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  1. Last week
  2. So, today just topped off the last few weeks of low breeze with an almost absolute calm ‘gusting’ occasionally to 2 1/2 mph. Little more than a cooling effect from one compass point or another. We did wind out long lines for the Zens and had them in the air for a few minutes. I decided to get on with preparing lines for the 1992 JMH Roks and re-set the two sets of spectra line to equal lengths and attached the second anchor point bungee element. The configuration of the bungee element allows for the simple addition of extra lengths of bungee or shortening the length whichever turns out to be optimal. I have prepared six standardised bridle lines, 3m each plus 20 cm knot space. I will replace the shorter lines in the bridles of the two kites and replace the prototype bridle bungee arrangements. The longer existing bridle lines will be shortened accordingly! The attachment points for the standard bridle lines were set on the two kites here during the week and elements prepared for the other two kites. I would like to try stacking the four Rokkaku kites with a 3m interval as I think that this could be a great target for the eight Not Zen sails in the 1992 graphic. If it does not work there will be no loss and the idea of standardised bridle replacement lines seems like a good one. There was a threat of rain in the forecast and given the lack of wind we wrapped early so that some of us could attend to the temporary relocation of the Peter Malinski Hex Train. Felix
  3. Earlier
  4. 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! Felix
  5. Following on from last week the wind was a bit lighter and from the north east but there were breaks in the cloud cover even as we travelled towards Blackheath this morning. An event on the heath meant that our usual site and local parking were not available. Parking inside Greenwich Park is expensive and the walk to the flying field is longer but once a year is not a problem. Zens were just fine but I was not sure if the 1992 Rokkakus would fly. A quick test suggested that there was enough breeze so I set about making a bridle bungee as well as a flying line one based on an initial attempt two weeks ago. This time I was using new 6mm bungee cord from a marine supplier. I had some longer spectra and flew on about 35m of 90kg line. We did catch a few moments video of set-up and flying here:- https://youtu.be/29EHyAqkmA0 Blackheath today 5th September 2021 I had taken 45m Rev flying lines which would have worked but the 35m lines couldn’t hold the same altitude as the Rok was at today. Having said that it did fall off when pulled at the top of the window so there may have been some thermal assistance. The 1992 Rev design is being re-made for 2022 and so the hope is to fly eight of them alongside the four 1992 Rokkakus. Felix
  6. A light northerly breeze was what we got today; 6mph and sometimes a bit higher! Full sail 1.5s and an accompaniment by Bill Frisell ‘Valentine’ got us under way. There was a dark cloud to the SE but it was local and eventually it drifted onwards. I had hoped to fly the late JMH Composite Kite (Della Porta): Four Squares but knew that the wind was on the light side. We set it up and I got a few pre-launch snaps but even if there was enough breeze to get the kite into the air there was not enough to keep it there. These flat kites will slide off towards the edge of the wind window if the breeze is light. I have noted previously that if it does not feel as if the kite needs to be strongly anchored there isn’t enough wind! So, no spars were broken in the couple of ground impacts that followed the initial attempt and the kite was wrapped in the normal way. I did notice some spars that needed some attention to splitting ends so that is a task for an autumn or winters afternoon! We flew another Rev session before leaving the heath ahead of the Bank Holiday fair opening. Felix
  7. A breeze from the NW was forecast and it was likely to be on the light side so nothing too challenging was planned for today. Full sail Rev 1.5s were very comfortable throughout the session. I think that the breeze was about 6mph but it was reasonably consistent. Tread on the trail by Terry Riley was the starting accompaniment. I had found a very old set of spectra stack lines and had re-sleeved it with a view to trying out various lengths with the 1992 JMH Rokkakus which now have the new frames. I wanted to include a shock absorbing bungee in the line for anchored flying and had wondered if it would be practical for a Rev flier to be walking a rokkaku at the same time as flying! I tried the yellow rok on a short line with the bungee and after a bit of tuning, doubled the line length. For a light wind we did get some steady flying so it seemed logical to try harnessing the kite and flier. We did get one rok and three revs in the air but there were no additional hands to catch that on video this time. We did catch a few moments here:- https://youtu.be/ONDGikbhLF0 We finished with another rev session accompanied by Steve Reich Quartet I,II,III. Felix
  8. A gentle 10:30am start on Blackheath, slightly drizzly and overcast to begin with but then clearing to a sunny SSW airstream with some cloud blowing past! Full sail 1.5 Revs today with Bill Frisell ‘Blues Dream’ to start. After a slight shower and with the sun beginning to appear I set up the blue 1992 JMH Rokkaku on 2.5mm spectra, about 30m and after a test launch and a slight adjustment it flew, anchored, with only the occasional moment when it veered off to one or other edge of the window. I set a peg in the top bridle connector and later added another half hitch. We flew the yellow sail but hand held it and caught some still images and possibly some video. I did fly one of the 1.5 Revs in between the Roks which seemed relatively easy. Back in 1992 we only had the Rev 1s which might have been a bit ‘heavy’ in today’s conditions. We concluded the session today with another 1.5 rev flight. Felix
  9. The team had an early start on Saturday 7th August on Southsea Common. We were flying soon after 8:30am on the car park field with a medley of team tunes… We re-located to the Art Kite field before the 10:00am start of the event proper and set up the JMH banners. Flying the RSS Revolution kites continued beside the field until a call was made for us to do a session on the main arena. A technical issue meant that this was a PA free performance. Soon after midday I decided that we could try and launch the Jørgen Møller Hansen Double Malay Stack 1994. I thought that the wind was at the high end for this kite but that we should try the upright tethered preparation. This did work very well and although a couple of spars were broken along the way it was a great result. The train was brought down for spar replacements and then launched again. Finally a broken spine meant that the stack was brought down again but once replaced we gathered the kites from the top end removing the cross spar as we went. There was then an arena presentation with the Revs, this time with a PA. The final performance on Saturday was followed by a torrential downpour. Sunday was a later start, again with c20mph wind throughout. Performances were on the same schedule as for Saturday and proceedings concluded before 5:00pm. By that time we had re-packed my car for the return journey to London. Felix
  10. Light breeze again, from the SW this time. We set up Zens and were flying some of the time to the accompaniment, once again of Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan. Jake arrived as the wind took a break. We transferred team kites and JMH Parafoils to his car and then proceeded to have a session of called flying even as a light shower passed over. Then, picking up from last weekend, I set up the late JMH Delta as a target for video recording. The c6mph breeze was perfect for the kite and happily I had figured out some of the camera controls so that I could record video on auto levels and switch back to manual for still images. Over the last couple of days the forecasts for the Portsmouth/Southsea weekend have been a bit troubling. 4mph from the north for two days initially, then 20mph from the west for two days more recently. That just did not feel comfortable. The latest was 8mph from the south west but this far out it is still likely to change! Felix
  11. A northerly breeze was forecast again but there was also the possibility of thundery showers today. The Blackwall Tunnel southbound was closed for maintenance today but we did not know that approaching from the north and assuming the warning lights were left on from the normal Saturday night closure. The queue for the Rotherhithe Tunnel extended from the exit lane but it moved steadily, if slowly. The road to Deptford was carrying the same traffic so we arrived at Blackheath somewhat over an hour after leaving Hackney. Full sail 1.5s with race rods for a while with Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan as accompaniment. That combination works well still, after all this time since we first started to free fly in this way. There was the odd swift and a couple of showers. I had hoped to do a bit of digital movie recording but had not fully understood the configuration I needed to set on the camera. The late JMH Delta felt very comfortable in the c6mph breeze on the centre tow point. I’ll look forward to targeting it again at some point. Back in Hackney I found the basic clue, that, whereas for still images which I do completely manually, I needed to switch to full auto mode for movie recording! And then the storm arrived, torrential rain and a multitude of thunder claps. Felix
  12. The forecasts had indicated high temperatures and a slight northerly breeze. The northerly breeze was occasional so we occasionally flew Zens. Pino Palladino & Blake Mills were accompaniment for a time followed by Ron Miles. I flew the Malinski Modell Deutsche Seewarte 1904 x 0.65 aka Hamburger Diamant Drachen initially on 3mm braided line and then on the deep sky reel with 1.5mm line. We remarked again, how little evidence there was of flying wear and just to prove the point the bottom bridle leg detached and had to be re-tied. I have to admit that I had not examined the original tie point or knot closely but the new one worked… On looking at one of the photographs back at home I can see that it was one of the mystery knots that I had made a mental note to look at more closely! Too late now. I am still puzzled by the exact configuration of the main wing spar and the tensioners but the kite flies well in a light breeze. As the temperature was still rising and there was little prospect of any more breeze we packed a bit earlier than usual. Felix
  13. Light winds were forecast again so I had taken the JMH Edo thinking that I might get some photo practice as well as flying. The clouds were thickening after a sunny start as we approach Blackheath. There was less breeze than expected, 3 gusting 6 mph probably though I only measured the 3 mph moment. We set up Zens and started to fly with Pino Palladino & Blake Mills as accompaniment. When the moment seemed right I set about running out the Edo bridle and setting the spars. Managing the 17 bridle lines gets easier but there is a challenging moment when a single line is seen to be ‘out of place’ and the whole bridle set has to be looped through to resolve it. Every time I have done this it seems like magic when the lines all come free, un-entagled! https://youtu.be/fdnSHHPOzWI Preparation and flight. The breeze was just right most of the time and I only came close to a line burn once when letting the kite run free. I did manage to get some photos and then put the camera away in order to simply enjoy the flying. At a lull I landed the kite and packed it followed by a final Zen session. It was towards the end of July last year that our Blackheath sessions really got underway. This year we have the Portsmouth International Kite Festival taking place on the first full weekend in August. Let’s hope that it can go ahead as planned. We have pulled out of the Shropshire event as they have an attendee numbers limit. Felix
  14. I ran across an article ... I THOUGHT... on kitelife about new LED kit that would attach to the REV and it seemed to have good reviews but I have since come back and can find nothing about it. Does anyone have any good experience with lights on the REV and who sells them?
  15. We were not quite sure what the wind was doing as we set up this morning. In the end full vent 1.5s worked comfortably. I ran out a new set of lines at the start, which is always a treat. Smooth wraps for a while, anyway, quite apart from exact equal lengths! I had taken along a JMH Rokkaku that was in our care temporarily after the event last weekend. I had replaced a rusty component and secured some fraying line ends so it seemed appropriate to give it some air time as well especially against the late Delta with the similar graphic. I did not get much time on the line of either kite as I was also trying out a new camera lens. I now have a lens for kite photographs. The only downside is that it is heavy! https://www.felixmottram.com/decorators/eventpages/Blackheath_2021_07_04.html Late Rok and Delta. So we flew for a while and then put the SLKs away and had a final session on the Revs. Looking over the shoulder it became apparent that the next shower was on course for Blackheath so we packed early. Felix
  16. We arrived on site with quite a few kites (actually over 200…[grins]) including the JMH 1985 Rhombus Kite Train consisting of 81 kites. I had hoped that we would be able to fly the complete train for the first time since I started the restoration work. We succeeded! There were a couple of times when the breeze dropped slightly and we had to bring some sections down but eventually there was a period of about one hour when the train was mostly flying from the barge pin stakes. Train in flight, mostly here:- https://youtu.be/DafR4An1E1A Four Rev fliers flew close by for a performance without music during that time. Eventually the far end of the train was tangled by a public flier so we had to bring the whole thing down rather quickly. We almost got all the kites back into the arena area before they grounded. By the time we had broken the train down there was a request for a final Rev demo duly performed by the same four fliers. The forecast rain held off until we were nearly back at home in Hackney… Felix
  17. It certainly did not feel like a midsummer day this morning at 10:00am on the way to Blackheath. There was a thick heavy drizzle limiting visibility somewhat, accompanied by a surfeit of optimism. The optimism was not completely misplaced and on arrival at Blackheath there was no falling precipitation, just very wet grass. I had prepared a set of new 100ft lines from an old 120ft set and all that I had hoped to do today was check that they were ok before heading back to sort kites and kit for next Sunday at Hampstead Heath, Kite Hill. So Zens were set up and flown for a while as the sun occasionally showed its disc! Then back to Hackney for kite shuffling, bag to bag, just over 200 of them including the trains. Not the most exciting activity but it is some time since I did it last. Just need to put hands to the bag of tent pegs and all is set! It seems that the event next Sunday is being advertised from 2-5:00pm and all manner of trickery is on offer. We’ll see what happens on the day but one thing is sure, there will be no anchored display kites, or so we were told, despite the advertisment image. Felix
  18. Another summer Sunday on Blackheath with just an occasional passing thermal introducing a semblance of a breeze, momentarily! As it was expected we set up Zens which were flown intermittently. While having transported the kite trains I was interested to check the pilot kites, the original Peter Malinski and also the two facsimile kites that I made for his train, one of which we used as a pilot on the Jørgen Møller Hansen this time last year. We flew all three, briefly. One of the two kites that I made is still showing a turning bias to the right. That is not the one to use in heading up either train! I also began the process of making a set of 100ft Rev lines from an old 120ft set. It was too hot on the field to deal with the actual knots but the measuring is done! We will probably have completely different weather next weekend ahead of the following one when we will be at Parliament Hill for an afternoon event, 1:00 - 5:00pm. Felix
  19. Call Lolly at Revolution Kites and ask.
  20. Thank you! Since I posted this I got the extended top leaders and they made a world of difference. I also got 15' and 30' lines and a 3winds UL to play in light wind. When I went back to the EXP it was so much easier to fly!
  21. Hi! Could someone please tell me what frame comes in the standard Rev EXP? Thanks!
  22. Light winds were forecast somewhere between west and northwest. There were actually moments of dead calm but the gusts did get to 7mph as recorded. We had set up Zens and then did a bit of a line checking routine making sure that 100ft lines were available for a forthcoming event. I also had a look through the kite case to check for missing ‘spring line stops’. It seemed sensible to check the other SLK lines and also the PL pilot kite which I flew briefly. I also set up the Alain Micquiaux ‘Switch’ kite which I had not actually flown since acquiring it in January 2020. Quite like a fighter kite really, subject to a light touch on the supplied line. There probably was not enough consistent breeze to do it justice but the switching of directions is very neat. I have fabricated a new bag for the 81 JMH Rhombus Kites 1985 and it is big enough to take the Peter Malinski train from the same period. Just a couple of remaining adjustments and it will also be ready for that forthcoming event as noted in the Ham and High:- ‘On Sunday, June 27, Heath Hands are organising a community fun day around the Parliament Hill Bandstand which will include a kite flying event organised by the Heath and Hampstead Society.’ The Kite Society have asked us to attend and they may arrange a PA. If not we’ll take our own local sound system and see what transpires. Felix
  23. A chilly easterly breeze and a featureless grey sky greeted us onto Blackheath today. We flew full sail1.5s with an accompaniment by Trilok Gurtu to get warmed up. A bit of brightness appeared on the south eastern skyline and gradually the flat grey cloud became more articulated and brighter. Finally the disc of the sun could be seen through the cloud and hints of a blue sky followed. The temperature notched up and eventually we were flying in full sunshine and a mostly blue sky. I had taken the JMH 3m Rokkakus again and today we did get to fly two of them, one with the lightweight carbon rod frame and the other with the intermediate dowel frame that I hope would fill the gap between the carbon frame and the original heavyweight frame. The occasional stronger gusts eventually proved too much for the carbon frame and the lower horizontal two part rod broke at the ferrule. The dowel frame is three part which may be the better option. We did catch some video here:- https://youtu.be/C9AXEHud-Gw I visited the site where I started flying kites in London at Parliament Hill during the week. We are preparing for an event there on Sunday 27th June. Felix
  24. The forecasts suggested SW 15 mph gusting up to 30 mph and a risk of showers. The wind meter confirmed 15 mph but gusts weren’t noticeable. It was Xtra Vent and RSS sails, somewhat as expected and we flew for a while with Skúli Sverrissons Strata (featuring Bill Frisell) as accompaniment. Dark clouds were looming from the South West and we caught the edge of a shower. Having packed the Revolution kites it looked as if there was half an hour or more before the next shower and so I did get to put together the replacement pilot kite fro the Peter Malinski Train 1987. I wanted to see how it behaved on the 5mm braided polyester line and of course to see it with the carefully manufactured fuzzy tail, all 12.5 metres of it! It flew just fine and certainly carried the line. There is a short video here:- https://youtu.be/K8pkWYYkCiU And then another shower arrived! Felix
  25. You won't get much more out of the stock set-up. It designed to prevent total failure on the part of a first-timer without experienced advice and physical help during set-up and first flights. Once you're comfortable with assembly, line layout, launch and basic flight like turns, circles, figures of eight, etc., it's time for longer top leaders (search leaders on this forum) so you can add brake. This will increase control of reverse flight and inverted hover. You'll still need many more hours of time on the lines before you master these two VERY basic moves, but once you're comfy with them, everything else will be much easier to learn. Smile, have fun, and don't forget to breathe.
  26. Showers, potentially turning thundery were forecast for today with a SW airflow. I arrived on Blackheath as a small shower approached and set up a Rev1.5 full vent. The rain shower, when it arrived did not last long and it looked as if there would be about an hour before the next shower arrived, judging by the clouds on the SW horizon. I had contemplated setting up the JMH 3m Rokkakus and did take them onto the field. However, the rain radar showed a substantial band of rain rather than a local shower was approaching. So, the Rokkakus will have to wait for another occasion ahead of a possible London based event at the end of June. Work on the Malinski Hexagonal Train is almost completed as I have now attached connecting clips to all the tails. I am wondering how best to manage the tails as attaching and un-attaching all of them is quite an undertaking even with clips in place. I had found an additional supply of clips on 5 unopened sets of Rev2 Kevlar lines from the early days! 8 clips on each set of lines… Felix
  27. Hi all! I'm 2 weeks and about 10 hours into flying my EXP (my first quad) and trying to figure out how to get a little more performance out of the stock set up. Any suggestions?
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