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.
Glorious day, wind NE c10mph I think with plenty of sun. I am almost not jealous of everyone at Berck!
Flew the new Blast with SLE and muscle memory kicked in almost instantly. Having flown the Shockwave or Supersonic when flying individually for quite a few years it was great to fly a larger sail which corresponded so closely in configuration straight out of the bag. Treacle or slo-mo (call it what you will) felt totally familiar and with generous 'forward' on the carbon wrapped handles Leading Edge face up hovers were no problem. Snap clockwork stops were simply scaled up from my memory of the smaller speed series kites. I will have to try the bridle variations but suspect that I will be insensitive to the differences for the time being. I really look forward to flying this kite with the lighter leading edge. I think that it could be my 'no wind kite' for hitching lifts on thermal currents <grins> (flying on 100ft, 200lb lines today)
I have said before, and happily repeat today, that flying the speed series kites informs the flying of Rev 1 or Rev 1.5 quite dramatically. Picking up the Mid-Vent JB Pro that also arrived this week after flying the Blast was almost surreal. I was also impressed by the range of this configuration compared to the standard sail or full vented. I had not flown one before and now fully appreciate the extent of the gap that it fills between the other two sails.
ATM and Jade flew in with full vented 1.5s and both of them have obviously learned a great deal in the last few months. There is, it seems, no point in rushing. The learning curve will look after itself....
Now, which year was it that we first went to Berck-Plage?
In a high wind the handle loading would be best (most comfortable) when the kite is neutral so there is no forward/backwards tendency.
In a light wind the handle loading would be best when the kite is square on to the direction of movement so that the maximum benefit can be derived from the pilot's input.
QED or something equally desperate...
Grey day with 3-4 mph maximum to start. A few drops of rain initially, gradually brightening with the mist lifting.
Flew with ATM and Jade alternating leading left and right. I called from the centre some of the time. It can work to a degree. ATM finally realised that I had maintained the three kites with crossed lines for a considerable length of time while the fliers moved in line and in parallel. Getting used to line contact can only be done for real.
Also tried to hang the kites (1.5B Race Rods) facing left or right with maximum arm stretch. It is not possible to 'grip' the handles in this situation. It has to be 'finger tips', especially for the transitions.
Some good smooth wind today for 1.5s at Blackheath. Jacob coached some great 4 person repetitions (not practice, just piano scales) with Jade, ATM and I. Both of them, Jade and ATM, are getting the individual control but still learning the challenges of the team environment. There is only one position, for a team flier in the sky, which is the correct one... They were introduced to a number of the regular Decs routine elements.
Other news is that, in addition to Romney Johnstone re-joining the team this year, David Ellison will be flying with us, as from Berck and Rougham.
Another light and variable wind day. No good for Berck training but we did put ATM 'in the middle' for some 3 kite repetitions. There is no point in giving a beginner the easy option.
Jade and I had earlier flown some 'treacle' moves in line and in parallel. I think that once fliers have grasped the concept, as Jade obviously has, there will be scope for interesting developments in team and mega-team flying.
At the end of play ATM had the misfortune to catch the leading edge of the staked kite that he was re-positioning on the ground with his foot. The result was a broken leading edge and a string of silent expletives. He will have to call the local supplier of UL 1.5 spars!
We may go to Dunstable next Friday....
Clock change weekend so an early start seemed appropriate given the forecast for gradually reducing wind speed.
3-5 mph translated to nothing really so it was a bit of a waiting game. Fly when you can and expect to respond to 90 or 180 degree shifts was the order of the day.
Jacob arrived around midday and we eventually put 4 wrap Rev 1s up. Caught a thermal under a Cumulus cloud at one point simultaneously with both kites on vertical lines. You have to be careful not to pull the kite over the top...
Encouraged ATM to work on leading edge down hover. He was making good progress. Suggested walking forwards to get gradual descent, backwards to gain altitude. I will have to suggest the angled hovers next weekend. The visual feedback is critical....
I then went into reverie mode trying to pin the kite to a position in the sky in horizontal hover with varying wind speed and direction. c20 minutes later I thought it was time to take a break.
Some good 'treacle' flying with long arm moves to keep the illusion flowing as the breeze dropped away occasionally. Jade was in parallel for some of the time. I will be very interested to see this included in team flying soon. (if not mega team <grins>)
Light variable wind today with 180 degree shifts. The fluctuations in wind speed meant that, at times, the 4 wrap spars were taking the strain in the JMH Rev 1 sails. Lighter sparing would have been risky!
The sail I picked up had not had the vertical bungees tightened but once adjusted all was well.
Following with Jacob, Jade and ATM was not inspiring but some parallel work looked quite neat with some crisp 180/stops, up and down.
I have identified one difficulty in 'long arm' technique which is similar to the 'hand to chest' syndrome. Sometimes, a long pull of the arm is required and it may not be intuitive to sweep past at knee level. I notice that Ben has been photographed on a number of occasions in this mode <grins>
Looking forward to another 'not winter' day next weekend!
An early start today in anticipation of 'afternoon' showers.
Blustery conditions '18mph plus' provided the opportunity to try some long arm, treacle effect flying with the vented 1.5B. How slow can you go?
I wonder if we should actively avoid any 'following' team routines. Apart from the line wraps it is not really very interesting IMHO.
Heavy rain later after rising wind speed justified the early start.
PS Jade showed me the Prussic knot which could provide incremental adjustment for leaders rather than relying on pre-tied knots. It would be interesting to see if it really stays in place in practice. 09/March/2009
Light breeze on Blackheath today. Johnny turned up (by bicycle) and with the help of Jade and ATM we put up 5 of the JMH Rev1s with 4 wrap spars. Precision in turning is where everything seemed to focus for all of the fliers.
I am very interested in the latest news on the Revolution site:-
"Also, look for the introduction of the new Blast being flown by Team iQuad at a festival near you."
I have mentioned my interest in the speed series kites previously.
I wonder if anyone can remember which team was considering using Super Blast kites for low wind team flying and in which year? I cannot offer a prize but anyone with an idea could start a thread in the forum!
ATM flew in with Jacob, Jade and I today.
He had been flying the 'on the spot' 90 degree turns including 'leading edge down' earlier. (following on from last week)
Jacob called The Decs 'opening manoeuvre' as well as 'ladder-up/down' which call for some focus and space limits. ATM said he could do the moves as long as there was plenty of escape space. My observation would be that it is possible to get an inexperienced flier to do some very cool moves (read that as 'not trivial') so long as the expectation is not for perfection at the outset. The fact that a move is apparently being executed with ease either side of the inexperienced flier is an great incentive for them to 'learn how to do it' without getting bogged down in the 'practice' syndrome or worrying about the specific controls involved.
I am reminded of the 'not team fliers' who claimed levels of expertise which they thought should qualify them to take part in a team project! <grins>
A small scale frontal event crossed Blackheath today with shifts in wind direction and speed. The lowered dark edge line of clouds illustrated this very effectively. I wish that I had taken time out to photograph the transition.
Attached is an image from a few weeks ago instead!
Today after putting Jade in a close following scenario* we tried 90 degree, on the spot turns. Facing left, down, right, up, left etc. then reversing. MW didn't quite get it and twice careered through threatening to take everyone out. ATM got the idea but wanted to work on the face down hover. I suggested that momentary stopping was the way to go.
Leading edge up, grounded, stepped rotations proved an interesting consideration of brake/forward set-up. 1/4, wing tip, 3/4 points all need plenty of forward to deliver. It is not possible to throw these moves, lines need to be set with plenty of forward...
I am still working on finding a way of describing the similarity of long arm flying in both low and high wind situations.
*PS Jade did brilliantly in staying calm and getting back into position... as necessary! FJM
After a string <grins> of high wind days c3-5 mph was on offer at Blackheath today. Jacob turned up and eventually we put up a set of team Rev1's and had Jade and ATM doing some basic moves. The JMH graphics looked great. Too busy for pics!
Jade and ATM quickly found effective control of the Rev1 with 4 wrap spars!
5 fliers. 3 1.5JB, 1 Anniversary, 4 JMH Rev1.