Brandes Flare: Tips, Techniques, and too much information

This page is for the folks who need to finish up their Brandes Flare kite from the workshop, or who are going to build another one from the Templates.
Notes on the templates: The largest template is for the center panel. It is half of the panel and the fabric should be folded at 26-1/2". The longest side of the template should be aligned along the fold of the fabric.
Fold the fabric. I folded it underneath.

Align the longest edge of the template along the fold of the fabric. There are two sets of holes in the template. One set is to mark for the sleeve for the longeron. The other set, closer to the point of the flare, is to align the next panel on to the larger panel. The alignment marks for the panel are at 8mm. That is the distance, on my sewing machine, from the needle to the edge of the Presser Foot. Your mileage may vary, and that is the off-set that is on the template(s).

I used a straightedge at the edge of the cardboard to prevent burning the template.
 While we are all admiring the picture above, allow me to add some useless information. The Plans for the Brandes Flare say that it requires 5 yards of fabric. In the workshop, we only charged for 3 yards, and that includes the drogue. Note that the Center Section of the Brandes Flare is 40" tall when finished. Using 1/4" hems, that means it is 40-1/2" when cut out. Look again at the pic above. The orange fabric is 41" wide, which is the only width of ripstop that was available when the kite was designed and the plans were written.

When using 60" wide fabric, it is possible to get a set of the outside panels from the end of the cut for the Center Panel.
 Using 60" fabric, 4 panels for the kite can be cut from the same yardage that once only provided 2 panels. Said another way, if using 60" fabric, the kite can be cut out from as little as 78" of fabric.

Using 60" fabric, and no concern for waste, the entire kite can be cut from (40.5, plus 30.5, plus 20.5 = 91.5 inches of fabric.) 2.54 yards of fabric.


Sometimes, if the coating is a little funky, it is necessary to flip over the template instead of just rotate it.

Rotating the template uses slightly less fabric, but makes two panels exactly the same. If the fabric coating is different from top to bottom on the fabric, this may cause a cosmetic issue.







This is the 'quick & dirty' way to align the edge of the template with the warp threads in the fabric. These are the Mid-Wing panels, arranged point-to-point, on 60" fabric. Gotta luv them Quilting Rulers.

The plans call for pieces of 'surgical tubing' to anchor the flares of the outside panels to the Spreader. I used thick-wall (1/8"), 5/16" ID vinyl tubing that I got from McMaster-Carr back in the day... Sshhh! Don't tell the Single Line fliers they are using Sport Kite Parts. But - wait - I took the pic above to demonstrate that it is critical to have the right tool for the right purpose. Yup. Right. On the left is a pair of the perfect tubing cutters. Useless. In the middle is a set of Pruning Shears. Slightly better. On the right is a Pruner which is a blade that meets an anvil. PERFECT! My wife is sure gonna miss those pruners...

Speed cutting a bunch of 3.5 ounce dacron to be used as Tab Stock for the Bridle Points.

Whaddya mean, it is sideways? Anyway, we used to buy these rolls of 3.5 ounce Dacron, 3-1/2" wide, for Leading Edge Sleeving for Sport Kites. Oops. Another part from the Dark Side slips in to this Single Line kite...

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