Introduction: Life Size Butterfly Kite
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.
An image from the Web
wooden tooth picks for bracing
Paper for the tail I used a napkin
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.
Participated in the
Tiny Speed Challenge