Jump to content
KiteLife Forum

Recommended Posts

Hello, I'm looking into getting back some sort of flying again... kites seemed a most headache-free path to take, so here I am. More specifically, I'm looking for a portable kite solution that can fit into a small or medium-sized backpack. My whole everything is depending on the kite's portability, if I can't fit it into the backpack, there will be no flying around. Of all the problems I will have to overcome to get into this hobby, portability is the most severe of them. With that cleared out, I now ask: what do I do?

「I noticed that portability was mentioned some other times in other threads, but there seems to be no specific thread that focuses on the whole portability thing」

The local vendors which I have easy and reliable access to have some few RTF kites in stock, all over 180cm or so. Even if I manage to fit most parts in the backpack, I would still have to carry around the long non-telescopic tubes and spars, which is something I just can't do. The backpack idea is mostly to keep troubles away on a local level as well as carrying them around comfortably. "Fighter kites" (as I've seen they being referred to on this forum) are a common sight here. It is global knowledge that locals will attempt to attack anything that flies and could possibly be cut down by a dangerously glass-infused sharp wire, or destroyed by getting entangled on the lines, such as photography multirotors, other kites, balloons, and full-sized helicopters. Therefore keeping my own kite out of sight until I reach a most remote and deserted area is the optimal way of ensuring that no one will keep their eye on me until I settle down somewhere. Most zones where I could possibly fly a kite in peace cannot be reached by any land vehicle as well, so the backpack is irreplaceable.

I am willing to pretty much do anything to fit the kite on the backpack, whether that be building my own, modifying stuff, inventing wonders, whatever it takes. I will not go out with any kites on sight - nor tied around unusually odd packages. It has to fit into the regular looking backpack so nothing will seem wrong or out of place to random observers around.

Up to this point, the only reasonable solution that occurred to me seems to be building a miniature kite that would fit into a customized case that would go into the backpack, this way being permanently ready to fly. What do you guys think about it? Any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome. 

If you are open to any kind of kite, a soft kite will probably be the easiest for you to manage. They do not have any spars that you need to worry about. Small single line soft kites will easily fit in a backpack. There are also dual line foil kites. These are still frameless, get their structure from the bridle and filling up with air while in flight, and you can control their movement. They come in a variety of sizes as well. I'm not sure if there are commercially made quad line foils that are not power kites, but if you really wanted a quad line, here are instructions to convert a dual line foil into a quad line. You probably don't want to start out with a power kite (sometimes called a traction kite) since they are designed to pull hard enough to pull you around on a buggy or board. 

If you are not interested in soft kites and want a framed kite, you will need to cut the spars to make them shorter and add connectors. This is something that people have done with the commonly seen framed quad line kites (e.g. Revolution, Djinn, OSKUSA Freilein, etc.). The most common size of these kites have 5 spars of 31 inches, and what you would do is cut each of these in half and attach a ferrule to one side. (I don't know why we call them ferrules, they are more like dowels.) You would end up with 10 spars of 15.5 inches + 2 inches or so for the ferrule (not all 10 spars would have the ferrule), giving you a total length of less than 18 inches (about 45 cm). While I haven't really seen anyone do this with single line or dual line kites, it seems like the same idea would work. It would be more annoying to do on the leading edge of a dual line, since those spars are harder to remove. 

I would not recommend building a miniature kite, because in general, the smaller the kite the faster it moves and the harder it is to control. 

Good luck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Cristierra said:

Even if I manage to fit most parts in the backpack, I would still have to carry around the long non-telescopic tubes and spars, which is something I just can't do. ... if I can't fit it into the backpack, there will be no flying around.

As Dragonfish mentions, it seems you could be better served by a parafoil kite. No tubes and spars, and they can be folded or stuffed into a small bag. If you encounter people who would destroy your kites, a dual line kite if you're looking for activity would probably be better as it's easier (and less costly) to replace two lines rather than four.  

For ready-made kites, an HQ Symphony, Prism Synapse, Skydog First Foil, Cross Kites Air or Boarder, or maybe smaller with a Flying Wings Mighty Bug, and many store-specific variations which may have better availability in Brazil. They fold down small in a backpack, are lightweight, and are difficult to damage in a crash. They can still have lines cut or other damage by aggressive fliers, so you'll need to stay away from destructive people.

If you're looking for more pull, HQ Rush, Prism Tantrum, or even a Prism Tensor or Elliot's Magma may be more your preference.There are many variations and store brands of these, as well, called power kites, traction kites, and trainer kites, they can produce tremendous pull if you're feeling vigorous or are in need of a demanding workout, or are considering kiteboarding, kitesurfing, or riding around on a kite-powered buggy.  Larger designs really should be only flown over water due to the ability to lift people into the air, and those landings are harsh.  Beware with these larger kites, they require more training and safety mindfulness as they increase in power. 

9 hours ago, Cristierra said:

Up to this point, the only reasonable solution that occurred to me seems to be building a miniature kite that would fit into a customized case that would go into the backpack, this way being permanently ready to fly. What do you guys think about it?

That is an option.  Do you want to spend your days flying kites, or designing kites?

Or if you have your heart set on a smaller frame kites, some kites have "travel frames" available.

Rev 1.5 travel frames are about 40 cm long. If that works for you, many of the revolution 1.5 sized kites (Rev, Djinn, Phoenix, RevoPolo, etc) could work with modification if they don't sell travel frames. Basically the rods are cut in half, although it does affect the strength and flexibility. You could do the same with a dual line framed kite, although each joint introduces a weakness and changes how the frame flexes and bends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dragonfish said:

I don't know why we call them ferrules, they are more like dowels

It has roots in Latin.  You can buy both internal and external ferrules. 

Internal ferrules are like a dowel, a small stick inserted into both ends with one end typically glued/epoxied permanently. External ferrules are usually a metal sleeve, the rods slide inside with one end glued/epoxied permanently.

There are pros and cons to each.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you guys very much! Since I'm new I'm still figuring out all this stuff, your recommendations help out a great deal!

 

20 hours ago, frob said:

Rev 1.5 travel frames are about 40 cm long. If that works for you, many of the revolution 1.5 sized kites (Rev, Djinn, Phoenix, RevoPolo, etc) could work with modification if they don't sell travel frames. Basically the rods are cut in half, although it does affect the strength and flexibility. You could do the same with a dual line framed kite, although each joint introduces a weakness and changes how the frame flexes and bends.

I'm not willing to compromise the structural integrity of the kite. Cutting the spars is out, along with all kinds of kites that use spar-based structures.

 

23 hours ago, dragonfish said:

If you are open to any kind of kite, a soft kite will probably be the easiest for you to manage. They do not have any spars that you need to worry about. Small single line soft kites will easily fit in a backpack.

Soft kites seem to be a great place to start (ignoring the fact that they're massive flying targets).

 

20 hours ago, frob said:

Do you want to spend your days flying kites, or designing kites?

I would like to try building some ancient Chinese models and some Japanese models I learned back in pre-school that I never really got to fly.

 

23 hours ago, dragonfish said:

There are also dual line foil kites. These are still frameless, get their structure from the bridle and filling up with air while in flight, and you can control their movement.

Dual-line foil kites piqued my interest, but I will probably leave them for later on. There are some other things I must be sure of before diving deeper. More to that below...

 

20 hours ago, frob said:

you'll need to stay away from destructive people.

I've been researching more about the kites the locals fly, and well... they are way more dangerous than I initially thought. There are 2 base models they fly, one small, square-shaped model that flies without a tail, crazy agile. And the standard, measuring 70cm on the main vertical rod, the latter flying with 20m tails. They're made out of bamboo rods and paper. Costs less than  5 USD cents per unit. The performance is overdelivering though. They can fly carrying more than 6km of line without any issues whatsoever, and their effective range to "hunt down" other kites is as long as its pilot can see their own kite, which is usually up to 3km. They can dive and ascend extremely fast and pull some bullshit maneuvers that defy all logic. I don't understand how is that it can possibly do all the stuff it's capable of, even more to the fact that it is piloted by a single line. Given the danger that they pose and the insane skill of the locals flying them (I sat on a bench on my neighborhood's square to observe the dozens of kites battling each other on the skies. Absolutely ridiculous, there is no way a paper construct should be able to do what it does), I think I'm going to verify if the fly zones I chose are safe to go first and foremost. I will build a scaled-down version of one of these South American hunter kite designs that fits in my backpack and fly it on the places deemed "safe". If it doesn't get attacked by any other kites I guess I should be safe enough.

 

Guys, thank you again for the support, I think now I can pick it up on my own, until I get to the Dual-line foil kites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate your concern for safety and your efforts to understand the kiteflying culture in your area before diving in. 

Compared to the local kites, a dual line foil may seem like a massive target, but compared to framed dual lines, they are not. Given your local culture though, I understand why you would want to try something perhaps smaller and less expensive to start with. 

The principle behind how a fighter kite works and how it can do all that with a single line is that the kite itself is inherently unstable. Most single line kites are designed to be stable, so once the flier puts the kite in the air it stays there. However, fighter kites are not like this. They tend to want to spin or turn. This is especially true when the line is being let out. But, when the line is pulled in and the kite is being pulled on, the kite will fly in a straight line in the direction it is pointing. So, the trick to controlling the kite is knowing when to let line out and when to pull on the line. This is definitely easier said than done. As I said previously, smaller kites tend to move faster, so if you build a smaller version of your local fighter kites, just know that it could be even harder to learn how to control it. Once again, good luck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found a decent place for flying kites, actually, that's why I am posting again. After extensive research on the local customs, I've come to realize that 1: only "poor people" fly kites 2: There is no other type of kite available nor anyone who flies it (except for kite surfing) in this country, thus anything other than fighters kites or the stuff I make myself will have to be bought from outside of Brazil, which is impossible at the moment due to the fact that the national post mail service stopped receiving and delivering all packages because of the recent virus outbreak 3: "rich people" do not fly kites (nor RC airplanes, apparently) 4: there is some serious technique behind the fighter kite and it's potential is huge. Taking the time to learn the one-line flying style may be worth by the maneuvers it can perform alone 5: people who fly kites never bother taking more than 10 steps out of their houses to fly them, in fact, the whole objective is to fly them "in the hood" to hunt the other kites, therefore fighter kites are absent in desolated locations as the city's outskirts (even though they can still destroy other high-flying kites up to 3km away). 

With that in mind, I believe it's safe to assume that regular neighborhoods got a 3km radius of red zone attached to them. Flying in areas surrounded by nothing but the private residential districts ( that's where "rich" people live, basically) and farms seems safe if I don't climb past 400m. Anything higher than that and it'll be bait for the kites from the nearest hoods at 1.5km - 2.5km away.

Now for the place I actually found... It's a piece of elevated ground (about 8 meters of elevation squeezed between a highway and a private residential district (which is about 50m away). The length of the land is about 200m with a rough width of 25m. No trees, no electric wires, pure open space (feels even bigger because of its elevation), and the wind always seems to be strong there, with plenty of room to fly a kite. What really wanna know is that would it really be safe to fly kites so close to a highway like that? I'm sure there won't be a problem with the local laws, but I'm concerned about the general safety.

Also, I already started working on the mini fighter kite prototype, the structure is ready, but the kite paper I bought came in a tube and I need it 100% flat to glue it on, so I placed some heavy stuff over it to see if it will flatten over time. If anyone knows how to effectively flatten thin paper quickly and reliably let me know.

compressed.jpg

comprewds.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Cristierra said:

If anyone knows how to effectively flatten thin paper quickly and reliably let me know.

Roll it in the opposite direction a few times, decreasing the diameter of the roll each time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...