5 The Trapezium


I first built a Trapezium when I found that I did not have enough lightweight Icarex fabric to make the background for a particularly decorative Sagara - so I just drew a straight line across the bottom at the widest point. The resulting experiment flew so well that the trapezium shape became the basis for many experiments - for many seasone the Trapezium almost became my "signature" kite.

As illustrated, the trapezium offers a very controllable kite in both high and low aspect ratios. It also yields easy to fly kites in a wide range of sizes from 30cm up to 1.5 metres.



Introducing my kites

Appliqué without sewing

A Few questions and answers

Different shapes of kite:


Buka & Classic Korean

Other traditional shapes

Trapezium & stacks

Fighter Kite Gallery



I have experimented extensively with different shapes of trailing edge, particularly with fairly large kites of around 70-80cm span. From these I have been able to build my most controllable "precision" freestyle kites. They fly slowly, but enter and extit turn and stall manoeuvres smoothly and crisply.

With practice the larger trapezium kites, with a shaped trailing edge, can be induced into a spectacular "helicopter" spinning take-off from the ground, and they can be flown into (and out of) a ground-effect glide only inches above the grass.

In my wildest moments I have been able to build a matched pair of precision trapeziums for flying as a synchronous pair on two separate lines. (It is probably the ultimate freestyle fighter kite challenge to fly two kites - one in each hand - on fixed length dyneema lines. It can be done, but so far I can only manage it in the smoothest wnds, and when my sensibility is most easily questioned.)

6 Stacked fighters

In another moment of madness I challenged myself to add a new dimension to freestyle fighter kite flying by emulating the stacking of 2-line sports kites.

After a number of (almost successful) experiments I managed to resolve the problems of bridling and calculating the proportions of stacking lines to build a stack of 7 trapezium kites that could be flown and steered in just the same way we fly a normal fighter kite. (Admittedly such a stack will not remain stable if the pilot tries to maintain a stationary spin.)

The stack of 7 identical trapezium kites then provoked me into experimenting with a tapered stack of 3 different sized kites. Surprisingly this works too!

The success of the stack of 7 fighter kites has more recently prompted me to examine the possibility of even longer stacks. I have already flown a prototype stack of 14 fighters and I am currently tuning a mega-stack of 21 kites in preparation for the 2009 season. (I have included a photograph of one of my prototype stacks of 12 mylar trapeziums in my gallery of kites.)

My experiments with stacks of different shapes of fighter kites are still continuing.