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About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

 

Sunday 30th November 2008

Blackheath wet and muddy, no clear evidence of Canadian Goose shit today. They were down by the pond! Wind N to NE, vented speed to begin with but fading as the front passed. ATM had trouble with wet lines sticking with symmetrical twists but having got through that managed to grasp the concept of the 'bow and arrow' position for lateral passes and to hold the kite in a hover and move forwards (downwind). We had adjusted lines to assess the 'feel' of the kite and to correct an incorrectly

Felix

Felix

 

Sunday 23rd November 2009

Early morning snow followed by rain finally cleared around midday so a late trip to Blackheath. Bright sun for a while and then a passing shower with a complete, perfect rainbow. Variable breeze, vented 1.5B for me and 10 year old vented for ATM who is getting the hover and 180s with leading edge vertical some of the time. Looks like the clock 12:25 on the edit page is on New York time!

Felix

Felix

 

Sunday 22nd February 2009 "just do it"

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 t

Felix

Felix

 

Step by step

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 p

Felix

Felix

 

Rougham 16-17 May 2009

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

Felix

Felix

 

Rev Blogs

So, never having Blogged before please let me try to understand what is expected. (apart from the last two!) I fly Revolution kites most weekends on Blackheath in SE London, sometimes with the team, The Decorators. There are anecdotes and observations relating to this and related matters which I may want to record for my own and potentially, (who knows) other's interest! I first posted (in 2007) on the Revolution Forum in respect of organising the Portsmouth/Bristol events in 2008. Occasiona

Felix

Felix

 

Rev 1 introduction

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.

Felix

Felix

 

Potsdam (near Berlin) 26-27/09/2009

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. Felix

Felix

Felix

 

Mega Team lines

So if each flier is on 4 x 120ft = 480 ft. There are 36 fliers so 480 x 36 = 17,280 ft. There are 5,280 ft in a mile if my memory serves me correctly so that make 3.27 miles of line. With 54 fliers, 480 x 54 = 25,920 ft which is 4.9 miles. With 100 fliers, 480 x 100 = 48,000 ft which is 9.1 miles. Quite a lot of string!

Felix

Felix

 

Long Arm Slow rotations

So, in the pouring rain today I was rotating the kite slowly in the middle of the wind window about a kites width above the ground, and I mean... slowly! Flying Rev 1.5B vented, standard spars. My concern is arm span and the angle of the kite to the wind. I have to move back briskly when the kite was face up which gives an indication of the actual wind speed. Face down is less of an issue as we are aware and I was probably moving forwards at that point to compensate. The transition from lef

Felix

Felix

 

Leading Edge defined circles

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 hav

Felix

Felix

 

Last Week, Next week

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 settle

Felix

Felix

 

High wind, low wind

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...

Felix

Felix

 

Handle holding orthodoxy

On Blackheath today it was 15mph plus, I guess, from the East with snow flurries blowing through and great cloudscapes. I have been trying to see how far the long arm technique can be extended into high wind situations. Rather than using the forward/brake control of the handles I have been trying to hit the balance point where the wing of the kite only moves forwards with a full pull of the arms. Instead of adding brake by adjusting line lengths I have been shifting my grip on the handles wa

Felix

Felix

 

Grid Format 'rules of engagement'

One role that needs to be addressed for future events will be a 'field organiser' who would get the fliers lined up and correctly spaced and then keep an eye on the fliers positions on the ground during a performance. (This should probably not be in the callers/leaders remit except for determining the overall configuration) Another possible role is for a 'spotter' to home in on any flier who is having difficulties and to guide/advise them accordingly and may also involve relaying a '2nd strik

Felix

Felix

 

Grid Format

David noted in his REVisions : Grid Economics article:- 'But, Felix Mottram, founder of The Decorators <snip> had an idea one night. Maybe it came to him in a dream, or he looked at something and an idea popped into his head, but he began to try and get some of us to get our head around it. And to be honest it made no sense to me initially, I know I had problems visualizing how it would work. I don’t think I “really” got it until such time as Felix worked a group of us through it in Uchi

Felix

Felix

 

First Time

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 aroun

Felix

Felix

 

Bristol 12-13th September 2009

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 c

Felix

Felix

 

Blackheath 04/10/2009

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 advant

Felix

Felix

 

Berck 2009

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 Fri

Felix

Felix

 

After Miami Beach 9/12/2013

Thursday to Sunday we did get out on the beach in the morning. On Thursday we set up close to the water opposite our hotel c8:30 and having switched to the shorter line sets started to fly the the full vented 4 wrap iQuad training kites in the smooth onshore breeze. Rich Comras arrived at about 9:30 and while he was setting up his kite the lifeguard who had recently arrived told him that from 10:00 we would not be able to fly at that location but that there was an area to the north where the b

Felix

Felix

 

9th August 2009, Blackheath

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

Felix

Felix

 

8th March 2009

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 lead

Felix

Felix

 

6th September 2009 Blackheath, Rev2

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

Felix

Felix

 

5th April 2009 Blackheath

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 k

Felix

Felix

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