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About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

2012 events, provisional list

Oh well, another year! <grins> Nothing is confirmed, as yet. 1st January 2012 12-16/04/2012 Berck-Plage, France 21/04-29/05/2012 Cervia, Italy 05-07/05/2012 Weymouth 26-27/05/2012 Exmouth 25-27/08/2012 Portsmouth Margate

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

 

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

 

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

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