Life Size Butterfly Kite

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Introduction: Life Size Butterfly Kite

About: I'm an ex IT professional and now enjoying retired life. The most stressful part of my day these days is feeding the chooks and mowing the grass on my mini tractor. I have always been a tinkerer and handyman a…

One of the most beautiful Australian butterflies in my opinion is the Ulysses butterfly whose habitat is in the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland.
It was an inspiration from this beautiful insect that I set about making my kite in its form, rather than the conventional diamond shape.

Supplies

An image from the Web

wooden tooth picks for bracing

Paper for the tail I used a napkin

Glue

cotton thread

Step 1: Finding an Image to Print

After a quick Google search, I found an image for my project and printed off a screenshot. My printout is close to the approximate life size of this beautiful creature.

Using a box cutter, I carefully cut out what will be the sail of my kite.

Step 2: Making It More Robust

Flipping it over I needed to add some form of bracing to give the butterfly some rigidity to prevent the paper from folding back on itself. Again using the box cutter, I sliced several wooden tooth picks down the centre and glued the semi-circular half pieces to the kite as shown.

Step 3: Attaching the Strings

From the centre of the body, just below the leading edge of the wings, I placed two pin holes evenly spaced from the centre line.

I poked some cotton thread through these holes from the front and fastened each end to the horizontal tooth pick on the other side.

Step 4: Adding the Tail Weight

For the tail, I cut up a paper napkin into thin strips and glued several to the trailing edge of each wing.
Adding the correct tail weight has always been a bit of a hit and miss affair. I keep adding tail strips until the kite no longer cart wheels when flying, so it is just a balancing act until you get it right.

Step 5: Let's Fly

Being overcast and still here for the past few days with no
wind what so ever, I had to improvise with a fan to get my kite airborne.

Here's a short 28 second video of my butterfly in action flying around in a ‘would be’ tropical rain forest.

Background music 'Random Processes’ by Eric Matyas.


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