One of the most efficient and popular kites in the combined construction group is the two spined tailless, called the house kite, and the triangular box-kite, as shown by Fig. 89. This is an easy kite to make and the proportions are easy to remember. The simplest plan is shown in Fig. 90. Three sticks of the same size are used; say, 3/8"x1/2"x4 1/2'. The horizontal stick is lashed to the two vertical spines down one-third the distance from the top, in this case 18". The two spines are also 18" apart, which leaves the extension of the horizontal 18" to each side of spines. Now run a string around the outside of the framework, and cover as in Fig. 91. The two cells are now built over the two spaces between the spines. There need not be any braces for these cells, but another stick of the same dimensions as the other three is used to keep the keel shaped portion in place when pulled out by the breeze. The whole framework can be built rigid using two short braces about the middle of each cell out to the fourth stick or keel of kite; the best way, however, is to make the horizontal stick removable and without the short braces so that the kite may be rolled up. Remember there are only four sticks in such a kite and they are all the same size. This kite is sometimes called the "Coyne Kite," again the "French War Kite," and is a steady flyer and a strong puller. The bridle can be adjusted so as to give much or little inclination to the breeze. For lazy, easy gliding, the kite would be adjusted so as to be nearer horizontal. This kite can be modified by a lower horizontal two-thirds down of the same length as the upper horizontal, as in Fig. 92, or with the lower horizontal shorter, as in Fig. 93. The horizontals may be bowed forward and also backward. We have had all sizes of this kite at the tournaments. Fig. 94 is about five inches tall, while another was sixteen feet tall and required quite an army of boys to pull it up in the air.
Figs. 90, 91, 92, 93.
A similar combination can be made with the square box-kite on the diagonal with straight surfaces out to each side, as shown in Fig. 95.
Besides the four vertical sticks, there are four horizontal pieces of the same length and one short brace placed centrally in each cell to keep the fore and back sticks apart. The short braces can he notched to slip into place and on being removed will let the kite down flat. This kite will need to be more rigid than the one just described. A hexagonal box-kite could be made with side wings by extending one of the braces at each end, Fig. 96, and the pentagonal form could be similarly modified. Fig. 97 has a little different plan of extension that looks more like wings. A triangular box-kite is used as the main structure to build on. Three long sticks are required with four short braces on each side, eight in all, with eight wing sticks, four long and four shorter, that are attached to an inner long stick of the box-like portion and extend across to the short brace of the opposite side. When a pair of the extension sticks are fastened to place, they are lashed together at their crossing point. The slanting extensions are strongly built and add poise to the kite.
The poise of a rectangular kite may be increased by the addition of slant extensions. The extension pieces start from the lower corner pieces, pass under the upper corner pieces, lashing fast at both places, Fig. 98. If a little variety in outline is desired, split bamboo or reed could be used to make such forms as are desired; even string connections can be made.
In making hollow form objects both patience and skill are necessary. A form that is interesting but not representative of any real object is shown in Fig. 99. Another is the arrow kite, Fig. 100. The flying bird kite should make a good problem for some ingenious chap. The framework and stringing is shown in Fig. 101. The cross-section of the body of the bird is about the shape of a tailless kite. The plan gives such good bracing construction that very light material may be used. Four feet would be a good length for this kite. The soaring bird, Fig. 102, is quite similar in construction to the preceeding kite. The body is never square in cross-section. A little bow is given to the tip ends of the wings. The back line of the wing changes by means of an extra cord. This kite is not as stable as "The flying Bird."
The "flying fish," Fig. 103, needs vents, as the whole body is a box-kite. Two views of the framework are given; a center spine runs the entire length of the fish with two curves at the mouth. The mouth is left open, so string is used for the outline. The original kite was very mechanically made. It was beyond amateur work and showed that some skilled workman had assisted. Much can be done with the brush to make this a very interesting kite. Scales can be painted and the fins and tail lined up. Wherever vents are placed, there should be a string for the edge of the paper to turn over, or it will tear out.
The "Clown and Donkey," Fig. 57, is the combination of three tailless kites, and is what is known as a compound kite. Fig. 104 is another example of compounding. Fig. 105 shows a star kite compounded together.
Kites in Series. A boy may put up a kite about five hundred feet, and if it is a good flyer, tie the kite line fast and put up another on perhaps three hundred feet of string. If the second is also a steady flyer he can tie the end of that kite line to the first and let out perhaps three hundred feet more of the first line, and again tie it fast. Another kite is added in the same manner as the second and so on. The best flyers of the series should be placed as leaders. Boys have put up as high as forty kites in such a series, and no one has any idea of the beauty of such a series, when looking up from the standpoint of the flyer, until he has actually seen such a combination. Some prefer to take a color scheme and use it for all the kites, others prefer a great variety of colors, and it is hard to tell which is the most pleasing. Tailless kites are used more than any other for such purposes. Fig. 106 shows the arrangement. This is one of the best schemes for high flying. The first kite should not be put out to the limit of its lifting power else when the rest of the string is lifted it will not mount up higher. It should have considerable reserve when the second kite is attached. For high flying, the kites should be placed farther apart, and the first part of the line should be light and strong and the thickness increased as needed for strength of the combined kites. Kites can be put up to a great height in this way. This way of combining kites is called "Kites in Tandem."