We had a very creative few hours on Blackheath today.
The sub-title says it all. There were also plenty of parallel 180 degree wing-tip turns, both forward and reverse in the equation.
One of the key considerations for grid flying was to keep the individual fliers in the centre of their wind window. The next step is to expect them all to be able to deliver a stationery 360 degree rotation without risk. The slower the better... No wobbles!
I think that we should be looking at the 'lowest common denominator' in this respect and figuring out how to deal with the issues.
Full 1.5 sails today with 4 wrap mostly. Well done Maggie for going for it...! <grins>
Last year on Saturday evening, the second weekend in January, I tripped and fell, badly bruising my left elbow. Last night I slipped on ice and fell, badly bruising my right elbow. The symmetry is spooky <grins>
Anyway the weather on Blackheath was relatively benign today compared to what was forecast. A few inches of snow underfoot (and a smooth north easterly breeze) with slate grey clouds enhanced the appearance of the mixed set of JB vented 1.5 sails.
Jacob led 5 fliers in some parallel forward/reverse upward then downward 180 wingtip turns. Later we paired the 'columns' in opposite directions which looked really cool. The last reverse turn up at the top of the window was the testing one. Moving on the ground is a great help both on the upward and downward execution. I cannot imagine why... <grins>
We flew a number of variations from centre column to edges also with emphasis on speed control. We noted that in order to impart maximum acceleration in a 'pulled' manoeuvre it is advantageous to be holding the handles in a horizontal position so as to avoid imparting imbalance in the loading on the sails as the 'pull' progresses. 'Hanging' the handle at the top connection point has limited application in my view.
David Ellison did the Devon/London/Devon trip in order to attend today. "Kudos" Thanks David...
Most of us were on the Heath at 10:00am and the light breeze was OK for the standard 1.5 sails with UL or Race spars. David led us into some slow reverse ladder up/downs to great effect, either wing tip or double kite width. Jacob joined us a little later having recently returned from visiting JMH in Denmark over Christmas. A bottle of Gammel Dansk was broached to toast the new vented sails.
We continued to fly the standard 1.5 sails and worked on the six person Burst Felix/Compound Benefit where the original move is extended with bursts to edges, step by step... A Radar and consecutive global 360 rotations complete the move.
The breeze lightened so we switched to the JMH Rev 1 sails and installed our favoured 3/4/3 LE with 3 Verticals spar set for the first time with these sails. We continued to work in a similar vein until the breeze freshened again at about 1:30pm.
(Note to self - must organise lunch on Blackheath during the winter in order to extend the flying day)
Another blustery day today. Jade observed that we were getting into some 'treacle flying'. 'Very slow' 360 degree rotations in c20mph takes some confidence in fellow fliers at close proximity.
Some of us flew yesterday as well but as the ground was muddy on Blackheath (again today) I did not get out the new JMH sails. I did take a close look at the format of the JMH vented sails later at home yesterday and find that Bazzer has followed JMH's interpretation of the vent locations and proportions very closely. The trailing edge detail looks very good. I had not previously noted the shift from the JB vented sail format to the JB Pro vented sail format. ('Note to self' ...Must pay attention to detail...)
No let-up in the wind today so another vented 4 wrap morning. Great cloudscapes in the northerly breeze but we were blinded by the sun at times.
I think that the 'precise stop' (no wobble) is going to be the key factor in team flying in the near future. Many fliers are making the effort hit the mark...
I understand that Berck 2010 may have a Rev competition!
After a very wet cloudy start to the day the sky cleared from the west and we arrived on Blackheath with a clear sky soon after 11am. The ground was not as waterlogged as last weekend and the Canada Geese have still not invaded.
The wind was changeable but predominately strong so we flew vented with 4 wrap spars. I was very interested to see that the other fliers present were using horizontal handles and long arm movements even in the higher winds. It occurs to me that holding a very precise grip with heavy loading will cause muscle fatigue very quickly and that adopting a more flexible mode will obviously be advantageous. Having set additional 'brakes' means that the kite will not accidentally fly off in any direction but I have been surprised at how much movement can be used to control the kite in what could be interpreted as 'two line mode'.
It looks like next weekend there will be an anticyclone in place over the UK so there will be an opportunity to practice slo-mo flailing in anticipation of the Zen.
Some of us (Felix, Ashley, David) had a great weekend at Ainsdale last week. The weather was tough but a bit of extra 'brake' was sufficient to keep us flying.
This weekend was our team meet event. A short fly on Saturday, late afternoon, saw the other 4 ex iQuad SLE kites checked out.
A succession of squally showers were the theme today.
I will try to get some images/video of 'long arm/input' in the next few weeks. I noted recently that even an absolute beginner may intuitively adopt this technique so I do not think that there is any reason not to advocate it for new fliers.
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.