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Indian Fighter Kite

This relatively simple plan produces a highly maneuverable and durable little kite. It has an uninterrupted face on which designs can be placed. If built just right, this model will not need extra ballast on the tail, but streamers glued in place make it look great.

basic kite materials

Materials for each fighter kite

  1. a ruler, a yardstick (maybe a protractor or a compass too)
  2. one or more sheets of 20" x 30" tissue paper of various colors
  3. two 1/8" dowel rods of about 36" in length
  4. one piece of 22" x 28" poster board if making several kites from one pattern or newsprint if making only one
  5. a pair of scissors
  6. hobby knife and cutting board
  7. strapping or transparent tape
  8. white craft glue

This kite is most easily reproduced when a pattern is first cut from another piece of paper or poster board. It is not necessary to have an initial paper that is 30 inches straight across from which to make the pattern. Since the pattern will not be seen after it is used for tracing and measuring purposes, it can be made from bits of paper or board taped together.

I cut my pattern from a single 22" by 28" sheet of poster board. First I used a yard stick to draw a straight line diagonally across the board out to 30 inches. Then I found the center of the line and used a compass to construct a perpendicular line. Using the yard stick again, I made the second line 18 inches long centering on the first line.

For the tail I measured an 8 inch line along one side of the board and constructed a line perpendicular to it measuring 7 inches. Connecting the ends of the first line to the tip of the second made the triangle for my tail section.


After cutting out the pattern, I traced the two sections onto light weight tissue paper. I have used two different colors both to give a more colorful effect and delineate which section is where in these photographs.

Using standard paper scissors, I cut out the traced pieces. Tissue paper is a light weight material, so this can prove to be a delicate task.

Since the broad kite face is excellent for a logo, I decided to put mine on it. Using a pencil, I drew an outline on the front of the body section. I could have also done this on a piece of newsprint and traced it through the paper. Once drawn, the inside section is gently removed with a hobby knife.

Here is the kite body with the hole cut into it. The green paper has not yet been affixed to "patch" the hole yet. This is the way the logo will look on the front of the kite when finished. Note that the inside of the loop at the bottom is not present here. It will be affixed later.

Turning the kite body over, a bead of white glue is traced just outside the hole. The stream of glue must be fairly consistent, but it can be remarkably thin and still hold very strong. Notice that I got a little too much glue at the bottom.

While still face down, the second piece of tissue paper was delicately placed over the glued body. About 30 seconds later it was turned right side up for inspection. The inside of the loop was also affixed at this point.

Once the glue dried, the extra tissue paper was trimmed from the back of the kite body. This task can prove even more delicate that the initial cutting. Often it is easier to remove it in pieces than to cut it all out at once.

The next step involves placing the spars. Using a hobby knife or scissors, cut the two dowel rods into segments measuring 32 inches, 20 inches, and two of 8 inches. The shorter dowels will be glued in place first, with the longest one providing the taught structure for the "wings."

With the body face down again, the tail is placed on top of (as in behind) it so that 2 inches protrudes below. A small bead of glue was run along the 20 inch dowel segment before it was placed on the kite body including the height of the tail. The two 8 inch segments were glued in place likewise as shown exactly along the seam where the kite meats the tail. The tail should not need to be directly glued to the kite. Gluing it properly to the dowels, which are also glued to the kite, should be quite sufficient.

When the glue on the other dowels is dry, proceed with the bowed spar. A single rectangle of strapping diagonally over the corner of the tip of the wings holds it in place.

Once taped in place, run a small bead of glue only about 4 to 5 inches up each end of the bowed spar to help hold the tissue paper in place near the wing tips.

Using scissors or a hobby knife, gently puncture the body of the kite to either side of the keel dowel next to the bowed spar. The bridle string runs from the front, through one hole, around the crossed spars, and back out to the front before being tied off. This will keep the dowels together during flight. Do not glue this string or the dowels together here. There should be just a little play in the structure at this juncture.

The bridle is also similarly tied directly to the keel spar at a point 8 inches from the bottom of the tail. Since this end of the bridle is not holding two dowels together, it would be a good idea to put a drop of glue on the back to hold the string in place.

Since this kite is made to be delicately balanced and highly maneuverable, I added streamers to the tail for stability. A thin bead of glue is enough to hold them all in place.

A loop was tied in the bridle string allowing for about half an inch extra on the bottom segment of the bridle. For a less maneuverable kite, the discrepancy between the top and bottom can be increased a bit.

Plans on Povera:

Indian Fighter Kite
Indian Fighter
Sled Kite
Delta Kite
Delta Box Kite
Delta Box
Winged Box Kite
Winged Box

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