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!