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Over the years we have been aware of counterfeit copies of our kites. We no longer re-build kites clearly made by others, even if claimed to have been sold as ours.

Please note:The most-used sizes of fiberglass and some of the carbon fiber rods and tubes used in most of my medium sized kites are no longer being made. There are none of the old spars left.
There are no 1:1 substitutes, so making and testing incrementally larger and smaller kites with different wing spars and then testing over a period of time, and in different winds, is the next step.

Short Summary of Test Results to Date

Previous Thoughts and Experiments

Dan Leigh delta kite design and craft

specializing in delta kite designs since 1974

· Lead time for kites can be short (2 to 5 weeks), but it's often longer (6 to 12 weeks or more), depending on the number and sizes of kites already on order, plus a chaos factor. Since the situation can change over the course of a single day, lead time is for the most part unpredictable.
· We make kites only after receipt of payment; not in response to telephone requests alone.
· LIMIT: Two kites per order.
· We do not do free repairs or supply free replacement parts, and we don't re-build kites made by other people even if it is claimed they were made by us—worn out, UV damaged, rotted, oxidized, shredded, severely stretched or otherwise mis-shapen kites cannot be repaired.

Please remember to supply a contact phone number for all deliveries.

Kites made to order available directly from:
Dan & Bev Leigh, 54 Osborne Road, Pontypool, Gwent, Wales, UK NP4 6LX

Please note: we do not do wholesale

UK & EU prices, as shown, include Value Added Tax @ 20% - (prices excluding VAT are shown in parentheses) — VAT (tax) only applies to EU countries; for all other countries use the base prices in parentheses.
VAT reg. no: GB 648 4938 86

We can ship our hand-made one-off kites to just about anywhere.
Alternatively, Into the Wind in Boulder, Colorado, USA, supply factory-made versions of XFS Deltas, Little Bears, Whirlwinds and Troopers, with more designs in the pipeline.
For these (only) please contact: e-mail link> Into the Wind
web link> Into the Wind
We do not stock the Into the Wind kites ourselves. Also, please do not try to contact us at Into the Wind - we are in Wales, UK, and will not get the message
click here for more info and page 23 of Into the Wind's catalog
Into the Wind (shop)
1408 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302
tel: +1 (303) 449-5356
Here's a short video featuring the Into the Wind Little Bear

· Our emphasis is on quality rather than quantity - production is strictly limited, so we recommend that orders be placed early to avoid disappointment
· While we always try to comply with customers' wishes, it may sometimes be necessary to supply kites with alternative ventral fin colors
· There are no shortcuts - as the sign in the 4B's Cafe in Black Canyon, Arizona, says, "If you can't wait, don't order"

Payment methods
Delivery charges

NOTE: we no longer supply flying line.

Choosing kites

These kites are generally for light winds, with a couple of exceptions. Little Bears and Clippers are designed to maximize pull and to achieve the best flying angle in light wind, while the Trooper (currently unavailable) is designed to pull the least, and is therefore flyable in stronger wind. R-Series kites, the R7, and the Wildcard (currently not able to make) are for moderately breezy conditions. The Whirlwind is for light winds, and the XFS has light wind wings combined with a fresh wind towing point on the fin for riding out gusts (not constant strong winds).

Any kite requires just the right wind to fly. Kites can't just be put up on a whim, ignoring wind conditions.

Rough guide to choosing flying line:

Work out the approximate wing area in square feet (height times half the span). Multiply this figure by 3 for light winds, 5 for normal flying, or about 8 for breezy conditions - to get line breaking strain in pounds. More

Performance depends on line as well as wind. If the line is very light, the kite will fly to the steepest angles in the lightest wind, but the risk of loosing it is high. If the line is too heavy and sags, the kite will perform poorly, though for certain applications a lower flying angle can be advantageous. Kite flying requires patience - impetuous kite flyers loose kites. See Nose Angles vs Sweep Back and Force of Wind equation.

Link: Flying Line page
Link: Inserting spreaders

Kites grouped by wing spars
(Note: spans given are nominal: i.e. flat pattern, before wing tip ends of sleeves are finished off)

5mm fiberglass rod wing spars
R5 Rustler
Little Bear
6mm fiberglass tube wing spars
New Standard Whirlwind
New Wildcard (not yet re-designed)
5.5mm carbon tube (no more 6.35mm glassfiber) tube wing spars
Whirlwind II
R7C Explorer
Fringed Tail
Long fringed ripstop tails for old Troopers, old Wildcards, and any of the R series
5.5 and 5.0mm carbon tube wing spars - Clippers
Clipper S


When choosing a kite, base the choice on its wind speed range
The right wind is just enough to lift the kite, and no more - listed maximum speeds are winds to avoid, not recommendations
Flying a light wind kite in medium or stronger winds can soon demolish it

Totally Unscientific Delta Kite Wind Range Graphic
0 to 1 mph 2 to 6 mph 7 to 11 mph 12+ mph
Nil to Light Light to Medium Medium to Fresh Fresh to Strong

Click here for the real Beaufort wind speed scale.


5mm fiberglass wing spars

R5 RustlerR5 Rustler 70in/1.79m span | for medium to fresh breezes
     Do not exceed 15mph
price while parts last: £70.00  (£58.33 ex VAT)
a very stable kite for anxiety-free flying - has been used for lightweight aerial photography and falcon training as well as for pure enjoyment and relaxation
latest version

Ordering & delivery info: World | UK | EU

XFS DeltaXFS delta 85in/2.16m span
      Do not exceed 12mph
price: £75.00 (£62.50 ex VAT)
light wind wings with moderate-breeze towing point for extended wind range on 50lb line

Ordering & delivery info: World | UK | EU

Little BearLittle Bear 76.5in x 47in/1.94 x 1.20m
     Do not exceed 8mph
price: £80.00 (£66.67 ex VAT)
for light winds & thermals

Ordering & delivery info: World | UK | EU

Please note: this design is a smaller alternative to a Clipper for flyers wanting an efficient light wind kite. As such, it is not meant for winds over about 8 mph - it has the wrong fin geometry for windy weather. As with any light wind delta, if flown in too much wind a serious reduction in service life can be expected.


kites with 5.5mm carbonfiber wing spars tentatively finalized - needs long term testing

WhirlwindNew Whirlwind

Experimental Whirlwinds in different sizes with carbon fiber wing spars have been tested and eliminated, one by one. Unless I find another source of fiberglass tube equivalent to our old stock, experimental versions are going to be either larger or smaller than the fiberglass wing-sparred original. The aim is to find a size that will fly, first and foremost, while remaining somewhat stable as the wind picks up. I wasn't totally happy with the first batch of prototypes, having covered a range of scale factors from -4% to +8%.

At last some progress, some success. The last prototype built using 5.5mm pull-wound carbon tubing, scaled up by +5%, has so far proved to be a very nice flyer. It may have a lower maximum wind speed, but it is a real treat in light winds. It needs more testing, but so far I think it is as good as it's going to get. It had been designed in my head while I was hospitalized, built a while later, and hadn't been tested until about mid-October, when I felt recovered enough to tackle the uphill climb to our usual flying site.

This also paves the way for a new Wildcard and a new R7 (test flown), both scaled up by 5%.

I now have tested kites using fiberglass tubing from another manufacturer that on paper appeared to be identical to my original 6.35OD x 3.2ID, but it proved to be far too heavy - by 16%. The old Wildcard wouldn't fly at all. So for the first collection of carbon wing-sparred deltas I will be using 5.5mm tubing, and follow it up with a smaller collection using 6mm spiral wound fiberglass tubing; scale factor to be determined but likely to by -4%.


New Whirlwind II 108.9in/2.75m span | for light to medium winds on 50 to 88lb line
   Do not exceed 11mph
tentative price: £150.00 (£125.00 ex VAT)depending on ultimate spine and spreader
Ordering & delivery info: World | UK | EU

Click here: Link to customer's photos of one of the first new Whirlwinds in flight.

Click here for the newest light wind Carbon Whirlwinds and also the new Wildcard project

Dr. Whirlwind

The Whirlwind is named after the renowned Danish kite authority Dr. Hvirvelvind, whose 10th Law is worth remembering whenever trying to fix a kite that doesn't fly:

"If all else fails, do the exact opposite of what you thought would work."

(This has happened to me at least twice.)

WildcardWildcard tentatively 89 3/4in/2.28m span | for high angle flying in breezy weather

The last experimental version (circa 1993) flew brilliantly, but only with its original hardwood spine and spreader, and 5.5mm thin walled pultruded carbon wing spars that have long since been discontinued, so the next Wildcard will have to be an all-new scaled version, either scaled up by 5% with carbon wing spars, or scaled down for use with 6mm spiral-wound fiberglass.

     Do not exceed 16mph
price: £xxx.xx (£xxx.xx ex VAT)

Ordering & delivery info: World | UK | EU

The original Standard Wildcard, which I hope I can resize eventually, is featured in this two part video:
Wildcard video, part 1: Launch and Climb
Wildcard video, part 2: Return to Earth

Click here for the ongoing Wildcard project



Optional Tail
Special 40-45 foot (~13m) TAIL - double-thick, fringed ripstop - for existing Troopers and Wildcards, plus any R7, R8, etc.
price: £25.00 (£20.83 ex VAT)

Steadies kites in turbulent conditions

Our tails use 1.4 meters of 1.5m wide fabric per tail (enough for a nine foot delta), and there's over 45 feet of cutting, 90 feet of sewing, and another 90 feet of hand-snipping in each one.

Drogues (like a miniature parachute) merely add straight-out drag. That kills angle of attack by lifting the kite's tail end, which throws it out of balance, reduces lift, and makes it behave badly in certain everyday in-flight situations.

Plain streamers are mainly decorative. Some kites need streamers to compensate for bad design, or poor construction, or both. Since they're light in weight, they're most effective as true tails on small kites only.

A proper tail has steadying drag, but also a certain heft, so it pulls downward as well as out, which not only doesn't disturb the kite's balance, it can actually enhance it. Tails have bits of cloth at intervals or, like these, are fully fringed over their full length. The fringe stops whipping, helping the wind to both steady and lift the tail. The tail keeps the kite steady in breezy conditions without much loss of efficiency.

This type of tail won't snag on kite lines, avoiding tangles. The kite's handling will be different, but not in a negative way - it will easier to manage in breezier conditions.


R7R7C Carbon Explorer 102.64in/2.67m span | for light to breezy conditions on 80-100lb line (the R8's span was 106.5 inches)
   Do not exceed 14mph

None of the old wing spars remain for these. A new larger version based on the same carbon tube leading-edge spars as the new carbon Whirlwind could be made now, though as yet untested, and a smaller version with spiral-wound fiberglass wing spars should follow in time.

price: £168.00 (£140.00 ex VAT)

Ordering & delivery info: World | UK | EU

The prototype is still being flown as is (sometimes with lightweight frames), with detail additions and changes being incorporated into each R7 we make as time goes on.


Orders for the larger kites below this line are limited to one larger kite per order

kites with 5.5m thick-wall or 5.0mm carbon tube wing spars


Clippers are capable of very high angle, high altitude flights

Clipper solid Clipper S | solid color version
     Do not exceed 8mph
price: £250.00 (£208.33 ex VAT)
    -add £40.00 (£33.33 ex. VAT) for Icarex PC40 Dacron in natural (undyed) color, only, with a graph paper grid in black. Stock limited. It weighs 40 grams/m² — halfway between our old Seaspeed SS060 and AirX700n. Has the frame of a standard Clipper.

Ordering & delivery info: World | UK | EU



Home | Contents | Line & winders
Falconers section | Wind speed table | Ordering information

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Pedantic bit

Please note: These kites are serious flying machines for enthusiasts. They are not toys.

They are not built for "industrial" levels of use. They are light wind kites made from top quality fabrics studiously reinforced for a good service life - in the air.

They are by their very nature delicate structures. They are not indestructable, though they can, nevertheless, last a long time with proper care and no abuse.

They must never:
· be flown in too much wind; crashed heavily or repeatedly; dragged along rough ground or across structures, or through prickly brush, brambles, cactus, or trees; run over, stepped on, or used as crowbars.

How long a kite lasts is entirely the flyer's responsibility.

"It's not like driving a car, you know. It takes practice... and concentration."  —Martin Crane

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©1998-2020 Dan Leigh, 54 Osborne Road, Pontypool, Gwent, Wales, UK NP4 6LX
VAT reg no: (GB) 648 4938 86