Power Kites I have built


       
Kite no.1: This is the first kite I made. I copied a kite I bought, and just made it smaller. I first bridled it with nylon chord, but later replaced it with dyneema.
Kite no.2 is a 4m Eliminator designed by Andy Smith and this kite was the easiest to build and had the best upwind performance out of all my kites. Unfortunatley I made it out of a really heavily coated ripstop and it collapses quite easily. It also felt almost oily and sand would stick to it. Even with all these problems it still performed very, very well.
Kite no.3: This is a tiney 2m kite. I can't remeber what design it was but once again I had ripstop issues. I put a patern in the kite and used two different colour materials (yellow and blue), what I didn't realise at the time was the material where slightly different. The blue ripstop had a bit more strech in it which I don't think helps its performance. Luckily this kite was made for very, very strong winds so it still works well.
Kite no.4 & 5: The black and yellow kite is a 6m Gamma and the white and blue one is a 5.5m Aura. The Gamma is another Andy Smith design, and the Aura I think he co designed with someone else. The Gamma is a thicker profile, strong pulling, slower kite (compared to the Aura). I bridled it with black sleeved dyneema like you find on the Blades.

The Aura is a thin profile kite which makes its forward speed a lot quicker than the Gamma, it is bridled with very thin unsleeved dyneema, which reduces the bridle drag but means you really have to be carefull where you land it.

This shows the ribs and top and bottom skins cut out and ready to be sewn together. Part of the kite completed.
This picture shows a rib that has been attached to the top bottom skins. Using an elastic band (to add tention) made it easy to sew the loops in the bridle lines.
These two pictures show the bridle attachments at the front of the kite (leading edge) and at the back (trailing edge) where the break lines attach. The little loops of ribon are sewn inbetween the two bottom skins when sewing the three pieces of fabric together.
  Testing the kite in strong winds in the snow on a plastic sled.
These are some pictures from the making of a 4m Eliminator. It is the easiest kite I have ever made. It is simple because all the ribs are the same size and the top and bottom skins are each a large rectangle of fabric (unlike other kites where all ribs are different in size and each cell has an individual top and bottom).
These two pictures show a ruler stuck to the table and a hook over the end of the table, this is the method I used to measure the bridle of the kite. I sewed the bridle lines to the ribs of the kite and them pulled them through the bottow skin with a needle. It worked well, none of the bridle lines pulled off the ribs.
I didn't know this when making my first kite, but the easiest way to stitch the three pieces of fabric together in the right position is to mark all of the seems the same width. By doing this you can line up the edges of the material in order to sew them together correctly. The pieces of tape in the picture are placed at the seam width from the needle.
My sewing table is a door with a hole cut in it the shape of the sewing machine, and it works brilliantly for working with large pieces of material. This is one of the ribs with the bridle lines sewn onto it.
This is the bridling I used for the 4m (25Kg breaking strain). Sewing the bridle line to the rib (the white line just above my finger is the seam mark).
To cut the round holes out of the ribs, I sewed all the ribs together, and then cut throught all of them at once. Me working away.
This is my 2m kite, I need to take some better pictures of it. Laying out the cutting plan for the 5.5m Aura. As you can see I didn't have much room for error.
At some stage I discovered hot cutting the ripstop with a soldering iron. This has the added benifit of sticking the material to the template so you don't get them mixed up. The material is folded double before cutting so I get two of each template.
Some picture of the completed 5.5m Aura.