9 Square Meter Nasa ParaWing Traction Kite




About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

The NASA ParaWing 5 (NASA wing) is a single skin traction kite that is relatively easy to sew and is a great introductory kite.  Typically, it's flown using 4 lines attached to two handles.  

I've been flying -- and getting dragged around by -- big kites for more than 10 years, and this is the first style of kite I sewed myself.  This kite, and particularly the quite large 9 square meter size, is suitable for light wind conditions in the range of 8 - 12 MPH.  While I have kitesurfed using this kite, it's much better suited for body dragging in the water, sailing with ice blades, or skateboarding.  In the images, you can see me using it to power my ice proa and a dessert skateboard I built and took to Burning Man as part of a kite-powered Bedouin custom (which, incidentally, was extremely functional in the conditions; the Bedouin really know what they're doing!).

I made the kite using rip-stop nylon fabric and a consumer-level sewing machine with synthetic thread (polyester, if I remember correctly).  The lines and bridle are made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene of the brand name Spectra.  

I followed the plans for panel sizes and bridle length generated by this Nasa wing calculator:

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    I just learned about these kites today. Burning man Sugoi. Beduin, great SIMPLE desert tents.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Ahhh  Burning Man..... :-)

    Never to be the same again  :(