Here are photos of other panflutes I have found on the net! If you find such a
photo, please let me know so I can include it below.
The following are responses I have recieved from the network about
the Panflute Kite Plan and their results and modifications.
Many thanks to all who have replied.
- Doug Malpus <dougmalpus_AT_ntlworld.com>
- Thanks for the plan of the panflute kite. I made one using ripstop nylon in
many colours, a mini rainbow.
I made it for my grandson's birthday (age 5), he thinks it is wonderful.
He takes it for walks or runs whilst it is flying, I usually have the job
of bringing it down (no easy task, it flies so well).
Panflute flies with a windsock made of all the slender triangles left over
from cutting it out. Wind force 5 to 6 possibly 7 presents no problem to
this set up.
Very light winds F. 1 or 2 the kite needs no windsock.
My grandson has not flown it in moderate winds.
- Mello Lorier <mello_AT_lorier.doge.nl>
on Tue, 22 Aug 2000, wrote...
- I have found the panflute-kite plan on your site. It realy look great.
Have you ever extended the kite with more tubes? Say make 9 or 11
tubes instead of 7?
- Anthony's Reply...
No sorry I haven't. I don't think it would work well without more support.
A parafoil has internal walls which allows air pressure to stiffen the
whole kite up. A Panflute is really a set of wind socks all joined
together side be side, so does not have the same internal support.
It probably can be made wider by added a center fin and bridle line.
Sort of in the same way as the ``Double
Para-sled''. But if you are going that far you may like to build a
parafoil or flow form instead.
- Halit CEBECİ <halitcebeci_AT_superonline.com>
on Mon, 25 Sept 2000, wrote...
- I saw your name at a panflute plan page. I made a panflute. it was my
first soft kite. I like it very much. It didnot fly very good but it was
a big experience for me. See the pictures at Photo Point
- Anthony's Reply...
Looks pretty good. You may like to try a longer tail!
If it is collapsing due to the very strong side to side swings, the extra
tail should fix the problem.
Also the kite does not seem to be inflating properly, so maybe sewing the
trailing ends of the tubes partically closed would help, particularly on
the black side tubes which seem to be suffering the most.
This is actually the reason I like adding some extra triangle `flares' to
the sides of the kite, usally from a slightly thicker material. It helps
to distribute the bridle load before the frist tube. and prevents it
distorting as much. But it isn't really needed for the normal size.
Further mail from Halit, showed that above suggestions resolved the
difficulty, new photos were added to his Photo Point Album.
on Fri, 24 Oct 2003
One of my friend made a panflute fron your plan. It flies very good. I
hope you like pictures.
- Jonathan Killen <chris.alison.killen_AT_lineone.net>
on Sun, 15 Apr 2001 wrote...
- I built a panflute from your site about a year ago. It was my first kite,
and I made it from binbags, sellotape, and string, and scaled it down to
fit the bag. As you can see from the pictures I have attached, it flies
well, if with a rather low flight angle. This can be solved by removing
the (huge) tail in lighter winds at least and then it goes much higher.
Thise picture was recently taken at the beach at South Shields (NE
England) where my grandparents live, but I actually live in Scotland.
Since then, I have made a 7.5m Circoflex, and Krypton-S and Sputnik 4 from
Stunt Kites II, but it was this kite that started it all off. Thanks!
I can't really explain how I made my Panflute from Sellotape, so have
enclosed a drawing showing how I did it. Basically, I cheated, and
didn't stick four layers together at once, as your plan says.
Making it of sellotape, I didn't expect it to last, but, when it was
pulled out of its bag to have its picture taken at the beach, I was quite
amazed it didn't fall apart, even though I made it at least a year ago!
The drawing shows a cross-section of the kite at the interconnection of
two tubes as viewed from the front. Upper part of tubes shown in red,
lower in blue, tube sellotape yellow, and joining sellotape green.
After cutting out the plan from the binbags, the panels were sellotaped
into individual tubes. Because of the diffculties in sellotaping up the
inside of a tube, three, not four, strips were used up each tube, so that
one 'seam' in each tube was taped on only one side. The drawing shows
two tubes with 'seams' taped on both sides.
The tubes were then taped together, joining sellotape shown in green.
At the leading edge at each connection point between two tubes, I put a
small piece of sellotape round the front joining the top panels together
from the point where they meet the lower panel up just the width of my
sellotape. This seems to stop the kite pulling apart, and means little
sand gets in down from the top to stick to the upside (sticky side) of the
joining sellotape (green).
If you are making tubes with sellotape, you will find taping the inside of
the tube difficult when closing. Some tapes just sticks too well to
plastic to control it inside the tube. The simple solution of that fourth
piece of tape, is to pull the tub inside out, and then tape it.
Also a double sided tape sandwiched between the two top pieces would make
the joint virtually indestructible, and stop any sand or grit getting into
the length of the joint.
- Grant Lovett <lovettsinindy_AT_hotmail.com>
on Sat, 30 Jun 2001, wrote..
- I followed your suggestions to finish my panflute. It is 58" tall. The
front pieces are 10" at the top and 5"at the bottom. The back pieces are
20" on the top and 5" at the bottom. The triangles at the side are 40"
long where they attach to the kite and 10"wide. The kite is purple,
orange and green with a 50' orange to purple graded tail.
I initially tried to leave the opening at the bottom open figuring that
they wouldn't open too much but I had problems with the kite. After I
sewed these openings shut I still had problems getting it to fly. The
leading 10"-12" of the kite would fold up and block the openings so that
the kite couldn't inflate properly.
I figured that the triangles weren't transfering the pull from the bridle
to the leading edge well enough. To fix this I sewed the bridle line along
the complete leading edge of the kite. This solved the problem and the
kite now flies great.
While on vacation, I anchored it to the beach while my wife and I
snorkeled. It was a real treat to take an occasional glance at the sky and
see the kite dancing in the wind. It stayed up well over an hour without
On the next one, I will start out with the bridle line in the leading edge
and leave the bottom of the kite open to see if it makes a difference. It
will be an easy fix to sew it shut if needed.
I'll try to get some clear photos of it flying and get them to you.
Thanks for the help. Grant Lovett
Congradulations, sounds like you did all the right things.
The more of these I make at a larger size the more it seems you need to
close the bottoms. A design change would be to make the lower width of
the top panel the same as that of bottom pannel. That way the two will
match up properly to close up the tubes. I plan to try this change on
the next panflute I make.
- Dick <dicknenow_AT_aol.co>
on Thu, 30 Aug 2001, wrote..
- Just thought I would let you know that I built one of these things and
pass along a bit of the experience I gained.
I changed the dimensions to fit a standard piece of 54" ripstop. I held
all the ratios and it came out looking real nice. (Aside:
that makes the base width 4.45" -- Anthony)
Here are the things I changed. The side flares. If a little is good, a
bunch must be better. This was incorrect. It grabbed so much air it
broke the kite in mid-flight and tumbled to the ground. My original
flares were about 12 - 13 inches. I cut these in half to about 6 inches
and it worked fine.
Most of my building is with foils so I decided there was no reason to
leave the TE open at all and sewed them shut. I don't know if this had
anything to do with my flying problems but I also opened these a bit. It is
flying just fine.
Thanks for the plans.
I used very light webbing material and ran it across the entire leading
edge from bridle point to bridle point to strengthen the entire LE with
the connection to the bridle point.
I had it out again yesterday and it flew like a champ. No breaks and it
achieved a much better flying angle.
I think I might have to build another. Looks like a great gift idea.
- Michael Nevins <mike_AT_tractionmedia.com>
on Fri, 22 Feb 2002, wrote...
- I just started sewing my own kites. You may be happy to know that I
successfully completed my first soft kite project from your Panflute plans
(in the original size). I'm very happy with it and it works great!
I made one modification to your plan: I made the outside tubes
"adjustable" by using velcro strips to allow opening and closing at will
of the trailing edge of those tubes. I'm not really sure if it's
affecting performance at all. ;)
The photos were shot a couple of weeks ago on the (cold) beach at Coney
Island here in New York (note the famous Cyclone roller coaster and other
My next kite will be a Flowform from Harald Prinzler's plans.
Thanks for the great site and for making my first kite project so easy!
Best regards, Mike Nevins
- Sharon Winchell <jkw231_AT_earthlink.net>
on Tue, 03 Jun 2003, wrote...
| Hi Anthony!
| As a team building exercise at work we attempted to built the panflute
| kite. We attached the bridle at the top of the kite and a tail on
| each side of the bottom. However, we could not get the kite to fly.
As I mentioned in the plan, especially in the responses, it can take a
bit of extra trial and error to get it to work. Usally involving
closing the openings at the bottom of the kite so as to increase the
pressure in the cells, and stop them folding in half. In generally the
more it flys the better it gets.
| Should there be a string going across the bottom of the kite to make
| it curve.
No it should curve naturally as when the cells are wind filled the only
place the kite can curve is at the join between the cells.
| The fabric I used was a light weight (I thought would work
| - however, I can't get it to fly. What type of fabric should be used.
Light grade ripstop (with a sealing coating, not the unsealed, very soft
ripstop some fabric shops sell), also known as sail or spinner cloth.
The peices are long and thin which means just getting scrap pieces from
a sail makers scrap bag is usally fine.
| What is the best way to launch the kite? Our kite gets about 9 feet
| off the ground and falls.
Let me guess, the kite seems to fold in half. Either across the whole
kite, or just one side. That is usally caused by the bridles pull not
getting its forces spread out over the kite. Increasing the cel
pressure should fix the problem, as would adding extra reinforcement to
help spread that pull.
The way I launch the kite is to tie it off then hold the kite by the
bridle corners with my back to the wind, so the bridle and flying line
has no slack.
See.. the photo in the plan, oppisite "Large Panflute Notes"
Yes this is a very large panflute, but the principles are the same.
When all the cells are inflated I then just let go and up it goes. The
photo also clearly the way the kite curves, and a small pucker at the
end of the tubes were I restriced the hole a little to increase the
air pressure inside the tubes.
- Michael Brandt <mandl_AT_bigpond.com>
on Thu, 4 Sep 2003, wrote...
- Here's a couple of pictures of my first panflute kite flying in the park
behind Wanda Beach in Sydney last week. The conditions were very light at
the time the photo was taken, but as you can see, the kite is still flying
Just a tip for others who might be thinking of making a panflute
kite: use staples to hold the material together when you're sewing
the seams. Just make sure you staple about 30mm away from the edge
so that the sewing foot does not run over the staple. Also remember
to take them out each time prior to sewing the next seam.
- Caledonia Mountain <pegmac_AT_nbnet.nb.ca>
on Mon, 29 Sep 2003, wrote...
- Studied your plans for the Panflute! Really enjoyed it so I have build
one folowing your plan and did a 8ft panflute!
Thanks for your help!
I will try to get a clearer picture soon!
the Mountain Man
- David Stirling <d.stirling_AT_xtra.co.nz>
on Wed, 15 Oct 2003, wrote...
- I have made three panflutes now, two of which I have given away. The
first was made from unsealed ripstop from a fabric shop. Boy, did I learn
a lesson! Don't use unsealed ripstop! This kite I gave to a boy for his
The second panflute was made from spinnaker ripstop offcuts that I got
from Linton Sails here in Wellington. As I got so many nice colours, and
as a thankyou to the owner, I made his daughter a colourful kite.
This time I was determined to keep mine so I made an extra special effort
to hunt through the offcuts to get the colours of the rainbow. What a
striking kite, especially when the sun is behind it. I have attached a
photo for you to see.
Thanks for the very clear instructions; I made it to you standard size
with a 1 cm hem allowance. Fly great but is gusty strong winds does tend
to go to my right. Can't figure that out, but I would not be flying
anything else at the windspeed where it happens anyway.
Thanks again David
Andrew Kilborn <andrewkilborn_AT_mchsi.com>
on Wed, 5 May 2004, wrote...
- I built the panflute on your site (I built it with your original
dimensions, but in inches). I found some cheap ripstop nylon - not kite
style, just from a fabric shop. It increased the collapsing problem.
I almost closed the back completely and was still having problems.
Then I used some paper clips and attached the tubes to each other on the
leading edge - about 10 cm up from the bottom seam. You can see this on
the pic with me holding the kite. It took right off and flew for
about 45 minutes, until I brought it down.
Thanks for a great plan! I'm going to hunt down the right materials and
Andy, Iowa, USA
Joining the adjacent top cells together is a novel idea. When one cell
inflates, it will open the neighbouring cell a little and ensure it
inflates too. I'll add this to the main plan.
- Morag Hickman <kite_AT_entanglement.co.uk>
on Thu, 12 Aug 2004, wrote...
- Hi, just dropping you a line to say thankyou for your excellent site! I
was wandering around the 'net a couple of days ago looking for inspiration
for a kite top make, and was reading through when I saw the panflute!
I made it to the given dimensions, but out of strong thick bright yellow
clinical-waste-disposal bags - opened out they give the 85 cm with room to
spare, and don't have as many static and tearing problems as normal
bin-bags. Using the same taping method as someone else mentioned on your
site [inverting the tubes worked very well] I stuck it all together,
although I failed to take into account that the tape doesn't stick to the
back of itself, and it's rather heavy now from the different layers of
masking, packing and duct-tape!
I've given it two tails, although they still don't seem to be giving it
enough stability [they could probably do with being a great deal longer].
It inflates and flies really well - it didn't seem to want to come down at
all, even in the moderate and gusty wind we had today! I scalloped the
leading edge - cutting a curve into the top of all the 'B' pieces, and
that seems to help it inflate much more easily.
It's a lovely little kite, and although it's not very strong it's done its
job - got me really interested in making a proper fabric one or three!
I'll try and send you a photograph when I take one.
Again, thankyou for your site, it's been a great help and inspiration!
Good to hear your kite was such a success. I haven't tried to scalloped
the leading edge, but that definately shold improve the initial inflation
of the kite which can be a little tricky. However in latrger panflutes
I usually sew a extra line along that edge for extra strenght from the
bridle point. In that case I don't think scalloping would be a good
- A Rogers - NKG UK Liverpool <letterboxtype_AT_aol.com>
on Sun, 03 Apr 2005, wrote...
- Various membes of the Northern Kite Group UK made your kite, as first
kite build exercise, but in haste, only made it with 5 panels as it
being late at night we called it a day, we decided to see if if it
would fly !
My word, it flys brilliently with the panflute wiggle.... and now at
least another 4 are going to be made with tails
We love em
MANY MANY THANKS for a great easy plan
That is great. Hmm I gather you mean 5 tubes rather than 5 panels :-)
- Andrew Wills <zenaldrumae_AT_earthlight.co.nz>
on Mon, 31 Oct 2005, wrote...
- Great kite website, thanks for making the panflute kite available on
line. I have been making kites with kids and wanted a plastic fantastic
version. Reading comments about heat joining plastic I had a go at
joining all the lower and upper cell panels on one sheet of plastic.
Seems to work well though does not quite have the visual appeal of joined
tubes. You might call it a panflute sled kite. I have made a few
versions and the desire grows to make bigger ones!!!
Here is a link to a plan online www.easykitesforkids.netfirms.com
Andrew Wills, Dunedin, New Zealand
- Alexia from Estonia <alexia_AT_death.pri.ee>
on Sun, 09 Apr 2006, wrote...
- I found your plans and as I had prior experience with sleds took up the
challenge to make one. I got some rather thick but windproof material
from fabric store. Mine was made to your dimentions but for fabric
conservation reasons about ten cm shorter. See the picture attached. Im
not too good at sewing and that shows from the picture ;) At first I
tried to fly it with two separate 4,5m ribbon tails, but it simply was
not stable enough to fly. Then I just tied the tails together about a
meter from the kite and it flew rather well but with very low angle.
Latter I added a third 5m tail that made it climb a bit higher...
Thanx for a great tut (now I know what ripstop looks like).
Alexia from Estonia
- Robert J Evans <EvansRJ_AT_state.gov>
on Thu, 1 Jun 2006, wrote...
- Greetings from Moldova. Thanks for the Panflute plans. I made two, one
from Russian-style "obolon" (like a heavy nylon, probably dress material),
and the other from a large, probably 3 or 4 mil thick, clear plastic trash
bag. I did not have access to ripstop or Tyvek here.
As you can see, they both fly, but the plastic one is just a bit lighter
and has zero porosity, so behaves better in the same wind than the "nylon"
one. The nylon one will probably stand up to gale force, though, which
the plastic, made with two-inch wide scotch tape, probably won't. Given
the weight and porosity of the "nylon" kite, I had to reduce the exhaust
ports, per your suggestion. As this was done on the flying field, I used
strips of Duct tape and will stitch them properly in the future.
I have just acquired an old, discarded (and heavily used) "square"
parachute, made of Russian material, probably more "obolon", but with
lower porosity. That should give me plenty of material to "recycle" and
build one of the large Panflute kites. Will let you know.
- Peter Wright <peterskitelights_AT_tiscali.co.uk>
on Thu, 22 Feb 2007, wrote...
- Anthony, my neigbour and I each made a Pan flute and doubled all the
sizes. They both flew perfect in a very light light wind of 2 to 3 mph and
stable as can be in a 12 mph wind. Very Impressed. Look forward to flying
in a stronger wind although there was plenty of pull but no sign of wear
in the 12mph.
- Mark Waldmeyer <markwaldmeyer_AT_gmail.com>
on Thu, 8 August 2007, wrote...
- Hey Thanks for your great Kites page, Very easy to get a lot of info on
I recently made a Panflute kite, It is great, I have only ever made the
normal two stick dimond kites which flew but not as well as my panflute.
I did'nt make one for a while because I thought of it as a simple kite
which would not have much pull and not much fun to fly, well this morning
I took it out into the bush and It flew so well It actually bent my Spool
I was using to wind the string back in, Only took me an evening to make
once I had mastered joining the 4 cells together, flys like a dream very
stable even in the harsh wind this morning there was no breaks and it was
as stable as ever.
- Michael Low <m.low_AT_my.tca.edu>
on Wed, 5 Mar 2008, wrote...
- I made my own panflute kite based on your plans. As it turned out, mine
ended up somewhere between your giant panflute and the standard panflute
sizes. I did have to tack the trailing edges of each of the socks to keep
the socks charged with air. I also incorporated flares for the bridal
points to secure to.
I was making it for the Austin Kite Festival 2008 in a mad rush and had no
time to test it before I had to fly it. I went with minimalist tails just
to keep it steady, but love the look of the spaceballs and plan to do a
more involved main tail, similar to that of your giant panflute.
All in all, it was a great success the first time out. It was fun to see
the reaction from my family as I pulled this mass of red and black nylon
ripstop out of my bag, inflated it and let it go.
It was extremely windy, perfect day for a kite festival! The panflute
flew like a champ first time out! Thanks again Anthony for your knowledge
and your information. I will make many more.
- Jose Gonzalez <PeakMind_AT_aol.com> on Wed, 5 Feburary
Almost nine years since your last update to your plan and it is still
producing good results. My kite is approximately 1.5 meters long with the
T panel at 50 cms at the leading edge and 13 cms at the bottom; and the
B panel at 25 for the leading edge and 13 for the bottom. As you can see,
I adopted your suggestion to make the bottom portion of the T and
B panels at the same measure (13) instead of sewing the rear openings
shut half-way. It works just fine.
I also sewed the leading edges to each other to help them open. I used
ripstop nylon from the fabric store (heavy). The black ripstop was even
heavier than the rest and collapsed even in the air, but the kite still
flies well with the other tubes open. It is hard to tell if the center
tube is open or not because it is black and difficult to tell. It was
leaning a bit to the right but the wind was very gusty.
I forgot to say that I added fins to the sides, 18 cms wide at the
leading edge and 54 cms long.
Thanks, nine years later...
Jose Gonzalez, San Jose, California
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.