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Mar 21, 2009, 03:15 AM
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Build Your Own Simple RC Kite .....the Simple design

Hi all ....

This info is repeated in my night kites
And more sketchup info can be found here

I thought I must share the simplest kite build with more people because it has turned out to be such a great flier.
The Simple type kite shape is derived from others being sold, these people sell one similar do others
as do these

Ive now finished the Simple build..... an easy fly COG is 5 -5.5" back from the front cross bar

CF rods... fuz..4mm cross bars..3mm side rods..2.5mm elevons..2mm tail..1mm Bits of tube to go over the 3mm rod for hinges ...bits of tube for fixing the tail (for a removable tail)....
Fabric..polyester liner (my favorite) or rip stop.... thread..upholstery thread is very strong..... uhu por or similar suitable contact adhesive.... CA thin-med...

All rod joins are bound with plenty of thread, then CA'd to fix

1.....From the plan cut the rods for the main fuz. and the front and rear cross bars make them 1" oversize to help with binding.
Locate, bind with thread and CA, so they are nicely central and at right angles..
2....Add a couple of 3mm braces from the front cross bar to the fuz..
3....Add a short length of tube to each end of the front cross bar at an angle of 60 degrees to take the front bumper
Last edited by davereap; Aug 19, 2010 at 03:42 AM.
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Mar 21, 2009, 03:16 AM
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4.... On the rear cross bar we now need to put on the fixings we use as hinges
Cut 2 bits of tube about 1", to fit the horn and elevons on..and two bits at about 1/4" to act as spacers/rubbers (blue tube bits in pic )

for now these are put on loose 1/4 ... two 1" 1/4.. and do the same both sides

5.....Now you can add the side rods... you might as well have straight rods .. it is easier, my bend is so small you cant see it
but I had mine curved slightly.. offer a rod up bent to your ammount to get the length ..cut two identical lengths..
bind and glue both to the lower cross rod first..have the joint at 90 degrees make a good stong joint and glue well. Make sure you position both rods evenly and accurately
With this joint at 90 when you pull the other end in you will get a nice bend to your rod.
Bend in the tops and bind and CA...again you must have the ends equally fixed, or you will distort the framework

6.... tail... take a 1M length of 1mm rod cut it into two equal bits and bend and bind to the shape in the pic ...make another the same then bind the two together..
Add the short bits of 2mm rod but leave them a bit long for trim adjusting later small lengths of tube are bound to the fuz as pic 3. these take the 2mm rods bound to the tail.. Cut the fixing rods and adjust the tubes to get the tail rods a sprung forced fit into the tubes.. The rear horizontal rod is slid in first, then you have to bend the tail loop up so the vertical rod can be inserted. when you release the tail the back spring will push the vertical rod down the tube and hold the tail in place
Mar 21, 2009, 03:17 AM
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more pics... the weight of the finished kite without lighting is 207gms = 2.7oz sqft.

build continued

7 ....elevons... hand bend the 2mm rod to find the length needed to get the depth of bend and width across the one side of the lower cross rods..
Remember you will want to bind these rods to the centre of the 1" tubes that should be on your rear cross rod... Again cut two equal lengths 1" longer than you need..

Using very strong thread, bind and CA the thread to the rod 1/2 in from one end, bend the rod and bind and CA the other end 1/2" in... youve now got a bow..Now you can bind the bow to the loose tubes that will be the hinges..
My bows were bound on the opposite side from the plastic control horns...see pics
Make sure you position the tubes to have just a touch of free play at the ends, not too loose, not too tight..
Leave the thread in place or the bow will unspring and the tubes wont turn on the rods
put uhu onto the framework, get your fabric on as flat as you can..cut arround with scissors leave 1/2" oversize to wrap around the rods.. more glue and wrap arround.. with the liner material you can heat shrink it nice and smooth, but it doesnt go overtight and distort the frame
Control Horns
Ive used some right angled plastic molding.. cut off 3/16 , drill equal holes for the clevis links. Bind to the tubes of the elevons
depron fuz... a late modification ...add some 2mm x3" cross bars to the top of the fuz rod..then cut a 3" depron fuz and cool melt glue it on top of the centre rod.
All the gear except will be fixed onto this using 3 long velcro strips..the servos can be mounted into the depron or cool glued to the surface
The positions here will do for the COG
Last edited by davereap; Apr 18, 2009 at 06:15 PM.
Mar 21, 2009, 03:38 AM
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Youve obviously realised the kite was made for night flying, but these fly so well, day or night that I had to share the build.

The Simple kite comes in at about 210gms ...7.5oz with a 800 11.1 battery
It uses a 1300kv blue wonder motor ...8x4GWS prop... 12A esc.... hitec REC....2x5gm servos..
Flying is easily done on well under 1/2 power.. hovers on just over 1/2 power..
The kite wants as much elevon travel as you can get for wild flying, but with expo dialed in you can fly very slowly and presicely and hand catch etc..

Its a joy to fly in low breeze conditions... just move the COG forward a bit on a windy day

Damage resisting.... these kites bounce well.. Ive broken a prop hitting hard after too low a loop, but thats all.. my flying buddy's nutball kite went in hard from 30ft he broke a prop
You can break them but I am still using the rods from a kite that is at least 10yrs old, modded into a different shape..see the night kite thread
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 06:49 AM.
Mar 21, 2009, 03:46 AM
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This is how well the design flies... simplest is best
This video is from Ace hobies with another version of the iSimple design
Radio Control Kites (6 min 52 sec)
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 06:50 AM.
Mar 21, 2009, 04:02 AM
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A bit of background info... The first of these CF framed fabric kites that I can remember is the IFO indoor flying object... I had a mark 3 and the IFOs are still being sold today..
The lads from singapore have developed the kites into a few more shapes and sizes, and they have really developed them as night kites. Check out their videos and the many others on youtube..really beautiful they look at night..
They put on a nightly demo at their location in singapore that gathers crowds.

On my night kite thread I have been building CF framed fabric covered versions of a couple of the popular foamies... Nutball...Capricorn..
These are all lit up. They look great and fly superbly at night. The kite versons fly just as well as the foam versions

For those who think that it is hard to fly in the dark.. you couldnt be more wrong.. I can see and fly the lit up plane further away or higher at night than I can in the daytime.. orientation is no problem, with good lighting the plane is visible for miles. The only things you have to remember is to take a torch out with you..and the location of on site hazards, such as trees.. in the dark the little B's hide from you
Night flying to me seems more peacefull than in the day, I seem to relax more..

Just watch out for those UFOs .... dave
Last edited by davereap; Mar 21, 2009 at 04:17 AM.
Mar 21, 2009, 04:43 AM
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If you like the look of other designs it is simple to work out a rods plan and then scale the plan to whatever size you want..That will give you a fair model of another design, but in the size you want..depending on your available RC gear and motor

To do this I use the free sketchup program from google. And photoshop to square up the kite pic if its needed.

If you have a nice top view like those a couple of posts below, you wont need photoshop or its equivalent program to square up the image from a photo that is showing perspective and you can jump by the section just below

Using a pic, I put it in photoshop, added a grid, selected the kites area and cropped, then used the transform-perspective option to square up the background tiles to the grid ...pic1 (saved as a bmp)

Now using sketchup I imported the pic as an image. It goes in on the x/y plane and you just drag it to a viewable size.

Using the tapemeasure tool ,I then measured the edge of one tile and assuming they were 12", I typed the value in and then resized the model to that size.
Next I wanted to check the tiles actually measured square.. so I used the dimensions tool to add sizes across and down the tiles ....pic2..
As can be seen from the dimensions the sizes are out slightly..
Now I select the picture and use the scale tool, pulling the bottom centre down untill the sizes across and down the square are the same ....pic3..

The image in sketchup is now ready to be drawn over
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 06:52 AM.
Mar 21, 2009, 04:50 AM
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If you have a good top view image import it to sketchup, then draw a line across the span... use the tapemeasure tool to get the span to the size you want.. by measuring the line and entering the value you want

or following on from the above
Next in sketchup... just use the drawing tools and draw over one half only of the design or imported image.
Miiror the half drawn
Remove unwanted picture and add kite dimensions.
lastly adjust the size to suit using the tape measure tool on the span....

To scale the plan, up or down, use the tapemeasure tool across the span and enter the value you want . the plan and dimensions are then changed.
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 06:53 AM.
Mar 21, 2009, 05:04 AM
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remove pics from ace hobbies
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 06:55 AM.
Mar 24, 2009, 03:24 AM
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I thought I would add in the sketchup file..

Use this to scale up the simple design to suit the conditions you want to fly in..

The Simple at 7.5 oz is superb when there is little or no wind. In blustery conditions a version at twice the area and weight would be better.

If you select all the faces in sketchup you can right click and get the area.
Use the tape measure tool across the span and enter a larger figure, ok the resize, check the new area.. untill you get the size you would like.

On a larger version I would add an extra cross brace at the ballence point and perhaps 2 diagonal braces from the outside point on the front bar back to the 2/3 position down the fuz rod..this will make it all stiffer
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 06:56 AM.
Mar 25, 2009, 03:58 PM
D'oh.. Dumb Left Thumb
dekan's Avatar
Dave the pro 3 shape is very similar to an SD with IFO elevons
Mar 30, 2009, 12:07 PM
IFO's are planes too
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Hey Dave, Nice to see someboby esle is building and flying these kites. I've built four of these Kites. There's not much on the RCG about kites, or as I like to call them IFO's.(Insane Flying Object) These birds are a blast to fly. I build mine around 13 to 16oz so that I can fly when the wind is about 7mph or less. Sometimes I reduce the throttle so that the kite flys backwards and then my flying buddy says that's not right.
I'm going to read up on your posts about lighting these things up with leds. Night flying is the next step.
I use umbrellas as a cheap covering for some of my builds. Foam battery boxes keep my lipos warm in the cold weather, so that I get my 8 min. of flite time. Dubro 1/2A horns and two triangle pieces of plywood work as control linkage for my elevons, nice and easy. Flying wires can be used to adjust the dehredal of the wing; if you need it. Use of two cf rods for the fuselage makes it easier to mount everything. You should stress to everyone building these kites not to pull the aft section of the covering too tight as the elevons will blow out lite servos. I use hitec 65's as they are rated at 25 oz./in. of torque. These things are heavy, but remember it's not an indoor ship anymore.
Here is my kite squadran ready to scramble at a moments notice.
Keep the kites flying!
Apr 01, 2009, 03:53 PM
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Nice kites...check these out...
night flying is a great way to go

I have been covering my elevons seperate from my wing, then I can have the material flat and tight. and the elevons are nice and free moving.. A small gap between wing and elevon doesnt seem to affect the flight, but you can always fill the gap with a section of fabric left loose enough for the hinge system to work.. ive done that on one of mine
And ive been using 9gm servos which have so far been ok, on both my planes and kites up to 22oz
Ive also used depron for the elevons and fabric for the wing,
Since I put all my lights on the fabric wing, and at night they are all you see

The big umbrellers can also provide usefull rods, ive found them with fibreglass spokes, (rather than the cheepo metal ones,) which are long enough to use..
Last edited by davereap; Apr 01, 2009 at 04:10 PM.
Apr 01, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Ive been flying and abusing the Simple above for a while, and it is a great little flier that makes you push your limits.. Built to the plan aboves sizes it will come in at about 7.5-8oz AUW.. It floats well but being a lightweight prefers very light winds where it is not hammered about..

If you are in a windy location I would sugest a slightly larger build...Use the sketchup file to enlarge the area by a factor of 50-100%, then you can use a bigger battery and motor, but still keep the wing loading light.. the extra weight will handle the wind better, but keeping the wing loading low will keep the superb floaty performance..

I had to rebuild mine after I pushed my limits too are the results.. the depron centre fuz adds a touch to the AUW but makes fitting the gear easier
the lights got put back in much the same place
Last edited by davereap; May 29, 2009 at 06:57 AM.
Apr 14, 2009, 08:45 PM
crashdumby's Avatar

rc kite

Hello lm building a kite and new at it.The heat shrink tube connects the rods due you shrink it after its connected?and due you use a lighter? My instructions are not to is the elevon setup on what stick mode 2.I have the zlowest butterflyer kite.Any body still here cool thread.

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