Step 1: Building the Skeleton
You can use bamboo instead of fibre, like some traditional Asian kite-builders.
After a few hours of try & error to get the right structure I learned that it was technicly impossible to obtain exactly the right silhouet. That's how I learned that you always should do what you can, but at one moment you'll have to skip to plan B and modifie your intentions.
If the skeleton becomes different from the original design. Redesign the original. (could be quote from Mythbusters)
So that's what I did, I modified the soaring Honey buzard into a gliding one, with a bigger head and and pointed tail.
- the use of screws to 'pre-model' the rods
- the '3D' aspect of the structure. I used a bow to create a 'breast' and with a piece of rope I threw the wings slightly upward (see last picture).
Step 2: Balance Tests & on Air!
To see if your kite's stable: keep it horizontal and let it fall on the ground.
If it 'kips' his nose: no good.
If it falls on its 'bud': no good.
If it glides down smoothly to land on its breast: soooooooo fine!
Mine was soooooooooo fine. It swept a bit - a very little bit - to the left but the whole was more then acceptable.
A rope was fixed to the 'breast-bow' and then the moment came to go on air. We went to the beach, and excited as a boy I launched my prototype for the first time. Too bad the camera didn't work, but I tell you that this kite flew like a pro into higher air. The first time it went a bit too much leftward, but after having added some weight (a small piece of electrice wire) to the right wing it went straight upward.
You know my best moment? When I gave loose to the rope, Honey buzzard flew smoothly to the ground, like a real one!
Enjoy the building, I'll add the plan asap!