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April 5th - Sled Kites

April 5th – Sled Kites

Ribbed-SledSled Kites 

Sled kites are another one of the simple and traditional kites that many people recognize. They are super easy to build, easy to fly, and super stable. They are simple flat sail with at least 2 spars. Sometimes those spars can be solid spars, or they could be inflated fabric spars. Generally the spars run parallel to one another from the leading edge of the kite to the trailing edge (sometimes they taper towards one another at the tail). They have a simple bridle that attaches to the winged portion of the sail past the spars. Most Sleds have some form of tail to help give the kite stability.

The sled kite was invented and patented by the American, William Allison in the 1950s. This kite helped pave the way for a class of kites known as “semi-rigid.” Sled kites have been used for Kite Aerial Photography, fishing, and for lifting ‘line laundry’. Sleds are stable enough to lift an anglers line and take it further out to sea allowing the fisherman to achieve greater distances.  Photographers are able to obtain amazing overhead shots of landscapes, scenery, and events.


Want to build your own sled kite? Try this great instructable from NASA:

Or do you want to learn more about Sled Kites?

KTAI Member ‘Kites in the Sky” shows us how to put together one of their Dermer Sled Kites.  Find out more about where to find these kites at