By Dan Beard
Sketch of luna kite looking down on the back of the butterfly
The Luna Kite,
a perspective top view of which is shown by Fig. 10, looks so complicated
that a few words of explanation will be necessary.
Fig. 11 shows the pattern of one side of this new butterfly kite. It
was first built without the weird appendage on the tail, but I found that it
darted around so much that it was necessary to have something to steady it (It
must be understood that when I here speak of the tail of these tailless kites I
mean the lower or rear end of the kites themselves and not any long streamers of
rags or strings and tufts of paper. So when I refer to the tetrahedron on
the tail of the Luna, I mean on that part which would be called the tail of the
real butterfly's wings).
Bottom side up
On the back of the butterfly's wings two other wings are pasted (as may
be seen by referring to Fig. 10), and in the sectional view (Fig. 12, S P and R
P) these two wings are joined at their tips by a bit of paste and kept in
position by the straw (O P N) run through them and the other wings.
This straw is held in place by a thread which is fastened securely to one end
of the straw and then run around the curve of the kite (O M N) and secured to
the other end of the straw at N. Fig. 13 shows a section of Professor Bell's
tetrahedron; Fig. 14. shows how to make one with paper and broom straws; Fig. 15
shows the finished box of "cells," and Figs. 10 and 11 show how the
cells are pasted to the tail of the butterfly and braced by broom straws.
The kite measures twenty-four inches in length and has a spread of wings
measuring fifteen inches. If made of brilliant and varicolored paper it
makes a beautiful kite.
Of course it may be built of sticks in place of straws, but the one these
diagrams were drawn from was made with broom straws and sent aloft attached to a
spool of ordinary thread.
In making my experiments for broom straw I used the light, strong
writing-paper called textile bond, and found it suited my purpose exactly, but
the only reason I used this paper was because it was handy; in fact, it was the
first thing which I could lay my hands on, and really no better for the purpose
than the cheap yellow paper which comes in writing-pads.
Any Light Paper
that is stiff enough to hold its form when folded will answer the purpose.
tissue-paper will need more straws to hold it in shape and need paste to hold
the straws in place; but to build the machines here described one needs only
paste for extra wings with straws plucked from the broom behind the kitchen door
and paper from the writing-desk; as for tools-a pair of scissors.
The tail box is a bell tetrahedron of cells
But if any of my readers are not content with such primitive flying machines,
they may use wooden, sticks of any reasonable dimensions and cloth in place of
paper, and with such material build a Flying Machine
that can lift a man...
See Also Broom-Straw Kite Construction:
for Outdoor Boys