A Simpler Type Of Reel, Parachutes
This is illustrated in Fig. 23. The upright strips, A and B, are 6 in. in length and are cut from 1 in. square stripwood. Drill two holes, 1/2 in. in diameter at positions 1 in. from the top and the bottom. Cut two pieces of dowelling, 1/2 in. diameter and 10 in. in length. These are attached to the upright strips in the manner shown. The ends of the rods form handles, which measure 4 in. in length. Sandpaper all parts thoroughly; apply a coat of size, and when this has dried, finish with enamel.
Fig. 24 illustrates the stages in the making of these. They are easily made, and add to
the enjoyment of kite flying. They travel up the kite line, to which a stop block is tied.
When they reach the block, a sharp jerk of the line will release them, whereupon they will
float gently down to earth. Cut a circle of tissue paper, 12 in. in diameter. At the
centre of this, paste a 1 in. diameter circle of thin cardboard. Cut eight slits in the
paper, extending to the cardboard centre-piece, as shown at A. Shape the paper by
overlapping the slits to an extent of 3/8 in. at the bottom and narrowing to a point at
the centrepiece. Glue cardboard strips, 1/2 in. square, over the ends of the joints.
Pierce small holes in these strips, and insert small loops of thread. To these tie pieces
of stout thread, 1 ft. in length, B. Before they are tied, wax the pieces of thread. Use
beeswax or a stiff furniture polish. This will stiffen them, and prevent them from getting
tangled in flight. Gather their ends together and bind round with cotton. A loop of thread
hangs from the binding, as shown at C. A hook is formed from a 6 in. length of wire. The
wire must not be too fine, as it provides the weight which keeps the parachute in the
right position as it descends. One end of the wire is securely attached to the thread
loop; the other end, D, hooks on to the kite line. The parachutes look most attractive
when they are made from tissue paper of various colours. To operate them, first tie a 4
in. strip of 3/8 in. square stripwood to the kite line, a few yards below the kite. This
forms the stop block. Now place the parachutes on the line, one at a time. Agitate the
line, but not in such a way that the parachutes jump off. The wind will carry them up the
line until they reach the stop block, where they are released.