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Tetrahedral Kite Information

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Tetrahredals are an interesting design for a kite. You have lots of scope to expore, and you can build really really large and different kites without changing your basic design.

The kite is a geometrical frame which is covered by sail. The geometry however has a number of pluses and minues. On the plus side is that the kite is cellular and can be expanded easilly just by tacking on more cells, it is also a very strong ridged structure, meaning you can use very light and flimsy materials. On the minus side its large number of spars make the kite heavy, and it is difficult to create a colapsible version for transport, or could take a lot of time for setup and put away.

These pages are my plans and note for tetrahedral kites. Enjoy.

Tetrahedral Information Found Here...

* Tetrahedral Kites, What are They? (Bell Who?)
* Tetrahedral Kite Hints and Tips
* Variations of Tetrahedral Kites
Tetrahedral Kite Plan (General Plan)
* Straw Tetrahedral Kite Plan (old, use the straw one below)
* Internet News Archives on Tetra Joints (from 1993)

Here are photos of the last tetrahedral I built...

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You can some of the construction photos of my new 34 Cell Tetrahedral. It is built using a complete sparring structure, using plastic vinal tube joints cable tied together. The spars are 30cm, 3mm carbon fibre rods, and the cells covered with aluminized mylar and scotch tape.

The Kite has in it 60 joints, and 204 spars, for 34 cells. The 34 cells each require the rear spar to be inserted/removed when setting up or taking down. Which takes quite a bit of time (a major drawback of tetra kites.

Even so the use of a silver mylar foil reflecting the ground colors make the kite look great, and shiny in the clear blue sky.

[photo] STOP PRESS: A a class of fourth grade students in Bakersfield, California, made a 100 cell tetrahedral using straws and brightly coloured tissue paper. You can see photos of the final construction and results of this effort. Congradulations a job well done.

Other Tetrahedral Information...

* Tetrahedral Principle in Kite Structure by Alexander Graham Bell
* Drachenarchiv, Alexander Graham Bell - Mast Spar Const. Not only does this have a lot of photos of Mr Bell's tetra kites, but it also contains a plan (in german with lots of good diagrams and pictures) at the bottom of the page. The plan uses the "Mast" spar design.

Commercial Tetrahedral Kite Pages...

TetraLite Kites selling a manual for building ultra light weight tetras. This is the system I use.

Miscellanous Tetra Photos on the Web...

A irregular tetra at Long Beach 1998 from David Gombergs Web Site
A 110 Cell TetraLite (See tetralite for more)
Ultra high aspect ratio tetrahedral, by Carl Crowell
A "flattened" 24 cell tetrahedral by Carl Crowell
A 64 cell straw tetra from a UK Childrens Science TV series, "Big Bang"
A 3×4 (40 cell) Holger's Tetra from Fanø 1999
A 4 cell regular tetra by Alain Bard
2 x 20 cell regular tetra's overlapped (36 cell) by Scott Skinner at AKA event, Muncie, 1999
A colour full 16 cell tetra
Robert Harvey's compound tetra, winner at the Festival Of Winds 2001
Paul Chapman's 60 cell, 5×4 wide tetra

Created: 30 July 1998
Updated: 29 Sept 2005
Author: Anthony Thyssen, <Anthony.Thyssen@gmail.com>