A glorious day after yesterday's storms. There were showers marching eastwards on the southern horizon, maybe over the South Downs or on the Channel coast?
On Blackheath we were joined by a new flier. Rowan was taking a break from his usual Sunday lessons.
As an 'almost' first time flier I set him up on a short set of lines with the 1.5 Anniversary kite. I added a little forward to counteract the tendency to pull back the handles at launch and away he went. It was instructive to watch him get to grips with correcting the kite after ground contact and also to see him using mobility on the ground and 'long arms' at the outset.
The rest of us settled for vented 3 wrap and we flew some gentle 'mega team' holding positions before letting Maggie lead some following lines.
Blackheath was being 'cleaned up' after last nights fire works display. Parking restrictions meant that we convened to the west of the cricket field, uphill from the usual church field site.
A fairly smooth easterly breeze was borderline between full sail/race rods(or heavier) and vented/3 wrap. We opted for the latter and enjoyed the hassle free feel of this configuration. Jade, Ashley and I completed some neat no-call close format railtrack following. Maggie was working on an expanded downward turning infinity and looked to be getting the better of it once Jade suggested the forward walk to de-power the downward turn.
We discussed long arm technique and noted the LE facing left/right altitude achievable with the full stretch (long arm) as opposed to the 'bow and arrow' stance. Smooth speed control and transitions appear to be best effected with the use of plenty of manoeuvrability on the ground as well.
Looking forward to Ainsdale.
It was sunny on Blackheath today as predicted. Wind speed was probably 15-20mph so at the top end of comfort level with 1.5 vented on 4 wrap.
A 'not very scientific' comparison between Bazzer Pro and early iQuad vented indicated that the [EDIT] 'new' kite is easier to hold on a straight line. <grins>
Flying the kite consistently very slowly is what I describe as 'treacle' mode. I have found that 'long arm' movements are required to maintain this mode of flight. I think that it would be very interesting to see team flying in this mode.
Martin, Maggie, Ashley and I flew in line for a while and we stacked the kites in the air.
Martin, Jade, Ashley and I put the four 2 wrap framed ex iQuad kites up when a light breeze finally arrived c12:30 today.
They felt crisp and consistent despite our differing selection of handles. 15 inch would be my preference now for sure in light breezes.
We flew some simple, but deliberately slow, following moves and had some applause from passers by. Romney would have been proud...
The post office has not delivered the iQuad kites yet...
No formal OSOW fly on Blackheath today.
A good breeze so vented 1.5 on UL spars for me. Treacle flying looking for straight arms as default. Habits are difficult to break despite the obvious advantages. Repetition is good for setting the precedent...
Still waiting to hear from LOCOG.
After the great hospitality laid on in Potsdam last weekend it seemed very quiet on Blackheath at 10:00am today.
There was, however, a light breeze (c6mph) and no hard woody stems at ground level!
In the interest of an ongoing discussion I set up the Pro B full sail with Race Rods on 13 inch handles and the Pro B mid vented, also on Race Rods but with the 15 inch handles. The object of the exercise was a simple comparison.
I have to admit that it was very difficult to state a clear advantage either way.
Later, when Jade and Maggie arrived, I switched to a Pro B vented/Pro B mid vented comparison with the long handles now on the full vented kite. Again, it was difficult to call...
I know that this is far from scientific but I did not feel much difference in the ability of the different sails to hold altitude in the lateral passes. (LE facing left or right) I suspect though, that the simple expedient of pulling back on the top lines will have dealt with the difference.
OSOW is next weekend. I will be at Blackheath and hope that the iQuad kites will have arrived by then just in case there are fliers on hand.
The team (6) flew to Potsdam on Friday.
It was a great weekend, celebrating the 20 years since The Decs first visit to Berlin and our meeting with Jørgen Møller Hansen.
We flew with Team4Fun in difficult low wind conditions but the weather was gloriously sunny so everyone was happy.
Arrived on site Saturday morning c9:30am to find the arenas not staked but vehicles parked as anchors in the SLK area. With the wind in the NE this arena is narrow and with inflatable structures for kids on the North side our traditional location was not viable. I have to question whether these inflatable structures are appropriate at a kite festival given the impact that they can have on low altitude kite flying? Large cabanas and tents around arena boundaries are detrimental to the flying conditions, let alone a 30 foot structure!
We set up in a corner of the main arena and made occasional forays towards the golf course on Saturday and 'The Third Arena' (which did get set up by STACK) on Sunday in addition to arena presentations, and had a great weekend.
It was borderline between 1.5s on 3 wrap spars and 1s on 4 wrap through the weekend.
It is a long time since I have flown a Rev2. I set up the Race framed one kindly loaned to me by Baloo on my c50ft 90lb lines. I also set up the Red-Orange-Yellow Sedgwick prototype which I have been re-building with contemporary fittings. Jade lent me his 50ft lines!
Both kites felt 'very' light but responded fantastically well to 'long arm' input. The prototype has a deeper V but I would be hard pushed to describe differences in handling. Slo-mo was very interesting, I think that I would like some more flex in the rods but directional stability was not an issue. I will have to try the speed series and Rev2 comparison again now.
Ashley, Jade and Maggie were flying on standard JB 1.5s. Switching from the Rev2 to my early Pro JB 1.5 (Race Rods) was quite amusing.
I will have the Red-Orange-Yellow Sedgwick at Bristol if anyone would like to try it!
I will add a picture of the two kites later. [EDIT thanks Jade]
A great weekend which included getting the 16 JMH kites (8 x 1.5 and 8 x 1) in flight with help from The Flying Squad and Sailor. (Thanks again J)
I hope that images will be available somewhere eventually.
There was limited space off arena during the festival after the special provision last year but we did manage to get some time between the funfair and the road to begin to put together the obligatory 'new move' sequence for the weekend. This was refined on Monday morning in the more friendly breezes before many of the fliers joined into a 20 person mega-fly. A great finale but no doubt we will hear more from those who were able to stay for the rest of the day.
A glorious summers day with a rising southerly breeze and mostly clear skies, apart from vapour trails and some semblances of lenticular clouds.
10mph plus so JB 1.5 vented from the outset. Jade, Jacob, Ashley and I worked through some of the Decs routine stuff. Prior to Jacob's arrival we flew 'ad-hoc' with some great 'present and response' moves occupying the full window, mostly without repetition. I think that this is great 'training' for team flying as the pilots must observe the full window while deciding where to 'send' their kite.
We finished with a session of wing tip 180 ladder up/down and a final slo-mo unwind just to see who could really cope. <grins> Needless to say the newbies demonstrated their capabilities with aplomb....
After our visit to 'Humber Woodland of Remembrance' on Friday I realised that although 120ft lines were OK on that occasion it might very well be useful to have shorter sets available for tighter spaces in the future. It is a long time since I flew on short lines. The Decs were flying on 125ft lines prior to the 2008 events.
I ran out a c50ft set today using some fat sleeving that I had obviously prepared years ago and never got around to using. (The fat sleeving will be replaced as soon as is possible.)
We had been flying full vented JB 1.5s (UL/Standard) and I set up the mid vented on the short lines with the 'strong' spar set. All seemed fine to me apart from the sudden limitation of the wind window relative to the size of the kite. I handed the kite Ashley who had been demonstrating vertical snap tip 180s* to great effect. It was immediately apparent to him that the 'natural turning interval' of this kite configuration was actually quite different to the full vented on 120s. He described the difference as similar to switching between the 1 and the 1.5. It had occurred to me that the transition related to the difference between the 1.5 and the Speed series.
I wonder if it would be possible to evaluate the 'turning interval' of the various configurations in a meaningful way? However, I think that it may be more interesting to adapt a slow flying mode for the kites that have a fast 'turning interval' as that will facilitate a greater range of performance. <grins>
*Wing tip 180s ending stationary, no wobble!
A light wind day with news of the [Edit, no capitalisation] Zen to contemplate.
Parallel multiple diamonds with Jade and Ashley came about almost spontaneously. I can envisage some moves being generated from 'not organised' interactive flying but as with 'the grid' a certain level of capability is required. We did manage to lock up the three kites at right angles at one point. Careful with those lines, even in light wind.
Back to the Zen I'm thinking that even though JB has said 'Also, for those with limited mobility, the B-Zen will be a blessing in low wind' there may very well still be a case for looking at the possible advantages of a palm down grip in light wind conditions... <grins>
Light to start but a Three Kite day on Blackheath, Standard, Mid and Vented. I was intent on noting handle position and can confirm 'palm down' with minimal grip. The line pressure holds the handles against the fingers... I am very conscious of enabling a full pull past legs at thigh/knee level and making an effort to avoid 'body blocking' such moves. I have also found that the archery stance, one leg forward, one back, is good for anticipating movement on the ground. Be prepared to be mobile...
I think that the the palm down handle grip is quite interesting when dealing with high/light loading and precise control. Also in respect of long pulls while maintaining forward/reverse control. Palm down is possible, palms facing centre probably not at all!
At a very different level, a pair of needle nose pliers should be in everyones kit for undoing those tension driven adjustment knots in the leaders.
Looking forward to Portsmouth!
After Dunstable last weekend, yet another windy Blackheath. Ashley and Jade followed into some slo-mo flying without issue.
I will have to figure out how to loosen up after the concentrated effort in order to avoid fatigue. It is a bit like remembering to breathe in the mega fly...
Windy on Blackheath, 12-18 mph today. Flying the 1.5 full vented trying to figure l/r arm transitions. Keeping the handle set in a forward flight mode I was finding some 'long' movements to maintain altitude with a precise stop without wobble. I wonder how anyone else can describe this 'snap' stop?
PS Please support Bristol 2009.... See the top of the thread at the following URL!
It was a great weekend on the Northern Area Playing Fields at Washington, Tyne and Wear. We flew eight and joined with Flying Squad/FLIC (Stephen, Susan/Ben, Caroline) and Mike Mossman for a 'mini' Mega Fly using the JMH Rev 1s and 1.5s with one of Mike's custom 1.5s.
I hope that some images will be posted soon.
Today on Blackheath we got close to going head to head with the Rev 1 and Rev 1.5's. Next weekend, at Washington, Tyne and Wear we may have the opportunity to fly a mixed mega-team. The Decs should be 8 and with a few extra hands I am hoping that we can put up 12 - 16 of the JMH sails with appropriate sparing.
Slo-mo with the 1.5 is key to this...
Looking forward to the trip north again!
A gentle workout with the Rev 1s with standard spars was a pleasure after last weekend working away from home. There was a breeze for some of the time on Blackheath and Jacob called moves that may have defeated the oldies last weekend.
As an alternative the 1.5 with Race spars felt very responsive, similar to a 15 inch tissue and bamboo fighter kite!
We hope to post details regarding 'fund raising' for Bristol 2009 within the next 24 hours.
Last weekend I composed an entry and then managed to delete it when in preview mode. Next weekend I have to work Saturday and Sunday so will miss the Blackheath event.
The 'topic' last weekend was about getting fliers to 'commit' to the discipline of the Mega Team, especially the more experienced fliers who may become impatient with the less accomplished. All 'a bit moral' so maybe best left in the imagination...
Light and variable on Blackheath today. After a light shower the breeze settled from the south with some magnificent cloudscapes.
I installed a Race Rod frame in the Rev 1 today for the first time with one of the new sails. I set up one of the other new sails for comparison on a standard centre and UL remainder. The Race frame felt good but I could not make a definitive statement comparing the two at this stage. <grins>
I installed the Race leading edge in the Blast today for the first time. Having heard anecdotes about the frame I treated it very gently at first but soon found that the kite could be thrown around and that the frame absorbed airborne shocks smoothly.
I set up the standard 1.5 JB Pro with Race frame on 35cm handles today. I just wish that they were clip-less handles as I was very much aware of catching the top lines on either side occasionally. These handles felt very heavy but did allow very immediate stops and a slower glide out in the very light breeze on a summery Blackheath today.
I was reminded of the difference between the sizes of the basic Indian fighter kites. The small ones are very quick. The larger ones are smoother. I think that it might be time to get a Rev 2 with Race frame and see how slowly it can fly...
A great blustery, showery weekend. Jade and Ashley stood in for absent fliers to very good effect.
A new compound move, inevitably to be called 'the Rougham' took shape based on Jacobs sketches that he had left at work. He left a few other things lying around over the weekend and paid the price... <grins>
A neat impromptu 12 grid mega fly almost rounded off the event. If they had kept the music rolling we would probably still be there but there was a final arena spot to fit in...
It was good to fly the JMH 1.5s close to the JMH parafoil to start proceedings on Sunday morning.
Side sliding a circle with 3 kites was today's spontaneous target.
Initially I wanted to describe the rolling ball but that was a little too ambitious for Jade and ATM (Ashley).
Surprisingly, the expected handle transitions are not actually required which is counter intuitive. Lock the handle positions and it seems that the kite will circle. (OK there may be some subtle inflexion involved) Crossing other lines does however confuse the issue somewhat.
I'm using the clip less handles and have tied staking loops to the tops. On reflection it is the lower clips that were catching, either the upper lines on the same handle or occasionally the other line set. I could not figure out how to snag the top connectors today and could not create a problem with the staking loops. With the handles held down at thigh level in long arm mode much of the time rather than in close proximity in front of the chest it was unlikely that the tops would be a concern.
We have always had to contend with elbows and shoulders in team flying so clip less handles will be a great help in reducing the point of failure. We will just have to get sets for 'everyone' now <grins>
If you are standing on the beach at Weymouth looking out to sea the horizon is dominated on the left by White Nothe. (A big chalk headland) To the left of the coastguard cottages on the tip of the headland there is a dip in the profile and then there is a small building, a mere blip at this distance. It was there that I first flew the cloth and aluminium tube box kite which was part of the kit provided to aircrew in the RAF cWW2! The view of Weymouth Bay from up there is etched in my memory.
Later I flew Delta kites at the same location and piloted one through the transition from land/sea to sea/land breeze one morning and found myself flying a kite facing the breeze.
I find it fascinating to catch thermal air movements with Revolution kites and just wish that there was a way to hitch a lift on the rising air and reel out the line as with a SLK Delta.
Flying the Blast on Blackheath today it felt very close on 100ft lines. I wondered how it would feel on 200 ft? In contrast we were flying 1.5B fully vented so there was a considerable difference in effort...
I must get the Paul Morgan Mega Delta out one of these days <grins>.
It seems that we first went to Berck in 1990.
The team congregated in Berck on Friday 24th April 2009 in a different configuration but fully enjoyed the space and hospitality that some of us remember all the way back to that first visit.
This weekend we had eight fliers. Three could be described as 'newcomers to the current team' even if two of them have flown with us before.
We sketched out some new manoeuvres on the ferry between Dover and Calais on Friday and they were duly extended on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and included in the arena flight on Sunday afternoon.
The Mega Fly on Saturday was somewhat constrained by the arena space. Getting all the individual fliers up to 'a level of confidence' in their ability so as not to have to rely on 'comfort factors' seems to be a significant issue. Saying that, everyone did extremely well and I look forward to further collaborations on this scale.