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Mini-Circoflex -- Responses

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Responses from people

The following are responses I have recieved from the network about the Mini-Circoflex Plan and their results and modifications. Sme of the results have been incorperated back into the main plan

Many thanks to all who have replied.

[photo] Leong Ceewan <ceewan@pc.jaring.my> sometime in May 1998...
Leong from Malaysia sent this photo of a 10m multicolored ripstop circoflex being held by his wife. The leading edge is made from 4mm fibreglass and is folded into a circular zippered bag for transport.

Later on 19 July 1998 he wrote...
Its me again. I have just built a miniature Circo. Its 3m with bridle points located 25cm from the front of kite, sail is 0.5oz Ripstop. The frame is1.5mm fiberglass (one piece) but it wobbling, like a spinning coin motion in its final moments.

[photo] [photo]
To a certain extent this imperfection is a great attention grabber. The wobbling actually attracts people to ask me how the smaller circo functions to create lift.

Again on 19th September 1998...
Here is a design for a alturnative leading edge sleeve to allow for spar insertion and removal. Leading Edge Spar Pocket Diagram.

Bruno Diviacco <diviacco@elettra.trieste.it> on 2rd of December, 1998 wrote...
I've built a mini-circoflex (3m circumference) using ripstop nylon and 3mm bamboo (four 75 cm pieces ferruled together) for the spar. This material is sufficiently stiff to keep the kite 'circular' when flying, and flexible enough for folding it in two for transport. Fiberglass is certainly better, but I had an old roll-up curtain willing to try some aerial emotions... [diagram]

Sail is made in one long strip, and velcro is used to ring-shape it; this makes spar insertion/removal really easy when open flat, and adds some balancing weight at the bottom. The trailing edge leach line ends come out at the bottom, tensioning being obtained by a spring clip which also adds some weight at the rear of the kite.

[photo] I followed your suggestions for the bridle (8 lines, tow-point 25 cm from the leading edge plane, 3/4*radius out of center). For the first try I didn't put any extra ballast weight, hoping that the velcro and clip would be sufficient. And so it was: starting with the leach line loose, and then shortening it by a few centimeters, the mini-circo went straight up, eating the whole length of my flying line.

Regards Bruno

Further Comunication...

> How do you ferule the bamboo together?
I use 2-3 cm of carbon fibre tube with internal diameter slightly less than 3 mm so that a tight fitting is obtained.

> I am cautious about recommending bamboo from bamboo blinds.
> (See Kite Hints and Tips (bamboo))

I completely agree on the bad quality of this kind of material. I'm not recommending bamboo, it just happened that I had it available and wanted to try. BTW, I've already bought a number of fiberglass spars of various diameters to use in a larger circo.

And to conclude, a comment on bridle calculations: as you said, it's just basic mathematics, but maybe someone may find help in a small computer program I've used to evaluate the bridle lengths. (See Bridle Line Calculator)

Giovanni Benigni <gbenigni@italymail.com> on 15th of June, 1999 wrote...
Anthony, my first mini-circoflex flew fine!

It it 3.8 meters circumference, 8 bridles, and I've built it with a zipper at the end, so I can "open" it, and pull out the spar (2 mm carbon) easily. The sail is in Icarex P-31. For the bridle loops, I have sewn a small dacron strip into the leading hem (before actually sewing the hem itself), then I made a little hole, as near as possible to the spar, where I loop the bridle. It seems it's working fine.

At the first take off, the circo had a lot of spin, and fell down several times, inverting 6 o'clock with 12 o'clock. I should add some weight at 6 o'clock. I added a key holder fixed to the leach line end!!!, and then it raised well! Now I fixed some fishing weights between 5-7 o'clock (6x5 gr.) but I already haven't tried to fly it.

Bye, and thank you for your plan and explanations!


Kurt Pedersen <kup@os.dk> on Sat, 21 July 2002 wrote... [photo]
it's 5 meter around. It's slightly laid back because I had only tied the weights to the zipper on the far back side until I found the right weight. Made with 2mm glassfiber spar it doesn't like gusts one little bit, but otherwise flies nicely. I'll put in a 3mm spar since we almost always have gusty winds.

Yours Kurt

Anthony: Actually all circos are slightly "layed back". It is just that most peoples eyes trick them into seeing it completely upright. Circos are a low wind kite, gusts are not its strong point.

At 5 meters, a 3mm spar would probably be better.

See his latest 23 meter circo!

Victoria Wolf on 5 Mar 2003 wrote...
Hi! Thanks for all of your help! We have turned in our kite and although it was built incorrectly it flies. We ended up making an overall grade of 99.

We were going to do a mini-circoflex kite until we realized that we wanted one that was smaller than that. We shrunk down the measurements until we thought it looked right. We also had the problem to keeping the kite in its circle shape so we make some wooden supports and glued a few in... that wasn't in any plan at all. So we had to hold it at an angle and then run a bit with it, then it would fly. Instead of just letting it go and take off.

It is 23.5 inches across. It has a circumference of 73.5 inches. It is 6 inches wide across the edges. The measurements don't have the correct ratio we've realized but it works.

We used nylon dowels for the spars on the edges but we used rubber connectors to begin with. Then the rubber connectors let the kite bend to an oval shape so we had to use little metal rods. We used glued in washers for the balance weights.

We didn't really follow the plans very well but it is still a "cookie-cutter" and it flies so I guess it wasn't too off.

Victoria and Roxann, of St. Andrew's Episcopal School

Anthony: Congratulations on your kite project. I am pleased it worked so well for you. The ratio of diameter to sail length (strip width) is not critical at all. The thinner it is the more efficient it is, but also the less stable. Ridge ferules is important as keeping a good circular shape, is important for a circoflex to work properly.

Halit CEBECI <halitcebeci@superonline.com> on Mon, 10 May 2004 wrote... [photo]
I have built a circo. I used 3 x 2 meters fiber ( 3 mm). The first trial was not a big success but it flew. I think I could not managed the bridle yet and I had to add some more weight.

Good wind Halit Cebeci/Istanbul

Guy Reynolds <guy.graviles-reynolds@ntlworld.com> on Mon, 25 Sep 2006 wrote... [photo]
I found myself with a number of small but reasonably sized off-cuts, not wanting to waste them I followed your excellent notes and assembled a 3.2m mini-circoflex.

Yesterday afternoon along with my 2.5 year old dauguther I went to my local flying ground on Royston Heath. Normally the prevailing wind it from the North and gives plently of lift even in light breezes as is forces up onto the Heath. My white panflute - another excellent set of instructions by the way - was soon up and away, rapidly followed by the mini-ciroflex.

Rather than permenantly fixing the weights too the sail I tied the washers to the ends of the leech line, starting with 10, I worked down to 5 and the kite was soon flying high and stable. With my daughter wanting her tea we packed up and went home and the evening was spent sewing pockets on for the washers.

Well to day (Sunday) the whole family trolled over to Royston Heath and what do you know even less wind, even my white panfulte normally the first up and last down couldn't get enough lift. However fitted with my lightest line the mini-circoflex was soon soaring. We then proceeded to watch and listen with amusement as numerous father and son teams attempted to launch a varying array of diamonds, deltas and numerous stunt kites, with the son's saying 'but daddy his kite is flying whilst pointing at the circoflex'.

Surprisngly I got no comment on the ciroflex itself but rather had lots of fathers seeking advise on how to get their (obviously newly purchased - probably during the summer whilst on holiday) kites off the ground.

Anyway having expanded the range of windspeeds at which I can fly, I would like to say thanks for making the plans available on the net.


Guy C. Reynolds
Baldock, UK

Guy Reynolds <guy.graviles-reynolds@ntlworld.com> on Mon, 18 Jun 2007 wrote... [photo]
I though I would just drop you a line about my latest mini-circoflex variant, which we have christened a borroflex after its resemblance to a borromean ring.

The kite consists of three intersecting mini-circoflexes, each with an 8 point bridle, the three bridles are linked with 2m (approx) extensions to s single point.

The photos show the prototype on it's maiden flight.

Hopefully, wind permitting, the Borroflex will make it's first public appearance at the Bedford International Kite Festival next weekend.

Guy C. Reynolds
Baldock, UK

Ed van Loo <ed AT dj-ed DOT eu> on Wed, 14 Oct 2009 wrote... [photo]
Just to let you know I've built a mini circoflex:

Using the excellent info and instructions on your website, i've recently finished building my first Mini circoflex (450cm circumference) in orange/white ripstop with 2mm fiberglass and 25 grams of ballast (4 steel washers).

I was surprised that the kite even did fly on the first test flight. :-)

I have attached pics and you can watch it on YouTube.

One question about the bridle line measurements, as this is not completely clear to me:

Should I measure the lengths with the lines attached, measuring from the edge of the spar to the edge of the bridle ring. And should these lengths be exacly what the calculator says ?

I've now measured from the spar-edge to a loose loop-end, so not accounting for the length of the loop tying to the bridle ring.

Best Regards, Ed

Anthony: Congratulations looks like a pretty good success for the first flight.

The measurement has some leeway, but should be as close to the calculated value. From the actual spar to the ring. That is it should include any 'pigtail' connections and knots.

Usually I attach the looped end of the line to the pigtail, measure its length, and add 1/2 cm for the knot before marking. I then cut off the line, fold on the mark and tie an overhand knot to make the loop on the other end. I detach from the pigtail, attach the line to the ring, and reattach to the pigtail connection.

A check of the measurements is usually a good idea. It is very easy to get it wrong.

Ed van Loo <ed_AT_dj-ed DOT eu> on Tue, 20 Oct 2009 wrote...
Again thanks for the explanation. I've re-measured (and slightly changed) 2 bridles. I also worked a bit to make the gather more evenly on the ring. Now, the kite flies like a charm, no more flapping at all.

Last sunday, we had launched it at a kiting event, and it was in the air, solid as a rock, during the whole afternoon, even in varying wind conditions from 2 - 3 bft with blasts to 4-5 bft. No sign of instability.

Many people spoke to me about this wonderful kite, and some wanted to make a circoflex too, so I've referred them to your website.

Best regards, Ed

Again many thanks to all who have built this kite and responded. Especially those which included any hints and tips they found while building this kite.

-- Anthony Thyssen.

Created: 14 June 2000
Updated: 15 October 2009
Author: Anthony Thyssen, <anthony@cit.gu.edu.au>