Query: Lines for Rokkaku

In article <23toir$5id@kelvin-02.cs.strath.ac.uk>, pat@cs.strath.ac.uk (Patrick Prosser) writes:
>In article <1993Aug5.043445.21702@serval.net.wsu.edu> chubbard@beta.tricity.wsu.edu (Charles William Hubbard) writes:
>>Could someone please describe a Rokkaku for me 
>Six sided kite, pointy bit at the top. 3 sticks, 2 as cross spars
>and 1 as spine. Cross spars are parallel to each other, and at
>90 degrees to the spine. Think of rok as a rectangle with a
>triangle on top, and a triangle at the bottom.
>Cross spars are bowed. Traditional Jap fighting
>kite. Also copied, and patented, by Marconi (used to hoist ariels)

Don't want to create a stir or anything like that, but this "Jap"
prefers to be called a "Japanese" or "Asian" or even "Oriental"
(actually, this Japanese person prefers to be called Marty ;-). Most
Japanese feel that "Jap" is a slightly derogatory term. Likewise,
never call a person of Chinese descent a "Chinaman".

The rokkaku is also called the Baden Powell Levitator...

>>Are they easy to launch?  
>So so. They can be a bit unstable close to the ground, so a
>high start is prefered. Since the kite is rigid, you need 
>to be sure that the bridle setting is "nearly" okay prior to
>launch so that it doesnt crash heavily and self destruct.

"Nearly" okay is a pretty easy setting to get right. If the wind is
moderate, a rokkaku will rise out of your hand. A long line launch
does make things easier, but I find rokkakus easy to launch and fly.

>>Oh yea, how do you pronounce Rokkaku anyway?
>rok-ak-oo, or just rok.

No, ro-ka-ku. The emphasis is on either the first or second syllable.
Japanese linguists often say that there are no (or at least very few)
words with accented syllables. I prefer to say the word with a very
slight accent on the second syllable. I've heard Japanese pronounce it
both ways.

I've sewn rings into the corners of my rokkakus. I've also sewn a
heavy line along the seams and used this line to form a loop. Both of
the above attached to arrow nocks on the end of the spars.

For spars, I've used hard wood dowels (birch and maple), flat strips
of spruce, bamboo, fiberglass tubing, and most recently, graphite
tubing. I like the fiberglass tubing the best, it's a nice compromise
of cost, rigidity, and weight.
Marty Sasaki            Harvard University           Sasaki Kite Fabrications

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