My Variant of the Classic Indian Fighter Kite

Tomorrow I’m going to a Kite Festival in Cambridge, MD.  I specialize in designing and building fighter kites, but I wanted to build a new kite to fly.  I’ve always liked the look of the classic Indian Patang, with it’s distinctive triangular tail. I’ve designed my own variant.  While the classic Indian fighter kite’s tail is a separate piece, my design has a single sheet of sail material.


The photo above shows my sail pattern on the left, a hot-cut Orcon sail on the right, and a bamboo spine I split for this kite, and cut down to size.


As I built the kite, I smoothed the sail down on a damp sheet of tempered glass. I put reinforcements down at the front edges of the kite above the bow, installed the bow and the spine, and reinforced areas on the spine. I use battens as part of the triangular tail part, and the battens also reinforce the lower bridle point.


Once the sail is complete, the nose has been reinforced, as have the shoulder area where the bow is no longer connected to the sail. I’ve also reinforced the battens where the trailing edge of the sail meets the triangular tail part.


I used Sharpie markers on the White Orcon Sail. Orcon is a ripstop film that is flexible and strong. This kite has a bamboo spine and a Carbon bow. I used a stiffer bow than I might normally for this design. Usually I use a .05 Carbon Rod for the bow normally, but I’m expecting high winds tomorrow, so I used a .06 Carbon Rod for the bow in this kite, hoping that the stiffer kite will handle high winds better.


Now the the kite is finished. You can see from the front that  the kite has the profile of a classic indian fighter kite, but the tail is actually part of the sail, and the triangular shape is defined by the sail decoration.  The design flies well normally, and I’m expecting good things from this variant.  The spine of this design is 16″ long, and the width is 18″.  A line drawn between the wingtips (wingtip line) would cross the spine 1/2″ above the spine center. The bow crosses the spine 2.5″ down from the nose. The lower bridle point is 4.75″ from the base of the spine. The battens meet the spine 3/16″ above the lower batten point. This allows the batten ends and the lower bridle point to share the same reinforcement.  The battens themselves are .03 Carbon Rods. This design works well using paper or mylar as a sail material. With a .05 Carbon Bow, the wind range is approximately 3-15 mph, with the “sweet spot” at a wind of 5-8 mph.  The kite uses a 3 point bridle to adjust for balance and wind speed.


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