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Posted: 3/25/2006 12:20:03 PM EDT
I bought her a kite for her birthday, but the damn thing keeps nosing over into the ground......is it asking too much to find a kite that is nice and stable and that stays in the air?

Any ideas? Thanks.

vmax84
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 12:52:55 PM EDT
You can build a great kite from black plastic trash bags (the big yardwaste kind) and duct tape--just requires some careful cutting and taping. Outline the shape you want with chalk or something, and cut carefully. Straight edges are best, so I use a metal ruler and an exacto knife.

You want multiple layers, so it's best to cut one side, tape that, and it'll keep things together. Tape the edges by pulling out an equal length of tape, laying it with the edge you're taping lined up with the tape strip's center, and folding it over. Saves weight.

Create some pockets at the corners for the sticks (small dowels) with more tape, use some kite string to make hookup points for the line, and you're good.

If you want, you can also make a tail out of surveyor's ribbon or something like that.

I've built some bat-winged double line kites with this process that flew great--every bit as good as the really expensive nylon and fiberglass-stick stunt kites, at least as far as I cared. They didn't cost me an arm and a leg, either. :)
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 2:44:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2006 2:45:24 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
You may be running too much "angle of attack. Don't just tie the string to the kite. Make a "bridle", which is a piece of string about 1 1/2 x the length of the kite. Tie this to the kite at top and bottom, and tie a little loop about 1/3 down from the top. Tie your kite string to this loop. Experiment with where you have the loop to change angle of attack.

If your kite continues nosing over you need a "tail". Cut some strips of old sheet about 2" wide and as long as the sheet. Cut these in half. Tie four together like this, and tie ot the rear end of the kite"

<>----+-----+-----+-----
Kite "tail

(sorry, that's the best I can draw here)

The tail adds drag to the rear of the kite and keeps it oriented into the wind.

A basic "Box" kite is good, too. Handles high wind, and if you get the angle right may fly well without a tail.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 6:47:28 PM EDT
I have an old Rogallo type out in the shed that a 3 year old could fly. You need to adjust the string location and maybe tail length a little depending on the wind stregnth, and that's all.

Here's an interesting looking kite site (I'm a poit and don't knowit ) -
www.users.on.net/~maxtmp/kite/
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:40:37 AM EDT
Thanks for the responses.

I just remember when I was a kid, I didn't have near the trouble keeping a kite in the air as I do today. The ones from yesteryear, if memory serves me correctly, were the simple paper type kites, that looked like a rectangle (and then "squish" the rectangle a little........can't remember the mathamatical shape) and then we'd add a tail for great stability. We'd then send little soldiers up the line with a small parachute, wait till they got to the top of the line where the kite was, give the line a quick pull, and the soldier would drop off and parachute in.

But with this 8' delta kite, the damn thing goes up, noses over, and then plows into the ground.

Sometimes the simple designs aren't so bad, the tried and true.

vmax84
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:14:33 AM EDT
add some DIY tail to that kite.

My 4 yo had a cheap "Dora" kite that would nose over easily. Added some tail like
I used to as a child and it would fly for hours. We actually staked it in the front yard, went inside
and ate and when we came back out it was still flying.


LB
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