Public Lab Wiki documentation

Kite making

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If you can't get balloons, helium, or if it's just too windy (more than about 5mph or 10kph wind) for #balloon-mapping, consider lifting a camera up on a kite. Kites are cheap and available through most of the world, and they're easy to build if you can't find one big enough.


You can make a really big kite for just a few dollars in materials -- anywhere in the world! You don't need to buy or waste helium, and kite makers are everywhere -- kids are especially good at it.

It's a fun activity, and flying kites over and over is free, unlike using balloons!


Most kites need at least 5-10mph (10-15kph) wind, unless you use a design for very light winds -- and most need a bit more to carry a 200g camera very high.

Kites that are very efficiently designed can fly at a high angle -- more vertically. But if yours has lots of drag, it may fly at a lower angle -- more diagonally from the ground.

You need wind.

Design constraints

Kites can be designed for many purposes, but some things to balance are:

  • cost and local availability of materials
  • time/complexity of construction
  • portability when not flying (does it fit in a car? a plane?)
  • light-wind flying qualities
  • heavy-wind flying qualities
  • overall size and lifting ability

Where do conversations happen

The grassrootsmapping list -- subscribe in the left-side column!


Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Building miniature kites at a family science night build - @SuziT9 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Prototyping a kite for kids build - @oscarbrett 3h easy 0 replications: Try it »
call it Delta, maybe build - @astoicof 1h easy 0 replications: Try it »
Make a simple mylar/trash bag delta kite - - @warren 1h easy 0 replications: Try it »
splitting bamboo for kites build - @mathew 1h easy 0 replications: Try it »
easy cut delta kite plans build - @mathew 3h easy 0 replications: Try it »
Repairing a kite's stick with a fiber glass safety marker - - @pablo - - 0 replications: Try it »
Kite Construction: How bad can it get? - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
Stormy O. Weathers' Horned Allison- towards a kite wind speed meter - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
Easy Kites for Kite Trains build - @mathew - easy 0 replications: Try it »
Tyvek Fleds, Theoretical & Actual Performance - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
Towards a Tyvek & Bamboo Delta Kit - - @mathew - - 0 replications: Try it »
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