High Flyer Kite No. 1
There are very good reports of the flying performance of this kite. It will readily attain a good height, and being strongly made will withstand fairly rough weather. The framework is constructed of split cane throughout to give maximum strength, and the two-piece bridle and tail improve stability. To make the kite you will require three pieces of split cane, A, B, and C, all about 1/4 in. thick. The backbone A, is 2 ft. 6 in. in length, and the crossbars, B and C, are each 2 ft. Make shallow grooves at the end of all three pieces, and assemble them in the pattern shown in Fig. 4. The angles between the framework pieces must correspond on each side of the backbone, otherwise the kite will not balance well. Join the framework pieces together with glue and fine string. The joint thus made comes at the centre of the backbone and crossbars. Make sure that this joint is strongly made, otherwise the framework will be in danger of collapsing when the kite is in flight.
The bracing strings are added next. Begin with the inner one. Take a length of thin strong string, and tie it to the top half of the backbone, exactly half way between the end and the centre joint. From there, take it to one of the crossbars, at a point which is half way between one end and the centre joint. Bind the string round the crossbar once or twice and tie with an overhand knot. Smear the binding with glue to prevent it slipping. Repeat the procedure until the inner bracing is completed. Add the outer bracing string in the same way, making use of the grooves which have been cut at the ends of the framework. The bracing strings should be taut, in order to keep the kite in its proper shape. The cover is made from lightweight cotton material, such as cambric, or very fine calico. Lay the framework on the material, mark the shape with a pencil, allowing an extra 1 in. all round for overlapping, and cut out. Paint a simple design in bright colours on the cover, using fabric painting oil colours. Pin the cover to a board while this is being done.
Now attach the cover to the outer bracing strings. Fold the margin over these and stitch it neatly in place. Try to get an even tension on the cover, which should also be smooth and free from wrinkles. The next thing to do is to add the bridle strings. Take a piece of strong string, which is 3 ft. in length and tie it at a point which is 6 in. from the bottom of the backbone. Pierce the cover here, and thread the string through. A second piece of string, which is 4 ft. 6 in. in length is tied in the form of a loop to the top ends of the crossbars. Tie the bottom string to the centre of the loop and the bridle is complete. Attach the kite line to the bottom bridle string by means of a reef knot and a bowline knot, which will permit the line to be adjusted in order to obtain the best angle for flying the kite. See Chapter 7 on knots, under the heading 'Methods'.
The tail is formed by three pieces of fine string. Two pieces, each 2 ft. in length, are tied to the bottom ends of the crossbars. The third piece, which is 5 ft. in length, is tied to the bottom of the backbone. Lay the kite on a table, pull the bottom tail string tight and tie the other two strings to it, so that they too are taut. Thread a number of thin cardboard discs on to the tail string, by means of four holes punched in the discs. Make these discs in different colours, or glue metallic foil paper to them so that they will glitter in the light. Position them about 6 in. apart on the line and tie the latter in a bow at the end. If desired, a pennant may be flown from the top of the backbone. See 'Accessories' in Chapter 7 for making these. Altogether this is a strong and attractive kite, with a good performance. An alternative conventional tail is shown in the illustration.