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12/09/2021 Blackheath




Another almost windless morning with 2mph forecast but no clear notion of direction.

There was occasionally an indication of a breeze, a cooling effect one side rather than the other.  Zens worked some of the time and we had set up with 150ft/45m rather than 120ft/36.5m lines and long handles so as to maximise the reverse sail control for floating downwind.  This was also to have the required altitude to interact with the 1992 Rokkaku, potentially.

As there was less wind than last weekend I was not sure that I would be able to get the next 1992 Rokkaku launched at all.  I had set the bridle bungee yesterday and expected further bridle adjustment would be needed.  Putting extra loops onto the upper bridle peg was not sufficient and had an adverse effect of putting twists into the 3 bridle lines so the main loop was untied and shortened.

It was very satisfying to get a launch and make it back to the ground stake and then control the line just above the bungee.  An unexpected benefit here was to be able to make a short pull on the spectra line and get the bungee to catch the slack ready for the next short pull.  There was enough breeze at 130ft/39.5m, the approximate length of the spectra line, to keep the kite stable for short periods.  Just enough to launch a Zen and get it to the same height a couple of times, anyway!

As the 1992 Rokkaku s have been flying in very light breezes with the new frames and bridle configuration I am confident that we should be able to get stable flight in somewhat higher breezes and get some interaction with the Zens and the ‘Not Zen’ format sails.

Flying the Zens on the longer lines today was interesting, all over again and I’ll look forward to seeing a full team of eight in this format.  It is a big sky full!




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