Gather notes and questions about our lifters here -- types, tuning, pros and cons

New barn door kite for KAP

I thought I would share some pictures of the new kite I just finished sewing that I plan to use for KAP. It is a "barn door" style, with a 2.5-meter (97.5 inch) span and stands 2.2 meters (88 inches) tall. It was adapted from the plan here. Each spar is made out of 3 Skyshark P4X tubes. The total weight including the bridle came out to 510 grams (18 oz). The sail area is 3.9 square meters / 42 square feet. This is the second kite I've sewn, and I'm really enjoying the process.

I managed a short test flight yesterday after work as the breeze was dying, and it seemed to be pretty well-behaved, though I think I might still make some adjustments to the bridle. Hopefully I will get a chance to do some KAP with it soon.


  • I forgot to mention, there are more photos including details of the construction here:

  • Impressive!

  • Thanks! That's a big compliment coming from someone with as many kites as you! :)

    I made my first attempt at KAP with this kite today. It was intended to be a light wind kite, but the breeze was definitely more in the moderate range. I thought it would be too strong, but it handled it well. I did change the bridle a little bit relative to what you see in the first post, switching to a 5-point set up with two legs near the top ends of the diagonal spars. This seems to help distribute the load more evenly and reduce bending of the main horizontal spar when there is a gust or when working the line. The flexibility helps absorb stronger gusts too, rather than the kite shooting above my head or off in a different direction. Actually, with the way I had the bridle set, stronger winds would sometimes even tend to pull it down a bit rather than up, because the spars would flex and produce a lot of drag. This behavior is definitely better than the alternative when doing KAP (and helped keep my nerves under control KAPing with a new kite).

    Since it was the first KAP attempt with this kite, I went to a location I've shot a few times before, because it has plenty of wide open space. I also figured I'd try to capture some of the fall foliage that is just starting to appear here. Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get the chance to do some more when the colors are more vibrant, although they don't get as bright here as they do farther north. The wind direction was variable, and I found myself walking back and forth to keep the kite away from the trees on one side and the cars on the other. At one point it got caught in a thermal, which was made obvious by the fact that the kite flew overhead and a vulture joined it. The kite just floated backwards downwind when the line went slack and then started flying normally again. Here are a few pictures of the outing.
    Kite in the air with the rig and a drogue. It was tough to get a picture due to the variable wind and the sun being directly behind it most of the time.



    Me taking a picture of the kite taking a picture of me

  • Looked like a very successful flight, and that kite is clearly going to be a useful tool.

  • Hi montagdude,
    I do not have direct experience with this kind of kite but I have calculated a my index ratio Surface of sail /Lenght of frame that gives for Barn Door Kite the good result 5.13; for a ROKKAKU "fat" for comparison is 4.75 and for a ROK a bit taller goes to 5.38 (high value = good)
    the feature of 3 pieces of frame equal size looks very interesting
    I do not know if someone else in this KAP forum has experience of KAP with this kind of kite.. many are using DELTA (the DL R8 - Levitation...), many consider ROKKAKU best for confidence, DOPERO is a king of skies but is a bit complicate to get ready for fly, some are using FLED that is a good kite, few maybe are using TRITON (I would not trust too much in variable wind conditions...), some are using soft kites - foils.... but when they take the decision of going down no chance of recovery.....
    as always each area has its own kind of wind and results can be very different... in Italy is is often necessary to be ready to many changes... I fly for KAP mostly with ROKKAKU (and the new ROKKER)
    wish you good winds and fun doing KAP
    SMAC from Italy

  • edited October 2020

    So this index is a dimensional quantity? What units is it in then?
    I do know of one other person using this kite for KAP, which is the designer, but his design uses a plastic sail and wooden spars. I haven't ever owned any of the other kites you mentioned (I do have a Dopero, but it is not a real one, since it has equal spar lengths and is smaller), but I'm guessing this would probably not handle quite as low winds as say a 10' Rokkaku, but probably can deal with more wind on the high end. The equal spar lengths and single bowed horizontal spar definitely give this one an advantage in simplicity. I'm really pleased with it so far.

  • Hi montagdude,
    YES my index has still inside a dimension but if you choose for example square meters/ meters or whatever corresponding dimension the numerical result is kept the same (also on a drawing ... square inches/inches or square mm/mm....)
    you have done a good job with this new kite and I wish you good KAP
    most probably something could be discovered about bridles but this could be achieved only from testing

    about kite size, attention in scaling to too big... a ROK 10' is a BIG beast....
    SMAC from Italy

  • Yes, this is plenty big for me. If anyone were going to scale it even bigger, they would definitely need to use stronger, stiffer spars.

  • Fascinating account and response. KAP is a multi-faceted domain, and that makes it appealing to kite flyers, photographers, electronics hobbyists, RC specialists, kite designers, mechanical engineers, payload specialists, wind watchers, ...

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