Kai-Lifter - a about 4 square meter parafoil developed with my ideas in mind from the pit bull dog and the PL lifter. In this image the bridle had just been attached to the kite and not really adjusted (5 minutes to flying). The kite flies now without tail very stable and pulls a lot. I was a bit nervous when making this one, because the applique took a lot of time and I couldn't be sure about how well it would fly. Until this year I have never made soft kites at all. Parafoils are now becoming my favorite single line kites - stable fliers, good pull, and easy transport. 

This is Aladin's Flying Carpet, a Della Porta (US) or De la Porta kite. I had problems with this one at first - it always dived. However, replacing the carbon spars with flexible wood ones and a long heavy tail did the trick. This trick came from friends on Einleinerforum.de - a German kite building forum. The back end of the kite makes a nice humming sound. Very cool kite in the end.

Islamic Wall Tiles Genki

Standard 3 meter wide Genki. The design is derived from islamic wall tiles. Very stable flier. In this image the spreader on the right side is actually half splintered open! I wasn't sure the kite would fly with that spar, but the kite managed and only leaned slightly to the side. I really couldn't believe this. It even mastered gusts very well. Below is a video showing this kite in flight. I think it shows its beauty better than the image.

 

 The Karabanga "Brain Anatomy" - a own design when it comes to the kite. The applique motive is from the web. It is done in reverse applique, native american west coast art is used to fill in components of a human brain. The top spars have an eddy cross as conector, the bottom spar is just straight. The little ears just for decoration and noise production as I figured out. That thing humms like a swarm of big bumble bees in the wind. The size of the kite is about 1.5 x 1.3 meters.

My new Open Keel Delta, built May 2009.

The art at the trailing edge was simply done by sewing strips together like in my patchwork Kimonos. The strips are about 2 inches wide (exactly the width of my yardstick). Then one just cuts it into stripes again of the same width and sews them together with an offset of one or two pieces. It is pretty easy to do it and trailing edges do not need to be very precise - so that is a nice place for this type of work. The end size of the squares is about 1.5*1.5 inches. They could be a bit bigger, but I already had the strips. 

The V-shaped keel is typical for open keel delta's and serves several functions: a) it stabilizes the kite against gusts, b) it prevents flying at too high of a line angel, c) it directs the kite nose into the wind. This one is a old keel construction - these days many leave the trailing edge open; mine is closed 
Smile. This kite is described in Kiteworks - an excellent book. Mine is scaled up to a height of 52 inches and a wingspan of 104, so it is roughly 3 meters wide. The distance of the keel edges from the central spar is 5 inches in the front and 0.5 inches in the back - there is a very small hole where it would touch the longeron in the end because it is sewn pretty much shut. Not sure this is necessary - next time I leave it open and test that, but in the book it is described closed. Most OKDs have it open I think. I also think that in most OKD the open keel has less height towards the tail unlike in this case, where the height is constant. 

Longeron is a bamboo spar, spreader 8 mm 
Carbon, side spars Skyshark P2. I think one could just stick wood in the sides though. 

From my head I would say, that this kite develops more profile in the wings compared to other Deltas because the spreader sits pretty far towards the nose - this one lays on the wind and shakes a lot of gusts out. That is why the kite has very little pull I think. I was very surprised about how little pull it developed. It does not need the tail, flies very stable. 

I think I can recommend this kite - one can anchor it and leave it there for the day and fly other kites in the meantime. This one is for my kid because I don't want to give him one with lots of pull - this one can easily be handled by a five year old child (mine is 11) - nothing to worry about. Just do not lose the line by cutting - this kite will fly far far away because it won't come down - it will lay itself on the wind and drift away slowly gaining altitude - the weight of the line is enough to balance it out! I had this happen once and we could see the kite slowly disappearing at the horizon (Nahant Beach, direction Europe).

Meet Hugo, the Parrot I just finished April 4, 2009 - here on his first flight. The plan of the kite, which was developed by Bernhard, is available on his web site at http://www.drachenbernhard.de and it should be no problem for kite builders of intermediate skill level to make it. This kite is 3.5 meters long and flies quite nice. This year is softkite year I guess because it is much easier to transport them when you fly. 

Pit Bull Dog Parafoil - finally adjusted to my liking in 20-25 mph wind. It easily pulled a heavy sand bag (>100 pounds) over the beach and we had to sit on the bag in the end.

This kite has a size of about 2.1 Meter in hight and 3.5 Meter in width and pulls like aeh, bull dog on the line. It is a heavy lifter and flies very stable even without tails like shown here. It is a wonderful kite and everyone should have one of those in the bag.

One does need good gear though to hold it! You do need anchor straps, pull down straps, gloves, 1000 pound line and experience to handle this kite. This one is not for beginners really, it can potentially lift a person up. 

More of this day at flickr: A Day on the Beach

Meet my new friend, the Pit Bull Dog! Just finished in March 23, 2009, this is a medium size Parafoil type kite. My first one - to be accurate, my first foil ever. Sewing was quite easy and now I am convinced I can make foils too.

This Dog is a bit modified as it has straight keels. Also, the power distribution in the kite is directed different in order to avoid having to sew on reinforcements in the keel inside. It flies well and is a great kite.

 

Thank you Barry for making this project possible and also for my new straps and strap-on! This is nothing dirty, just kite talk for tools you need. 

Fighter Kites: A Puffin Fighter with bamboo spine and carbon fiber spreader (2 mm) on the left and a Black Orchid and Bird on the right. The Orchid was made by Yancy - her first kite ever. Came out very nice. All done in reverse applique technique. 

Rokkaku: Venus Embraces Mars. The first kite of 2009 if we do not count the small sled I made for my kid. The first real kite I made in 10 years. Design: Yancy Ferrer Acosta from an oil painting, size about 6 feet high, frame 8 mm carbon spars, 6 point bridle. The wind was pretty strong that day and deformed the kite quite a bit - it needs less than 6 Beaufort I guess.

To the Rokkaku: Rokkaku kites are traditional kites from Japan. Originally made with bamboo spars and paper, they were used in battles where one team was bringing down the kite of the other team. Rokkaku simply means 6 edges (corners) and they come in quite a variation in size from small (2 feet) to medium (6 feet) and large (don't know what the record is, but I have an 8 foot tall one). Rokkakus have quite a bit of sail area and pull a lot. This one already should be flown with at least 100 pound line.  

My first kite actually in 2009 - a small sled for my son made from ripstop and bamboo with applique technique. It flies quite well, but doesn't like gusts much. 

Sode Dako (Kimono Kite) - This kite is of Japanese origin and flies extremly well due to the bow of the cross spars and also because of the general shape and sail construction. This one made with a log cabon type of patchwork design. The spars are carbon fiber spars (ca. 5-6 mm diameter) and the kite is about 150 cm high. Patchwork takes some time to make but the results are very pleasing. Finished Feb. 2009.

Fled, finished end of Febr. 2009. This is a rather large kite, about 5 feet long and 7 or 8 wide. Here on its virgin flight the kite mastered about Beaufort 4-5 in gusty conditions without problems even though this is a light wind kite really. The Fled is a combination between Flare and Sled kites. I made it following the instructions on kitebuilder.com (http://www.kitebuilder.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=38) and it is pretty easy when you have some experience. This one is made with Ripstop Nylon, 5 mm carbon fiber longerons and a bamboo spreader. The later because we have quite some wind here and bamboo will not as easy rip the sail when it breaks than carbon fiber rods. The kite flies at a very high angle and is ideal for line lundery. It is a very stable flier and one of my favorite designs now.

 
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