I bought this kite from Bridge Kite Shop, and this kit can be purchased here. When I had found the website for Bridge, this was what caught my eye. Not just the prospect of building a kite myself, but the idea that the units or cells could keep going. Four cells make a kite, then make each kite into a cell and assemble four of those, well you get the idea. This kit comes with everything you need except for scissors and glue, which both the website and instructions tell you.
I will not say much about the design, as I cannot say anything the website does not already, but it is named after the designer of this kit, Greg Kono, and Alexander Graham Bell, who apparently made something very similar to this.
The kit itself could not be simpler with very good instructions. My biggest tips is to dip both ends of a spar (stick) in glue at once, as you will not be able to move the whole frame to the glue so get both ends ready for connectors at once. Also, I used a brush to put the glue on the paper folds that go around the spar. I also recommend decorating the sails ahead of time, the kit papers are clearly marked so you will know where you will be placing the designs or coloring. I went with rubber stamps of the the Death’s Head Moth, but I was attracted to the idea of Bridge’s kites because I can color and decorate them with my kids.
I could have let each stage dry before continuing on, but it was not necessary. I did let the fram dry for a day before applying the sails, and I let that dry for another day before attempting flight. My kids and I took it our first in eleven MPH winds, and that achieved lift very well. It was the lack of sustained wind that stopped us from getting a sustained flight. We had a similar issue with thirteen to fifteen MPH winds, plenty of lift, just no sustaining winds, so it is not the kites fault, nature was just teasing us.
We have it on a quick reel, which is not what it came with. The reel is not a problem, but I feel that clipping the quick connector rather than using two overhand knots as recommended, may have destabilized some of the flights, and that was very much my fault. The quick connect, goes on one spar, while the over hand knots would secure to the entire top connector, making a solid tie point, rather than encouraging it to spin on an axis.
Another tip, do not worry about excess glue, this will help create a very complete and secure bond between spar and connector. I tried to be cautious about excess, which I later realized was a mistake. I had to reglue several connections where I had left room for the seal to break, after the first flight. The second flight saw no broken connections despite higher flights and falls, because the seal was complete.
My oldest also got the hang of sustained flight with his Spongebob diamond he recieved for his birthday. If it had not have been for heat, we would have stayed out flying, ignoring the TV and electronics. Safe flying and make sure you get something from Bridge Kite Shop.