There are six basic elements of a fighter kite. The spine, bow, sail, bridle, binding and flying line. Our task as kite builders is to combine these basic elements in a manner that best complement each other. When our task is complete, "kite synergy" is achieved. Experienced kite builders often can predict the flight characteristics of a new design. At least that is the intention. Seemingly endless changes, modifications and tinkering come with the territory of being a fighter kiter'. The endeavor is rewarded when the builder/pilot produces a kite that flies in a manner that suites their wants and needs. This is our mission.
Practice is the great precursor to luck. Although luck can play a part, building a truly fine fighter usually points in the direction of the "pursuit of perfection; always strived for, never attained". If the journey is more significant than the destination, my advice is to: build a lot of kites, play, have fun and enjoy the ride.
In these days of rapidly accelerating technology, a lot of faith is bestowed to industry; it is difficult to imagine what life today, would be like without it. However, mass production techniques and the sciences reveals a deeply secluded void when compared to the fruits of the craftsman. No manufacturer's conveyor belt is able to reproduce mastery the likes of a Stradivarius violin, for the human hands are a medium to artistry. Even more than that; occasionally grace intervenes and the hands of the craftsman author an intangible entity, known only by one name; magic.
The fact that there is a collection of parts at the ready indicates the intention to build. This is a pregnant moment, laden with many a fork in the road. Every decision a builder makes directly effects the outcome of the project. A detail as subtle as the ambient temperature of the workshop could have a significant impact on the final product. As Mies van der Rohe so eloquently put it: "God is in the details."
We are not building anything as complicated as a research orbiter or submarine. We are, however, constructing a machine that will operate according to the dictates of nature. The deeper we understand the union of our machine with the natural world, the nearer we approach the synchronous.
Whether a builder creates a museum piece or a 'quick and dirty' kite, to just go out and fly; considerations abound. If you love fighter kites, I can guarantee one thing: Your last kite will be different than your first kite.
"Listen to the wind, it will tell you what to do."
Over five hundred years ago, the young student Nasdesh Puram, asked of his mentor: (unknown) "Master; what is the difference between a fine kite, and one with less desirable attributes?" The reply: "Very little."