Polymorphic Sled Kite




Introduction: Polymorphic Sled Kite

I live with my wife and children in Fort Worth, TX. We enjoy day-trips and junk stores. I'm a firm …

A polymorphic sled kite is a very simple design invented in the early 1950's. It is one of the easiest kites to both build and fly.

It is described as polymorphic because it is able to take on many different shapes according to how the wind hits it.

This kite is excellent for beginners, as it is very, very easy to fly.

Step 1: Designs

The easiest way to layout your design for a sled kite is to use the grid method. Each grid is a perfect square, therefore it may be scaled up or down as you wish.

For the purpose of this Instructable, each square is one square foot.

Step 2: Materials

Rip-stop polyester is an excellent material for kites. It is durable and lightweight.

In this case, I found some inexpensive polyester at the craft store. I believe it was originally destined to be somebody's prom dress. It's a little heavier than rip stop, but it'll work. I purchased two yards.

I also purchased two 1/4 inch wooden dowels. They are 36 inches long.

-You could also use an inexpensive poly tarpaulin. -

Step 3: Cut and Sew

I transferred the basic design onto the material. I folded the edges and stitched them. Then folded them again. I am hoping this will prevent the material from fraying excessively.

I then sewed two channels into the fabric for the dowels. The best way to determine the location is to fold the kite material in half and mark them in equal spots from the center of the fabric. In this case, the dowel are one foot from center, which makes them two feet apart.

I then inserted the dowels and stitched the channel closed by hand.

-It is possible to make one of these by simply gluing the seams together. Sewing just makes for a neater, more finished product-

Step 4: Finishing Touches

I added a small piece of nylon belt material at each point of the side flaps. This should prevent the string from ripping through the ends when it is under high wind loads.

I attached a high test piece if surveyors cord in between the flaps and place a fishing swivel in the center. This will allow the kite line to rotate without binding the kite.

I also decided to stitch a couple of tails on as well. They are simply folded over pieces of material, sewn and turned inside out.

Step 5: Fly It

I used another roll of surveyors line as my kite twine. It only took a little bit of wind to lift off. As you can see from the pictures, the wind causes the shape to change frequently. It flies very well.

As always, thanks for reading!

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    6 years ago

    I think this is the same design we used to build back when I was in the boy scouts. They are really easy to build and fly. They work well without the tails. We used to make them out of heavy plastic sheeting and dowel rods. I think we just taped the dowel rods to the plastic.


    Reply 6 years ago

    They are super easy to build and fly. I like to use fabric because it's a bit more durable than plastic sheeting, but that method would definitely work well too. I like sled kites because they are much better than those cheap, store bought triangle kites. Those can be really frustrating for kids. Thanks for reading!


    6 years ago

    I had one of theses when I was little little but it pulled too hard for me to fly (sled kite clue in the name there) My sister scaled the 3 foot tall ones we had down to a main panel about the size of an A4 sheet used a shopping bag for the material, as I recall it flew quite well


    Reply 6 years ago

    This one pulls pretty hard when the winds are high, too. I've considered building a really large one, but I'm afraid my kids (or me) would fly away. Thanks for checking out my Instructable!