive flight characteristics of Mesh #3. This one was bridled today and I expect to fly it along with FS #3 at the 2017 Wright Festival.

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #5 Patriot Plaid

I wanted to explore some uneven spacing and was very pleased with the outcome one this kite which also debuted at the 2017 Rogallo festival. Jim Cosca told me this wasn't a good kite, it was a GREAT kite. High Praise coming from a master.. No Video yet was too busy flying to record.  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #4

This was created from the "good side/bad side" "lessons learned on Mesh #3. The LE is made from Freilein Kite Bag Canvas. Again first flight was one day after work without video but I kept up the throw launch tradition..  First Video is here.. FWIW, this is the first kite I ever put in the ocean.. Luckily JB was there to help fish it out of the surf. Wet Ripstop is HEAVY..    

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #3

My first attempt using transition tails. The kite was planned to be full size but this was a lesson in good "side/ bad side" when the kite is formed from one panel. This is also the first time I added a bit of curve to the LE. This kite was finished in Early March and saw first flight without video available.. Throw launch was successfull but this kite has a bit of float and makes the catch a bit trickier. First Video in 20+ Winds is here.      

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #2

I wanted a finer basket weave and was willing to accept the weight of the sail as a factor in performance. The Reinforcements are Canvas  strips I had handy. The Le is a strip of the Gomberg Skywriter tails.  JB had flown most of my creations to this point and said this was the best of the group so far. First Flight Feb 2017. Began the tradition of throw launching a new kite for first flight.    

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh # 1

My first attempt at a homemade kite. Made with Blue and Black Gomberg Skywriter Tails. LE is the Cheap Amazon Tails fabric and the stretch strips are Gomberg strips added later. Reinforcement points are Olive Drab Duct Tape. This kite was completed Summer of 2015 and first flew at the Wright Kite Festival in July 2015 I have comfortably flown this kite in 35+ MPH winds when others were giving up on flying...  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Kite Quilt

While this will never actually be made (I DON'T Have the skills to replicate the pattern like this.) I have started sewing the scraps together to make anpanel I can use fer anything from a kite to a kite bag.. I decided to flip and mirror i into a 9 panel layout just to mock up what it WOULD look like.

riffclown

riffclown

Gray III

Gray III

Completed Gray III today and gave it a quick bridle check.. Due to the gustiness outside, I used very short lines and flew in the swirl of the building.

riffclown

riffclown

Gray Fade

Gray Fade

Finished up this kite today and did a quick Bridle test.. Hoping for flight test this week.

riffclown

riffclown

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