KAP Report:
Happy Valley Reservoir

Included in this KAP Report: panorama, kite, aerial stills, aerial video

It seems that the right time of day to capture the Happy Valley Reservoir via KAP is mid-day. Not for any weather-related reason, but because there are far fewer dog-owners using the adjacent park at that time of day!

Usually it's preferable to avoid the middle of the day since thermals tend to shift the kite around a lot more in the air. As KAPers know, a steady kite is a great boon to getting sharp photos!




Weather

The panoramic photo below shows a small section of the pale-brown West embankment of the reservoir. In the distance, between the trees. Before the camera could snap the water surface, it had to climb high enough to see over the earthen mound. Click to see a larger version of the photo...

Massive Cumulus clouds boiled into the sky all up and down the Flinders Ranges, some of which you can see in the panorama up there. However, the sky was almost blue over most of Adelaide. Winds were light. Very light, in fact. If it wasn't for the occasional thermal lifting off, the leaves would not have stirred most of the time.

The logical choice of kite was the Multi-Dowel Sled, since the Barn Door would not have even supported itself. The temperature must have been at least in the low 30s C, since getting the big kite away was sweaty work today.




Equipment

Multi-Dowel Sled kite in flight with twin drogues.Multi-Dowel Sled lifter, with drogues

Lifter: The Multi-Dowel Sled kite, with small twin drogues. It just managed to limp into the air, in very light winds.

KAP Rig: Bamboo skewer tetrahedron with plastic camera sleeve, suspended from a Half-Picavet line. Camera pointing down-wind.

Camera: Pentax Optio WG-2 with built-in intervalometer. EV set to -1.0 on this occasion. Focus was fixed on infinity for the aerial shots.





Images

Click on the thumbnail images below to see them much larger...




Flight Report

Two panoramic photos were taken with the aid of a small solid chair, marked with the appropriate angles. The second one was almost perfect, and appears near the top of this page. The panorama is three square images that the camera itself stitches together.

Next, I started to rig the Multi-Dowel Barn Door but soon switched to the Multi-Dowel Sled instead. Even then, launching was difficult. An entire sequence of 30 photos was taken - including a 10 minute delay - while the Sled had many short flights and failed launches.

In the end, after an entire hour, persistence paid off and the huge kite clawed its way up after getting just clear of the tree tops. This was achieved by taking the kite right out to the middle of the park where an extra few kph of average wind speed did the trick. So many trees upwind!

Even with the kite successfully in the air, climbing it out was so slow that the camera spent a lot of time just moving out across the field at low altitude. Thirty frames was not enough on this occasion!

A second flight got the camera in the air again. This time successfully taking video of the Happy Valley Reservoir. Usually I keep the kite in the air during the change-over, anchored to my foot to leave hands free. This time however the kite had flopped to the grass while I fiddled with the bamboo rig.

On the way up I noticed the KAP rig was at a strange angle... The cause was the 20 pound line suspending the rig had got wrapped around a corner of the bamboo tetrahedron. Easly fixed, and soon the rig was on its way again.

With a lengthy 135 meters (550 feet) of line out, the huge blue Sled managed to touch almost 60 degrees of line angle for just half a minute or so. This yielded some nice perspectives of the watery scene downwind. The extracted stills are not as good as photos, but it still felt good to capture a view of the Happy Valley Reservoir at last.




Video

On the second flight of the huge Sled, video was taken which revealed the West and East shorelines of the water. Some camera swing briefly caught the Northern end of the reservoir as well.

During brief periods when I wasn't working the line to get the kite as high as possible, the rig became remarkably steady - at least by my standards so far! The drogues really make a difference in smoothing the motion of the kite and hence the camera rig.




E-book special of the month (25% off)...

The Dopero is someone's clever idea to combine 2 Roller kites! Double Pearson Roller is where the name comes from. The resulting flat portion of sail in the middle makes this a very efficient design in light wind.

Even more so than the Roller before it, this kite has an attractive aircraft-like appearance in the air. This MBK version also excels in light winds.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite takes somewhat more time to make. With the help of my instructions, it's still do-able by a beginner.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Dowel Dopero kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

This Dopero can fly in quite a wide range of wind speeds thanks to the 4-pont bridle. The bridle lines keep the frame more rigid than a 2-point bridle could. Tail(s) are entirely optional, but may be added for looks.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.



What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Della Porta Dallies In Light Air

    Mar 25, 17 04:18 AM

    This afternoon was the perfect time to put the very-light-wind Della Porta through it's paces at height...

    Barely a leaf was stirring, but occasional movement in the tops of trees gave away some gentle…

    Read More





Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...



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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7