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About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

 

4-5th July 2009 Washington/Sunderland Friendship Festival

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.

Felix

Felix

 

28th June 1009

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! Felix

Felix

Felix

 

21st June 2009

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.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

3rd May 2009

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.

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

 

19th April 2009 Blackheath

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 Lea

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

 

12th April Blackheath

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

Felix

Felix

 

10th April 2009

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 t

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

 

29th March 2009

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 ove

Felix

Felix

 

22nd March 2009 Blackheath

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

Felix

Felix

 

15th March 2009

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 wh

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

 

1st 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 w

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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