So, why would anyone build a kite from an umbrella?
The fabric used in common umbrellas is very light and durable Nylon. For this build i used an old and broken pocket umbrella, i had lying around. Also on rainy days people often leave their umbrellas in public places, so you can grab one for free! xD
This project set a lot of challenges concerning kite-design and minor problems, which were either solved or developed throughout the build.
Step 1: Gathering the Parts
- your umbrella
- bent bicycle wheel
- 2 x aluminum pipes 8mm x 1m
- 3 x plastic pipes 8mm x 1m
- 30cm rubber hose 14mm thick
- 50cm rubber hose 8mm thin
- elastic band
- 4m plastic belt
- back part of a maxi-CD case
- an empty hair gel tube
- 2 x washers
- all sorts of pliers
- sewing machine
- rulers in different sizes
- normal and fine scissors
- hot-glue-gun with lots of ammo
- a candle
- drill with 6 and 8 mm drill bits
Starting of with the umbrella, you will need to detach the nylon fabric from the carcass. Use your scissors to cut the yarn loops. When you're finished, you may want to clean the fabric in a washer.
The bent bicycle wheel is useless except for the spokes. We will need 6 of them.
Step 2: Design
For the purpose of better visualizing the finished kite, i've built a 1:10 scale model.
Step 3: Sewing Part I
Step 4: Sewing Part II
Fold the plastic belts by half along the long side, attach it from both sides to the edge, make sure to leave enough space to fit the plastic pipes inside and start sewing. Don't forget to attach elastic band loops on the lower parts, underneath the belts.
Step 5: Link-ups Part I
Step 6: Link-ups II & Framework
Now cut one 6 cm as well as 3 times 3 cm long pieces off of the thin rubber hose. The 6 cm piece will assemble the arrow part of the kite.
Pull the 1m long plastic pipes through the stitched belts and don't forget about the 4 rubber hoses. Do the same with the 75 cm pipe. Attach the 6 cm long rubber hose to both ends of the 1m pipes and put the 3 cm pieces onto the other ends of the pipes. Before that you may want to round the edges of these ends.
Continuing with the remaining link-ups, we will need the 6 spokes with screwed on caps and two 4 cm long pieces from the thick rubber hose. Use pliers to straighten out the spokes and make 3 holes with the piercer in each of the rubber hose pieces. Pull each spoke through the hole, like its shown in the picture.
Finally attach the link-ups to the fabric as well as to the aluminum pipes. In order to hold the two linkages in place, u can cut small stripes out of an empty hair gel tube or any other similar material.
Step 7: Basics in Cord Attachment
Take the cord and cut it into 2 x 40 cm and 1 x 35. Follow the measurements on the picture and tie 3 knots on each end to the link-ups as well as to the ring. Lit up a match and carefully burn and melt the left over cord, so that the knot won't loosen up. Now take the rest of the cord, divide it in half and wrap up the spools. Attach the windings to both sides of your kite and you're done!
Step 8: Finished Kite
One last question remains: Can this beast actually fly?
Well i will find out and upload a video to prove it. At least it tends to fly forward, if u drop it face down. Also this kite only weights about 400 g, while a standard delta kite weights approximately 250-300 g. So it might hover in the winds. I hope so! xD
Update 27.09.13: I tried it outside today, but the wind was too weak (about 8 km/h). At least the kite seams to behave like an ordinary delta kite. According to the weather forecast for this Sunday the wind speed should top 25 km/h. So updates will follow.
Update 29.09.13: I lost my brave cameraman, so i decided to film myself while flying the kite with both hands. This way its nearly impossible to capture anything. Stay tuned for better video upload!
Update 01.10.13: I'm unable to capture anything useful. It's the winds' fault!!! xD Nevertheless, a new video in better quality will be up soon.
Update 03.10.13: This will be my last video until i see some real autumn weather. The max wind speed today was about 13,7 km/h. But since my kite weighs 400 g, it will probably need at least 30-50 km/h to reach its full potential. Nevertheless i'm glad about the results. This kite is officially airworthy!!!