Back in April of this year I started to discover fighter kites; specifically North American fighter kites. First here is a little background on North American Fighters. All fighter kites operate on the same premis when flying the kite the kite will travel in the direction the nose of the kite is pointed. When slack is given to the line the kite will spin. The spinning of the kite allows you to decide when to apply tension to the line and therefore control the direction of flight. So you have complete control over a fast kite with only one line which is really cool, especially if you thought the only way to control the direction of a kite was with two lines…
The goal of kite fighting is to bring down your opponents kite. In India and other countries around the world a special line that is coated in a fine glass powder is used to physically cut the opponents line. This is not used in North American kite fighting and the rules are a little different. Basically it’s like touch football, as soon as the first kite line touches the opponents line in the manner specified at the begining of the point is awarded the point.
I am not an expert in the competition rules by any means and you can find all the information on the rules of North American fighters here at the NFKA website here.
If you are interested in making fighter kites I highly recommend Bruce Lambert’s book titled North American Fighter Kites. The book is extremely comprehensive and an easy read.
As a result of a some posts to the Kitebuilder.com forums I started building a Dragon Fly designed by Tom Humphrey. This kite is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it, Tom’s building instructions are excellent and Tom is willing to help out where he can (he is also a member of the kitebuilder.com forums). So after a few hours I had created my first fighter..
I used light weight ripstop polyester for the sail, carbon fiber rod for the bow and some gardend stake bamboo (split in half) for the spine. The bridle is made out of 30 lb dacron that has been run through a pure bees-wax block to help it hold the knots better. This kite now finds it’s home on display at Maritime Hobbies and Crafts in Halifax.
Anyone else out there have fighter kite info to share?