It was an interesting site and very well equipped! The flying field slopped down to the east but the westerly or slightly north westerly breeze was fairly consistent over both days of the event.
Full 1.5 sails with Diamond LE and Green Race verticals worked very well on Saturday even if they were somewhat overpowered towards the end of the afternoon. The vented JMH kites with green race felt very crisp on Sunday.
The only issues related to worn out leaders with one flier crashing out twice on Saturday! The moral of that story is obvious…
Tom Greenfield put the six stack of Rev1’s together on Saturday and managed a couple of demos. The sail fabric has just about reached the end of its life but it was good to see that the link lines had stood the test of time.
11:00am arrival with the grass cut on the NS axis rather than EW.
Full vents with race frames were comfortable for the five fliers mostly free flying with close interaction. We did break into a called sequence when a family with dog stopped by. The dog seemed most intent on finding a shadow to rest in so was close to our feet.
If the wind had been lighter I would have put the Reflex and Zen sails head to head on the 150ft line sets just for a more complete understanding of relative capabilities, of course!
We are mostly set for Beverley and the weather is looking OK at the moment. Portsmouth follows two weeks later and then Exmouth and Dieppe at similar intervals so it is a busy summer ahead.
Finally a summerlike temperature and a consistent westerly breeze. Mid vents with race rods occasionally felt overpowered.
The site had been mown so not much remained of snagging risks. What is not to like?
Rowan was on the line with us today.
Next team event is Beverley, the last weekend of July. Travel plans are still in the making…
Mostly cloudy today on the heath with the occasional spot of rain in a somewhat blustery SW breeze. Full vents with 4 wrap after initial attempts with lighter spars. It was sunny later in the afternoon after the end of the TDF.
Most of the personal kites we were using today have been in use for many years and are not in any way compromised by wear issues. The last set of 1.5 team sails arrived in 2008 at Portsmouth as I recall. We have just retired them from regular team use so they were good for seven years.
We have zig-zag stitched the leading edge mesh as necessary and have no reason to believe that this and frayed fabric edges have any real impact on flying characteristics.
The only issue that we have seen over the years with Revolution Kites is with ‘stretchy’ fabric. Some of the earlier sails we had made were only good for a short time and ended up on the walls of kite collectors. <grins>
A running/walking event was taking place on the Heath as in previous years so we used a slightly different pitch today, closer to the paid parking in Greenwich Park.
The WSW breeze was mostly 7-8mph but quite often dropped away as is typical here in the summer. Diamond rods LE and Race verticals felt comfortable most of the time.
Events on Saturday night meant that it was a limited line-up today but we expect some busier meetings ahead of the Beverley, event at the end of July.
Another promising forecast but not a full summer’s day. NW breeze so if it wasn’t for the cloud cover we would have been facing the sun most of the time…
Full vent with race rods almost coped with the regular lulls. Nothing called today as we discussed the parlous state of political discourse.
Next weekend there is an event on Blackheath so we may have to use an alternative flying site!
Still not a full summer’s day but the grass had been cut (again) so we were snag free. It was actually getting close to a traditional Blackheath Summer’s day in that there was a cycle of thermal activity which meant that every 10 or 15 minutes the wind peaked and then dropped away.
We had a complete mix of sails, from full to full vented with a couple of mid vents in the middle with mostly race spars.
Rowan joined us today after his self-inflicted exile for his final year at university.
Next formal event is Beverley near Hull at the end of July. Just a little bit of preparation is now required.
So we got in the car and went all the way to Blackheath with the rainfall gradually increasing all the way. A brief stop at the usual location and then we set off for home…
I do not see much point in flying in the rain especially when there is a possibility of thundery conditions as was forecast today.
I took delivery of a line equalizer on Friday as well as 150ft line sets for our Rev1/Zen project. Just need the extra long handles now to complete the line-up and I am wondering about profiling the sails with a ‘sewn insert’, a bit like that 15ft two line delta kite from way back when! <grins>
Proper Summer like day today but with a light NE breeze occasionally above Diamond territory. Race uprights is a quick and very satisfactory fix in borderline conditions.
After a trip out into the countryside yesterday it was good to see that the Blackheath verges are doing their best again. I didn’t spot the litter collecting feature until later as in the attached image.
Specifics of team moves were under discussion today. A wing tip turn is ‘as stated’, a 180 pairs switch, kite ‘place’ to kite ‘place’. Failure of ‘team fliers’ to grasp the overall picture is something that we have lived with for many years and so ‘un-necessary comments’ from the caller may be directed at the wrong ‘team flier’ which is not helpful.
A quick check of the JMH 3m Rokkaku showed that previous ripstop damage had been repaired so the frame replacement can proceed without further issue ahead of Dieppe.
Another early(ish) start but the weather was not summer like at all.
Vented 1.5 with race rods were occasionally overpowered in the chilly Northerly breeze under low cloud cover.
We discussed handle holding today. I find that a horizontal grip helps with avoiding inadvertent input in long power pulls. This comes from ‘light’ wind situations but it is quite often useful even on days like today in the middle of some turns. It is also especially good for ground launches.
http://www.vliegertakkitelines.nl/product_gallery appears to have line equalisers available in case anyone has been looking for them…
Better start time today. C10:30 on Blackheath.
Diamonds in 1.5s mostly. I set up the Reflex for some comparison flying. The muscle memory that we have for flying the 1.5 sails is quite deeply ingrained so it is difficult to assess a sail with different characteristics.
The larger sail does provide more ‘feedback’ down the lines without a doubt but the extension of the wind window requires some further learning. The kite feels ‘heavy’ but travels further, probably just as fast? We’ll have to check this further.
The Decs flew Rev1s originally because that was the kite that was available. We eventually settled on line lengths of about 38m/125ft which gave us enough vertical spacing for eight kites. Flying on 36.5m/120ft definitely feels cramped now. It is difficult to fly a Rev1 fast and we also found that the Zen sail area was advantageous in low wind.
I think that we might want to try a Rev1/Zen sized sail with the Reflex ‘stand off’ just for fun.<grins>
A bit of a late start today, almost made it to Blackheath by 11:30am but thwarted by heavy traffic on Cassland Road in Hackney.
Not quite Diamond conditions today so full 1.5 sails with race rods. Some called moments and an occasional appreciative audience.
This is the late spring/early summer week when everything is perfect except, maybe, the ambient temperature.
We must firm up plans for Beverly and confirm arrangements for Portsmouth. Dieppe is all set apart from travel arrangements and the ‘delegation’ offering.
I just located the file of original Decs photographs from 1996. As I had some anxiety about the location of said file this is very good news…
Summer has arrived since we were last at Blackheath. A month makes an extraordinary difference!
We were set to de-sand the kites after Cervia but there was little more than dust to shake away. We set aside some of the vented JMH sails that need attention to the mesh edges.
C10mph from the east so we were on our own vented kites on race rods today. I set up a couple of line sets, one on the Reflex handles. Wind speed was a bit high for the kite but I did park it at the top of the window at one point and noted just how high that was relative to the standard sails.
The Reflex handles are provided clip-less with generous leaders on the top. These proved to be ‘well set’ using the end knot for our normal ‘brake’ setting. There is a ‘middle’ knot which I will try at some point to see if that is a viable ‘fast forward’ setting.
I have noticed that the Rev Forum is a bit quiet lately but had set these posts locally some time ago…
The advanced party attended the event from the beginning. Those less fortunate mostly arrived on Wednesday 27th April ready for the final four days of the event.
We were on the beach early every day and thoroughly enjoyed our flying and using the full selection of team kites. It was great to see the eight 1999 JMH sails together in the air again!
Possibly a highlight were the two routines with six fliers using the Xtra Vents after which the comment was that we should make sure that we have eight sails in the future… Having the right kit available is as crucial as being able to decide when to use it <grins>
I really hope to be able to attend the full event in 2017.
London Marathon Sunday so we used the alternative venue which is good for the Northerly breezes. The occasional sunny intervals were very welcome in the chilly breeze.
Checking 100ft lines was really the agenda for today ahead of Cervia. By chance we ended up with an odd mix of 1.5 sails. I was on full vented with race, others on full sails with some diamond rods but green race verticals.
I had about 1½ inches difference on the top lines so it was time well spent. The ‘late’ team will mostly be flying out to Italy on Wednesday and we are anxiously watching the synoptic charts.
Looking good for the last day of the event, temperature wise, but we will enjoy it whatever the weather…
The ‘early’ team are doing well by all accounts <grins>
We arrived late on Wednesday evening. Thursday provided a light wind opportunity so I flew the Revolution Reflex along with other interested fliers. I was impressed by the very positive feel down the lines even when the kite was lifting almost vertically. I am familiar with hooking onto rising air with no real feedback. Others thought that the kite felt ‘heavy’ but I was impressed with its actual speed. I am looking forwards to racing the glide on a firm surface, as opposed to soft sand!
We used all our team kites over the four days but it was particularly good to get the new 1.5 sails in Joergen’s 1999 design into the air at a big event.
We flew our JMH parafoil in the night fly alongside six of the new sails. We had to move a bit quickly when the fireworks started but fortunately we were not directly downwind! (Unlike in Glasgow many years ago <grins>)
Soon after 10:30 again today for a final casual fly prior to the Berck/Cervia launch of our event season.
Some final shuffling of kit was completed and the flight box is now prepared for Cervia as well.
SE breeze again but colder and stronger than last week. Vented sails with race rods today. The circus has almost completely packed up so we were back on our usual field, just a bit muddy underfoot because of the car park.
Discussion today was about very basic routines and our dependence on regular ‘callers’ who take complete responsibility for organizing the ‘rest of us’ who don’t really think about the consequences of our line positions and wrapping overlay… <grins>
10:30 start near enough and we were still on the East side of road because of the circus. The light SE breeze was coming ‘up the hill’ from the pond so mostly steady.
Full sails and diamond rods for most of us.
We were six up today having been joined by Tom Greenfield and Damon Meheux. Damon flew with the team from 1995 to 1997. Tom flew with the team from 1998 to 2008. They were both very comfortable on the line today.
As conditions were reasonably dry we did do a pre-Berck/Cervia kit check. Diamond rods in the standard sails, Green race in the vented sails and 4 wrap in the Xtra Vents has the bases covered. We just need to borrow back the sixth Xtra Vent…
Late arrival as usual after the clock change and we sat out the approaching torrential shower. Once it had passed it looked like there was a half hour interval before the next one.
We set up xtra vents with 4 wrap spars as the wind speed was about 18mph gusting upwards to 25mph or more.
The following shower did not actually amount to much but the original system was obviously growing as it headed to the NE.
We will be at Dieppe, five fliers so far, hoping for eight…
The Circus is now set to go…
Winds from the NE again and similar speed to last week so we used the same configuration, full vented with race rods which were only occasionally underpowered.
There was a curious moment when the cloud edge that we had seen approaching from the NE passed over and we were suddenly in full sunshine.
It didn’t last long, the higher and lower clouds materialized and were soon only occasionally broken by a bright patch.
Lots of free flying...
We have an invitation to Dieppe, France so now have to get the fliers organized.
A circus caravan had arrived on the main field before us this morning, hazard lights still flashing before the tractor unit disconnected. More vehicles arrived while we flew.
NE c10mph or more so vented sails with race rods.
Some called sequences today even if some of the fliers were not in their usual places in the line.
I almost got around to running out a new set of lines but although there was some warmth in the sun the wind chill meant that flying rather than line maintenance was preferable. Maybe next weekend…
Just a month now before Berck. <grins>
The grass had been mown so the heath was striped. Just as well I didn’t drop a glove last Sunday, it would have been shredded…
North Westerly 7-12mph so the mid vents got an airing. We’ve not got a team set but we usually fly personal kit at Blackheath so these sails with race rods were the right choice.
Hoping to have news about Dieppe soon and we have a couple of small UK events to potentially add to the agenda.
There was some real warmth in the sun today but we wrapped early as a slight shower was approaching.
North Easterly today but mostly 10mph so standard vented with race rods/3 wrap just OK but occasionally overpowered in the c15mph gusts.
A small shower was not sleet or snow soon after arriving. Glad to be in the right kit.
The persistent high cloud cleared for a few minutes close to the end of our session and there was some warmth in the sun!
No calls again but plenty of relaxed close flying. Some complex close routines are almost emerging through habit as with the drift of focus across the wind window.
South Westerly today around 22mph and occasionally much more so Xtra Vents with 4 wrap. Overcast with occasional bright spots.
Walking onto the field I picked up the glove that I dropped last Sunday as we were leaving. It was a bit wet!
No calls today.
I need to focus on Dieppe arrangements now and finalise the line-up for Exmouth. These events may seem a long way off but people need to know…
North Easterly today, mostly about 16mph so Xtra Vents with Race rods. There was occasional sunshine but with minimal warming effect.
No calls today except towards the end of a spontaneous inverted pendulum which slightly spoiled the moment. Slow flying against the occasional bright sun looked good.
Interested to see more about the new design from Revolution. We know a bit about slack line flying with the 1.5 and Diamond Rods…
Flights are all booked for Cervia, eight fliers for the last four days with an advanced party in place from the start of the event. Eight fliers for the last four days of Berck as well, just need to work out the cars.