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31/05/2020 Blackheath

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Felix

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So next weekend we can fly six kites together providing we keep 2 meters apart.  Unlikely that there will actually be six of us but at least it is now allowed.

Today was full on blue sky, just the odd clouds off towards the horizon and plenty of swifts to keep us company in the air above.  A fairly steady easterly breeze meant that full vent 1.5s were just about comfortable most of the time with green race frames.

Having had recent experience of the JMH Della Porta kites and some success in configuring the Hex Pilot I was intent on tackling the late Four Square that we initially flew back in March 2019.  At the time the kite appeared to be unstable and we thought that the bridle may not have been finished.

In keeping with social distancing I was intent on managing the kite by myself although assistance was offered.  I had run out about 35m of the 2.5mm spectra flying line ‘secured’ at the ground end.  The kite was assembled and then pinned face up with the lower edge of the kite downwind.  I attached the bridle to the flying line and moved the kite so that the lowest legs of the bridle were tight.  I then lifted the kite so that all the bridle lines were tight with the top edge of the kite on the ground.  There were issues with the bridle lines that needed to be resolved.  This could not be done under tension so the kite was lowered to the ground again and secured.  Once the bridle was set with no loops the kite was lifted back under tension and the tails attached.  It was then a case of rotating the kite, checking that everything looked ‘correct’ and then releasing it into the sky!  It was somewhat gratifying that the kite launched perfectly with no sign of instability.

Flying on spectra is somewhat risky because it does not stretch under stress like polyester line.  If the kite goes into a powered dive or spin releasing line quickly may help in recovery.  I was expecting to hand hold this kite both to soften the impact of gusts and to aid recover.  I would also expect to fly on twice the length of line as used today to help avoid the possibility of the kite drifting off to either side of the wind window and ‘falling out of the sky’ in lighter breeze moments as seen a couple of times today.

Felix

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