Today's outing combined a number of family-orientated things, but this report will stick strictly to the flying of the 1 Skewer Dopero kite, of course! Being a tiny kite, is was entirely practical to launch it right there in the gravel car parking area.
The previous half an hour or so had seen the very light breeze freshen considerably, up into the 'moderate' range. That suits 1 skewer kites, which have quite a bit of bamboo compared to their tiny amounts of sail area.
The little Dopero shot up willingly on the end of just a few meters of line, it's long tail loop of black plastic keeping it pointed upwind most of the time. I had fiddled with the bridle and sail tethers quite a bit on the previous outing, several months ago, to get the kite to fly well. So there were no problems today!
With about 15 meters (50 feet) of 20 pound Dacron line out, we started taking photos. Some featuring 5 year old Aren holding the line. Plus a couple of movies.
The second movie was zoomed in quite a lot to try and fill the camera frame with more kite and less sky, which was fairly featureless anyway.
There's 10 seconds of movie, down at the bottom of this page.
By chance, the conditions were very good for getting imagery of the kite. The Easterly breeze allowed the kite to get illuminated from behind by the sun, which was low in the sky to the North-West.
After completing the 2nd video, I decided to move upwind, taking us out of the gravel patch and on to the grassy reserve. With the breeze traveling a long way across flat grassy ground, it was quite smooth, although still gusting a little in strength.
It was easy to continue letting out line until the 30 meter (100 feet) flag came off the winder. At that point I stopped, knowing from previous flights that this kite would fly best on this length. When the wind strength was just right, the Dopero would sit at around 50 degrees of angle from the horizontal. That was quite respectable, considering the 20 pound line is relatively heavy for such a tiny kite.
Just to illustrate the very light forces involved, this kite will fly happily in a moderate breeze with the winder, a 28cm (11") slab of wood, just sitting there on the grass! Not secured or held down in any way.
Despite the perfect conditions, the 1 Skewer Dopero did misbehave just a little, when affected by turbulence or extra-strong gusts. A large loop almost to ground level, before recovering and soaring back up again.
Another time, the kite managed to flip itself inverted and sat there at about 50 feet off the ground for a few seconds up side down. With the bridle lines passing over the leading edge! The weirdness of tiny kites.
Time was getting on, so I let my wife May take the line for a while, before starting back to the car park. Winding on flying line as we went. Finally the little Dopero hovered and dipped just a meter or 2 off the grass, teasing Aren, who tried to catch it like a cat after a bird.
All in all, an enjoyable flight with the most complex design of the 1-Skewer series!