The 1 Skewer Rokkaku Kite

Winds A Bit Light, But Thermals Helped Out!

With a 2-leg bridle fitted, the 1 Skewer Rokkaku kite had some great flying today, in winds gusting to over 10 kph. I brought my favorite toy from Christmas Day with me ;-) It was a wind speed measuring device, the Windtronic 2 from Kaindl Electronic, a German company. The wind meter was soon set up on a mini camera tripod, in fact the one that came with our digital camera.

1 Skewer Rokkaku Kite

The tiny wind turbine whirred silently while I went about attaching the flying line and putting the kite up.

This oval was not infested with tall weeds like some others around this area! Hence no chance of the flying line or tail snagging all the time. Somewhat annoying!

Today, the weather was very pleasant for flying. Sunny, few clouds and a light breeze.

The winds seemed so light that I ventured to remove the last section of tail plastic from the 1 Skewer Rokkaku kite. Perhaps it wouldn't mind, and it would be a tiny bit less drag on the kite.

Indeed, during the lulls there was not quite enough breeze to even keep the little Rok in the air. However, I persisted, and eventually managed to get some photos and video. About 15 meters (50 feet) of flying line was out.

The kite seemed to be pulling a bit too hard, and looping, so I shifted the towing point forward a few millimeters.

With photos out of the way, 60 meters (200 feet) of line went out after much line-working and a couple of landings!

The tiny Rok settled out at around a 30 degree angle much of the time, sometimes lower when the wind was even lighter. To the point of nearly half the line draping onto the grass, while the kite gamely hung on. Just hovering there, suspended several meters above the ground!

Once or twice the 1 Skewer Rokkaku kite went to 60 degrees or more in some moderately strong thermal lift. It feels like this kite will fly at around 45 degrees in ideal wind strengths, on 60 meters (200 feet) of line. Albeit with quite a bit of sag!

Sag or no sag, there was room at this fairly large school oval to let out more line... With 90 meters (300 feet) out, I threw the winder around the trunk of a handy tree.

The 1 Skewer Rokkaku kite evidently has a slight right-turn built in, which caused looping during stronger gusts, and generally limited the height achieved. So I brought the kite down and added back the tail section which had been removed earlier. I also shifted the towing point back just a fraction.

Walking back to the tree, I noticed the kite's shadow creeping upwind as the little Rok soared higher and higher directly above. Watching the kite for several minutes, it was surprising how much difference the extra length of tail was making! The Rok flew straighter, smoother and higher than before. It was a pleasure to watch the long, gently weaving climbs as the wind strength freshened from time to time.

For tech-heads: regarding the maximum height, the reduced tendency to loop outweighed the effect of the increase in drag of the extra tail. By far!

According to the Windtronic wind meter, the breeze had averaged 3.3 kph most of the time, rising to 3.4 kph for a while.

Max wind speed at ground level was 10.2 kph. But I'm sure it was more like 15 kph higher up.

With 5 minutes to go before wife and child would expect to be picked up from the close-by supermarket, I brought the Rok down. Nice flight!

The story above was an actual flying experience with the described kite. My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!

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What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Super Light And Variable In Victoria Park

    Sep 21, 14 09:44 PM

    Victoria Park adjacent to the Adelaide CBD in South Australia, that is. This large grassed area which forms part of the eastern parklands of the city is used for various events from time to time. Including, in the past, major horse racing and a section of a Formula 1 Grand Prix track.

    An invite had gone out to various kite enthusiasts to meet and fly, since the weather looked good. We arrived after lunch, only to discover very light winds. A lone R/C flier was enjoying the easy conditions with his 3-channel electric trainer. Like a tiny Cessna, if you're not familiar with model aircraft.

    For a while it seemed we were alone, before spotting a power kite in the distance, making brief forays into the air. Victoria Park is rather large!

    It actually turned out to be quite an enjoyable outing, with the 2.4m (8ft) Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite just scraping into the air. But then, thermals were everywhere. It wasn't long before the large pale blue kite went right overhead! At other times, I simply toyed with the Barn Door, floating it way out on a long line then pulling it up to over 200 feet.

    Another RC flier was now having success launching his glider, finding thermals, and gaining height in them.

    We were eventually joined by two other AKFA members including the President. A couple of ripstop-and-carbon light-wind kites went up, with plenty of success. By now the breeze had come across the park from just about every point of the compass. Variable indeed!

    In the distance, someone had been lofting a large but light-wind parafoil. It was interesting to see it sink out as an utter 'bag of washing' during a dead calm spell! Someone else had some success with a small blue Delta for a while.

    All up, a worthwhile day IF you were flying lightly-loaded kites! No luck for Mike with his power kite and skateboard...

    About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. Usually, photos and/or video from the day are posted a few days later on the MBK Facebook Page. However, longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.

    Read More

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