The Oz Flare - A Fighter Kite

   

The OZ Flare is a nippy little fighter kite designed by Peter Stauffer. This is not a kite for the beginner to fly as it is exceptionally lively.
When building this kite take care to ensure that it is evenly balanced either side of the spine. Any imbalance will cause the kite to by biased to one side, not flying in a straight line when the power is on and having a tendency to turn more to one side than the other.

Materials


Spine; Bamboo 3.5 mm by 1.5 mm by 47 cm long

  • Bow; Fibreglass 2 mm diameter 68 cm long
  • Covering Mylar wrapping paper at least 65 cm by 48 cm
  • Filament tape 2cm wide.
  • Contact adhesive.
  • Cotton for bridle.
  • A good clean flat working surface at least the size of the kite.
  • A sharp knife.
  • A straight edge and square.
  • Cut-off pliers for trimming the bamboo and fibreglass.
  • A needle.

1. Fold the sheet of Mylar in half with the side to be the front of the kite inwards. Plot out half the kite shape using the fold as the centerline. Mark the bridle points on the centerline with a line which will extend passed the width of the spine. Using a sharp knife and straight edge carefully cut around the outline through both pieces of Mylar. This will ensure both halves of the kite are perfectly symmetrical.

2. Unfold the Mylar and lay it face down on your work surface. Cut several lengths of the 2cm filament tape into 5mm wide strips. Use these strips to tape around the edge of the kite on the rear surface of the kite.

3. Carefully apply contact adhesive to one side of the spine and as a thin strip down the centerline of the Mylar and allow to dry. Place the spine on the Mylar carefully aligning the top and bottom of the spine with the top and bottom centers as marked by the crease in the Mylar.
Apply 2cm squares of filament tape to the top and bottom of the spine folding over to form a spine pocket. Place a second square of tape over the end of the spine completely on the rear side of the kite.

4. Cut two pieces of filament tape 40cm long. Attach these to the front of the kite from the wing tips along the leading edge of the wings. Only have 5 mm of the tape in contact with the front surface of the kite (allow 1.5 cm to over hang the leading edge ) remember to keep these two pieces exactly the same length and the same position on the wings as any differences here could affect the overall kite balance. Do the same with the trailing edge of the kite skin.

5. Turn the kite face down and starting at one side lay one end of the cross spar along the wing leading edge with its end at the wing tip. Fold the tape over securing it in place. Take the other end of the cross spar and bend it around to the other wingtip. Ensure that it crosses the spine at the mark for the top bridle point. Tape this end of the spar into position and trim off any excess spar material extending past the wingtip of the Mylar.

6. Place 2 cm square pieces of filament tape over the bridle points on both the front and back of the kite. The piece on the back at the top bridle point also locates securely the spine crossing points. Using a needle thread one end of the bridle around and over the spar crossing and tie securely. Then attach the other end of the bridle to the bottom point in a similar manner.

6. Hold the middle of the bridle and allow the kite to hang horizontally in a draught free room. If the kite does not hang flat (indicating it is out of balance) apply small pieces of tape near the wing tips to bring it into balance. Attach a small ring to the bridle as a tow point and take outside for a fly.

Peter Stauffer