Loose Cover Kite
This kite flies on a different principle from most kites. In action it is more like the sail of a boat which billows out in the wind. In effect the action of the sail forms what may be called an anhedral angle, which is reverse in shape to dihedral. It is a tail-less type, and lacking the measure of steadiness which a tail provides, it can be rather erratic in flight. Nevertheless, its lively manner makes it an interesting kite to fly. The framework is of the simplest kind, comprising a backbone and cross-strut (A and B, Fig. 3) which are arranged in the form of a cross. The kite can be made so that the framework will fold up for convenience in transport. Two pieces of 3/8 in. square strip-wood are required. These are 2 ft. 6 in. in length. Notch these pieces at the ends and lash them together with fine string, the cross-strut being 6 in. from the top of the backbone. As this kite may be folded up when required, no glue is used in making the framework joint. Tie the binding string in such a manner that it may readily be removed.
The bracing string is fitted next. Use thin, strong string and take it over the ends of
the framework by means of the notches provided. Tie the ends at the bottom of the
backbone. The cover is made of lightweight cotton material, such as cambric. It is cut
rather wider than the frame, so that it bellies out like a sail in the wind. Lay the
framework on the material with an extra 2 1/2 in. all round, 1 in. of which forms the
overlap, and cut out. When decorating the cover, mark out the design in pencil and colour
it with fabric painting oil colours. A simple bold design is most effective, and bright
colours should be used. Note that the design is painted on the front side, where the
bridle is tied (Fig. 3).
To attach the cover, sew the 1 in. margin neatly down over the bracing string, but do not fasten it to the framework. In this way the cross-strut may be removed, laid along the backbone, and the cover wrapped round them when the kite is being taken from place to place. The bridle is formed of strong string which is 5 ft. in length. It is tied in a loop, 4 in. from each end of the backbone. The kite line is attached to the bridle with a bowline knot and a reef knot so that the upper part of the bridle is shorter than the lower part. The exact tying point will be found by experiment, and adjustments to secure this are easily made. Though this kite does not usually have a tail, it may be a help to fit a short one if the kite behaves too erratically in flight.