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How to Make A Box Kite

Do you want to how to make a box kite? This kind of kite can fly really high and is a popular kind of kite to make for flying. It takes a bit of time but is not really too difficult. It requires wooden dowels, string, tape or glue, and cloth or garbage bags.

How to Make A Box Kite

How to Make a Box Kite

The materials needed to make a box kite are:

  • 8 square wooden dowels, which are 5/16 inches in diameter. Four of them need to be 14 inches long and four of them need to be 36 inches long.
  • Masking tape or other sturdy tape
  • String or twine
  • Cloth or garbage bags

The instructions are as follows:

  • Take two of the shorter dowels and make an X shape with them. Wrap the center with masking tape until secure. Repeat exactly with the other two short dowels. These Xs need to be identical.
  • Now you will attach the four longer dowels on each end of the X. Using masking tape, secure the Xs onto the long dowels about six inches from the end of the long dowels. On other words, the Xs will be six inches in from the end of the longer dowels.
  • Cut two pieces of cloth or garbage bag material with the dimensions of 11 inches by 48 inches. Wrap the cloth tightly around the end of the frame and secure with masking tape, making sure it reaches all the way to the end of the long dowels. Repeat on the other end of the frame. Now your box kite is almost done.
  • Next, you have to attach the bridle. That is a piece of string that will attach the flying line to the box kite. It will need to be about 36 inches long and you attach it to the top and bottom end of one of the long dowels.
  • The last step is to attach your flying string, or reel, to the center of that piece of string. Since box kites have no tails, you are done.

History of Box Kites

Now that you know how to make a box kite, you might want to learn more about the kites. Box kites are also called cat kites. They are known for flying very high as they have a great deal of lift. Lawrence Hargrave from Australia invented a box kite in 1893 when he was working on making a manned flying machine. He achieved some success of lifting a man off the ground by attaching several box kites together.

Next, Samuel Cody, who was working for the United States military, made a winged box kite. He patented this design in 1901. The early inventors of planes worked with kites to help develop their designs. The early biplanes were essentially a box kite with an engine and a tail added.

Other Kinds of Kites

There are four other kinds of kites besides box kites: winged box, diamond, sled, and delta. The winged box is a box kite with wings, which are triangular pieces added to the sides. The control strings, or bridle, run from these wings instead of being attached to the box. They are also called Cody kites after their inventor.

The diamond kite is a very well known kite and was the kind of kite Ben Franklin used for his electricity experiments. It is basically two sticks in a cross pattern with string running on the outside. Cloth or paper is attached to this string, and a tail is added for stability. It is also a very easy kite to make.

A sled kite is a rectangular shape with triangles on either side. The flying line is attached to the edges of the triangles. William Allison invented it in the 1950s and called it the Polymorphic Kite. It was modified later by Frank Scott, who wanted to call his kite the Flexible Flyer. Since a company was already using that name in the name of their product, the Flexible Flyer Snow Sled, Scott decided to call his kite a sled kite.

The delta kite looks like an isosceles triangle that has a very wide base. It has a rectangular piece on the underside where the string it attached for flying, and a smaller triangle on the back for support. This is a very common design and can be seen in many places today.