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Delta Kite Design

Our delta kite design uses about the same amount of materials as our diamond kite design, yet it is somewhat smaller. This is because the delta requires four separate spars rather than two. In spite of this, it is still a simple design that can be constructed very easily from materials that you probably have at home.

how to layout newsprint for a delta kite image
To begin this project make sure that you have two 4-foot 1/4-inch dowels, three sheets of newsprint, packing tape, one sheet of copier paper, scissors, a hacksaw, and kite string. Begin by cutting the dowels to 2-foot lengths (a hack saw works well for this). Now layout 1 sheet of newsprint and two half-sheets as shown in the diagram at left. Since newsprint is longer than it is wide, you will find that the layout is not perfectly symmetrical. Don't worry about this, you will be working from the top down and the bottom will be trimmed in due course. Tape the pieces together on both sides of the seams.

delta kite schematic image

Draw a line across the top tip of the sail (your newsprint has miraculously become just that) 4 inches down from the top. This line should be 8 inches long. Lay one of your 2-foot pieces of dowel perpendicular to this line pointing straight down the middle of the sail. To make sure you have done this correctly go down about a foot; if you measure straight out to both edges, these measurements should be the same. Do NOT use the meeting point of the three sheets at the base of the sail as your guide. When you have situated the spine, tape it to the sale with a strip of packing tape.

Now measure up two inches from the base of the spine and draw a line perpendicular to it out to the edges of the sail. At a point six inches out from the spine on either side draw a line back to the bottom of the spine. Cut along the line as shown in the diagram (follow the little x's) and also at the line you drew at the top of the kite.

Approximately 2 3/4 inches in from the edge, beginning at the base of the sail, lay out two spars and tape them into place with packing tape. Fold the extra sail outside of the side spars in half once and then over the spars themselves. Then use the packing tape to secure them. In fact, use the packing tape all across the bottom of the kite to strengthen the edge.

how to make spar pockets image
Next make two spar pockets by cutting from the copier paper two 1 3/4 inch strips. Fold as shown in the diagram at left and staple. Put the pockets over the ends of the last remaining spar. This will be your cross brace. Lay the cross brace perpendicular to the spine until the ends meet the edge of the sail. The pockets will actually stick out a little from the sail. This will give your pockets a little play so that you can remove the cross brace for better storage and conveyance.

how to make a delta keel image
Now we must proceed to the keel. Using a quarter sheet of newsprint, fold twice as shown in the diagram at right. Be sure to tape all around the edges and where the folds do not meet the edges. Turn your kite over to the front (where the spars are exposed is the back side). Lay the edge of the keel precisely in the middle of the kite (along the spine). It is important to get this as close as possible, because an imbalance of sail area on either side of the keel will promote spinning. The keel should be arranged 4 inches below the top of the kite with the longest side facing the sail. Tape both sides of the keel to the sail. Lay two more pieces of tape over the point of the keel. Poke a hole about 1/2 inch inside the corner and secure kite string to kite.

Some deltas do not require tails, but this kite will benefit from one. An easy tail for the delta involves cutting several two-inch wide strips of newsprint. Tape two end-to-end. Cut the other strips in half and tape them at intervals perpendicular to the long piece. Tape the long piece to the base of the sail. We found that a chain-like tail on each corner proved to be the best arrangement. We made links from strips of newspaper and taped them to the sail near the end of each side spar. Check out how this design did when we test flew it at the Beach Park in Harbor Beach, MI.

completed delta image

Next Page


The Story of Richard Babley
How to Make Your Own Diamond
Us Flying a Diamond
Delta Kite Design
Delta Kite Test Flight
Box Kite Design
Box Kite Test Flight
How to Fly a Kite

KiteFlyerInfo.com was created primarily to highlight some original kite designs using basic materials such as newspapers, dowels, and packing tape. But it has also become a repository of other useful information about kite flying. Use the navigation links at the top of the page to find out about some of the many different kinds of kites. Just above are links to some of our kite designs as well as some interesting info we have gathered.

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