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Week 1 - Layout pattern and cut fabric
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 1696
Location: Canada, Nova Scotia, Halifax

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Week 1 - Layout pattern and cut fabric Reply with quote

Project Overview
Here is the description of the FLED from Brooks Lefflers site, brooxes.com.

"This is a very good light-wind lifter, which I adapted from a design by Michael Andersen. It is a cross between a Sled kite and a Flare, hence "FLED". This is a diagram showing proportions which can be scaled to whatever size kite you wish. It is not a detailed set of instructions, but if you've made a kite before, you won't have any problem. Easy to make, simple to assemble, a pleasure to fly it's a very satisfactory KAP kite." -- Brooks Leffler

Brooks provides a good diagram of the kite and how all the bits fit together; it can be found in the plans section of kitebuilder.com or directly from brooxes.com. This workshop provides a bit more detail on the way I decided to build the kite, which for the most part is identical to the original plan. I will (re)introduce an edge binding technique that I like, and hopefully you will find a use for in your regular building. I will also make extensive use of the 3M ATG tape gun, so don't be surprised if at the end of this you are bugging Steve to stock them. Since this kite is built primarily for light wind I try and go light on the materials, but there is definitely room to go even lighter. (i.e. as Fore Check has done).

The project will be broken up into 3 sections.
    Week 1: Layout and Cut Fabric
    Week 2: Edge binding, reinforcement and longeron restraints
    Week 3: Assembly, pockets and bridle

Let's get started!


The material list is located here.

The compiled parts required for this project should look similar to this. (The kit that Steve sells will have longer than required bits of webbing, so you should have some room for "design enhancements" Smile)

I also use a long straight edge, cutting mats and a 4ft x 8ft table.

Week 1 - Layout And Cut Fabric
For this workshop we will be making a slightly scaled up version of the original Fled to more easily support 32.5" standard graphite tubes. Using 60" wide fabric it will require a minimum of 4.2 yards for a single color kite, and roughly 6 yards if using three colors i.e. a different color for the Wings, keels, body.

This kite's measurements are expressed in units, for our purpose 1 unit = 236mm or 9.2857". Spence has put together a great excel based calculator that will allow you to scale the kite to suit your tastes. The calculator also gives dimensions to the nearest 1/16 of an inch which is helpful if use quilting rulers as I do. The overall kite is 7 units tall or roughly 65", and the width is 9.5 units or roughly 88 7/16" wide.

I have added diagrams of the kite panels including measurements, use these as a guide to plot the shapes on to the fabric. No hem allowances will be needed for this kite as all edges will be edge-bound with 1" wide slit nylon. The 1/4" Seam allowances are included in the diagram measurements. Using a long straight edge and a cutter (rotary, snap-blade, etc) cut out 2 Keels, 2 Wings, 1 Body and 4 Drogue panels.


I have also created a PDF with the cad drawings that give the measurements for each piece, the diagrams below are screen captures from the cad drawings so the scale markings will be incorrect. Panels, Reinforcements

Fabric Layout Diagram:

If you are using a single color here is the simple layout I used for 60" wide cloth. I think this makes the best use of the fabric, YMMV.

Below is the cutting diagram I use for snipping out the reinforcements, it should maximize the use of the 2" wide slit dacron that Steve sells. I use this same technique for cutting out my wing and keel Panels. plot 4 points draw three lines and cut.

You will also need two 1" x 1-3/4" pieces, these will be used to reinforce the bottom of the spine tunnels.

After cutting you should have the following pieces:

    2 Dacron keel reinforcements
    2 Dacron wing reinforcements
    2 Dacron lower spine tunnel reinforcements
    1 Kevlar tape center point reinforcement

Keel Diagram:
You will need two of these:

Wing Diagram:
You will need 2 of these:

Body Diagram:
You will need 1 of these:

Drogue Diagram:
You will need 4 of these:

For the drogue I just folded a length of fabric in half, and then in half again. Put down a simple cardboard template of the drogue panel and cut out all four pieces at once. Simple and quick (if you want a one color drogue)

Here are a few photos of how I laid out the drawings on the fabric. I was making two kites at once in these photos so you will see both blue and black have the wings and keels marked on them. These are not the best photos but it shows the general idea.

Bill Wilson
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