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Bell Kite Project Blog

I am building a huge kite inspired by Alexander Graham Bell's historical models.  

Framework Complete

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I've mostly completed the kite framework. I'm including an illustration that shows what the kite will look like with covers. If you look closely you can see a person drawn in for scale. I've also included photos of the framework hanging against the house.

I began construction of the framework in the back yard, but it got too big for the yard, and so I pulled the kite up the side of the house and built along the bottom edge, lifting the kite bit by bit as I filled in rows. There's something relaxing about the patterns of spars and connectors. As I got more experience I started noticing subtleties about how connectors and spars worked together. I image that the the framework construction process is similar to knitting with its slow repetition of pattern.

Right now the framework is two cells deep. I'm not sure if I should make it thicker, either uniformly or in places. When viewed from the ground during flight, the kite will appear fairly two dimensional, so that's make thickness somewhat irrelevant. I've already sunk a lot of time and hand labour into the kite, and I'm a bit loath to add any more cells at this point. On the other hand, the kite might be stronger if it's thicker. Also I really admire the solid consequentiality of Bell's kites.

this is quite thrilling! I would like to be present at lift-off.

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