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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

 

Diamonds in the Sky

First Flight at the  Rogallo Festival, Nags Head NC for Touch of Blue, Scrapestry and Purple Fade... Winds less than 5MPH

riffclown

riffclown

Crazy Quilt.

Crazy Quilt.

Going off of the look of the Scrapestry, I decided to use the new batch of scraps to do an all color kite.. Some of the scraps were neutral White and Charcoal but I based the placement on the size of the scraps and not the color.  Crazy Quilt has begun..

riffclown

riffclown

 

Diamonds, the final cut

The Diamonds kite was finished this morning.. Final touches, bridles and framing are all done.. Ready for a test flight when conditions allow..

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

Closing the book on 2018 kites.

Closing the book on 2018 kites.

I don't have pictures of them all but 26 kites were finished in 2018. No kites from tails this year. all from either RSN or Icarex. A few meshes and a couple of very unique attempts at doing something new. I'm not counting the one I considered failures that became flags. I'm blogging it here to keep from blasting out the gallery.. You seen probably most of these pictures before.  

riffclown

riffclown

 

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

 

FS#9 Purple Time

So I ended up downsizing the purple to a 72" LE due to a pucker in the fabric I couldn't overcome. I'm calling this FS#9 considering the Stack should probably be considered FS #4,5,6,7 & 8..

riffclown

riffclown

 

Digging in the bag

So I came to a rude awakening yesterday.. Despite my best attempts, it's really hard to get all my framed quads in an easy configuration for travel.. Part of this is because I don't know how to leave ANYTHING behind..  Given that I've made a bunch of kites since my last outing to OBX, I decided to make a dig bag. I came up with a 11"x11"x44" pumpkin of a bag after visiting Joann's Fabrics this morning.. I picked up some Orange duck cloth and zippers that all combined with a tiedown strp I had ha

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

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

A silent solstice bridle check

A silent solstice bridle check

Finished my latest Diamond Mesh Mashup and wanted to give it a good bridle check. Winds less then 5MPH and kite designed for 3-4 times that so was indeed a challenge.  Hopefully winds tomorrow will support a bit of video.. Pleased with the kite so far..

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

 

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

 

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

 

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 #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 #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

 

FS #2

FS #2 My first full sail and kite #1 out of the first Gomberg 96' Transition tail. This kite reused the LE from Tails and was intentionally a loose sail to induce flutter and explore some "artificail belly" While it performed OK I did have Eliot tighten the belly a bit befor the kite's debut at the Rogallo festival in 2017 First Flight was at the point at Whalehead. Video captured by Mike Klaiber and posted to his Peaks of Otter Facebook.. Thanks Mike.    

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

 

FS #3

This is my first kite with a PROPER Leading edge. As of this posting it has not flown but I expect it to fly similarly to FS#2 since it is truthfully its panel mate. The sail is a touch tighter than FS3.  Notice the white markers are offset between FS#2 & FS#3. Epected First Flight will be at the Wright Kite Festival in 2017

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

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