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Felix last won the day on September 21 2020

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  1. There is almost no activity here but I check occasionally, saw your post, and messaged Lindsey who tells me you have spoken today!
  2. Our routine visit to Blackheath was interrupted by the arrival of a fairly intense low pressure system bringing heavy rain and high winds during the course of the morning. While the rain had mostly passed soon after 11:00am the blustery condition intensified in the early afternoon. So no kite flying today! After last Sunday’s incident I had a fairly manic day and a half at home with a window replacement project. Two week had been suggested by the contractor but the initial installation was completed very quickly and we are still waiting for timing of the finishing work. After this initial installation I was able to untangle the Jørgen Møller Hansen Flare Kite Stack 1987 and assess the damage from last weekend. Apart from broken spars there was one tear in sail fabric, one torn seam and some detached bridle lines and eyelets. I am confident that I will be able to deal with all of this in due course. I had originally started this blog here on the Revolution Site in 2008 and when the company set up a new web site I extracted my previous entries and maintained a double entry on the original site and my own web site. As activity here on the Revolution Site has now declined I will no longer be updating this site but will continue at https://www.felixmottram.com/kiteblog/index.html Felix
  3. During the early part of the past week I had undertaken repair work on some Revolution leading edges where the mesh had become brittle and partly broken. Over sewing with a triple step zig zag has served us well in the past. We needed the 1.5 full vent sails in today’s breeze which was a pleasant change from the stillish air of late. I was also excited at the possibility of flying the Jørgen Møller Hansen Flare Kite Stack from 1987. We flew it in September 2019 and I had noted at the time that I thought it would need to be anchored, that it would be too heavy to hand hold. We set it up today and had a couple of extended flights during which I got some photos and a short piece of video… And then… the ground anchor failed leaving the stack dragging one of the two barge pins across the ground and not really losing any height. The main A2 was the first ‘obstacle’ encountered briefly and eventually the stack tangled with the trees of Greenwich Park and we were able to catch up and assess the situation. After breaking down the lower sails I attached a length of the flying line to the remaining stack and we were able to cross back across the boundary road of the Park and pull the kites free from the trees. This is not an experience that I will want to repeat. Fortunately there was no damage or injury so the 3rd Party Insurance cover that we have did not need to be invoked! (Final Blog copy to this site next week 31st October 2021. See https://www.felixmottram.com/kiteblog/index.html for future entries.) Felix
  4. Grey with a light southerly wind which was mostly a bit above 6mph but occasionally dropped away. It was quite wet underfoot as autumn is under way. We flew full sail 1.5s mostly with Bill Frisell as accompaniment. I was flying on a new knotless leader configuration. This worked extremely well at the first outing today. I’ll probably have to wait another five years or so before being able to confirm a complete success. Four sets of four ply bungee are now made up for the 1992 Jørgen Møller Hansen Rokkakus either singly or stacked. I'll also make up some prusik loops for these Roks (bow lines) and also for the Rev Handle leader lines, to cover potential breakage/failure and for other uses! We flew two of the Rokkakus today, mostly just anchored but requiring occasional intervention as the kites were quite damp and heavy. (Note for Revolution Site:- I will probably not be continuing to duplicate posts here after the end of October 2021. I will be posting as normal at:- https://www.felixmottram.com/kiteblog/index.html ) Felix
  5. It looked as if there had been heavy equipment in use after last weekend’s event but the site was mostly litter free. Low grey clouds and a westerly air movement were the precursor for eventual fine drizzle. I was pre-occupied with setting up and flying the JMH Sanjo Rokkaku kite from 1991 with a lightweight frame. The very light breeze was almost enough to get it airborne on 200ft/60m of spectra line with a four strand bungee at the line anchor point. Zens were flown on standard team lines today! Eventually the breeze did pick up from the north to about 6mph and while the drizzle increased the Rokkaku had a settled flight. I was even able to walk away and get the camera, catching a few minutes video of the flight! Felix
  6. Today Blackheath hosted the start of the London marathon and I had decided that a rest would be a good idea. Alternative venues could have been available… I have acquired a pair of upholstery pliers which may help with the replacement of D rings on the JMH kites. Slots in the blades and a spring hold the open ring prior to closing into the end cap. The Composite Kite (Della Porta): Eight Rhomboids 1993 is the next one to tackle. It has 12 caps so reasonably manageable. The Asymetric Kite Stack 1995 has 72 caps so I will have to be sure of the method before undertaking that project. I need to figure out heating treatment to relieve stress in the cold worked stainless steel first! I’ll probably have some simple repair work on leading edge mesh to keep me busy in the meantime. One Sky One World next Sunday so I wonder what the weather will bring. At the moment one of the forecasts looks promising. Felix
  7. Happy to have a proper southerly breeze today on Blackheath. It might have been in double figures some of the time so plenty to try the new bridles on the 1992 Roakkakus but not too much for the Zen sails on 150ft/45m lines. I was somewhat surprised when preparing a launch for the first re-bridled kite as it seemed that I had hit the right spot in the configuration. Only a slight adjustment was needed after a settled period of flight. The second kite was good too, a slightly different small adjustment was required. I could not see any significant difference in flight so may settle on the slightly longer bungee in the lower bridle leg. The Roks were flying on the 100ft/30.5m lines which was as short as I though would be possible for stable flight. The Zens interacted comfortably on the 150ft/45m lines with the fliers standing 20-30ft/6-9m upwind of the ground anchors for the Roks. The Roks were on 2 strands of bungee at the anchor point and I will probably add a strand for single kit flying and more for stacked flying. The two kites came down at one point and I decided to go with a trial stacked flight today. Switching the bridle lines of the rear kite to the lead kite using larks heads was quick and easy. Best of all the two kite stack performed beautifully. There is some video but it is a bit unsteady. The London Marathon takes place next Sunday starting from Blackheath so we will need to decide on a different venue. Felix
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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