Kites: Site Blog

Welcome to this Site Blog on kites. The bigger the better in our view! Are you keen on KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) in particular?

This page will keep you right up to date with our Flight Report posts, new KAP pages added to the site and occasional contributions from visitors. Visitors sometimes include photos or links to videos too.

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It's easy to post your own story here, so it becomes the first link in the list below - after I do a quick approve/edit and until other posts push it down. However, your post remains on My-Best-Kite.com as a permanent page for others to enjoy at any time...

Jul 20, 2014

Flight Report:
Hovering Rok In Smooth Beach Breeze

Down at Christies Beach, we found a patch of dry sand which provided ample space over which to fly. Holding the wind meter at shoulder height, it registered around 9.5kph gusting to just over 11kph. Fairly smooth, as was expected since the wind was coming from across the ocean.

Just like the Roller yesterday, a few small pieces of tape were required to secure some of the spar tips to the sail. This kite hadn't been flown for quite a while either!

With the breeze so very smooth, it was possible to take some video on only 4 or 5 meters (15 feet) of line. This kite has never been recorded in such clarity before. I'll be posting it on FB of course ;-)

A couple more videos were taken on 10 meters (35 feet) of line, before I let it out to well over 30 meters (100 feet).

In the process of letting line out and re-climbing the kite, it became clear that it was slightly out of trim...

At low line angles, with more strain on the sail, the Rok leaned over and drifted far to the left. As the line angle became steeper, and line tension eased, the kite smoothly righted itself and continued to climb straight up. This pattern happened several times as I let the line out in stages. Never mind, a small tweak of the upper sliding knot of the bridle should be all it needs.

One of the leaning episodes took the kite far too close to the esplanade and its traffic. So I had no choice but to pull in very quickly to clear the road. This forced the kite down onto the embankment. Fortunately, it was possible, during a slight lull, to pull the kite off and into the air again. No damage done.

After packing up, another wind check revealed it had moderated down to 7kph, gusting to 9kph. Ultra-smooth beach flying makes a change from the somewhat less predictable experience of flying inland!

In-flight Videos: Facebook is where the very latest videos of the MBK dowel (or bamboo skewer) and plastic designs can be found. If you haven't already, please 'Like' the My Best Kite Facebook page!

Jul 19, 2014

Flight Report:
Dowel Roller Rises

While the predicted wind speeds for today were just 1 or 2 kph, actual measured speeds were gusting into the teens. Phew! So, leaving the wife at the supermarket, Aren and I set off on foot. He with a scooter and myself with the Dowel Roller kite.

Stepping into a muddy grassy field, it turned out to be just dry enough to walk on and rig the kite without getting things dirty. It wasn't a huge space to fly in, and barely a whiff of breeze was evident as the Roller was rigged.

This particular design does not seem as efficient as other light-wind dowel designs such as the Delta or Rok. But it does do a fine job hanging up there in light air. And so it was today...

The Roller kite was soon away on a light gust. I concentrated on letting out line until there was about 20 meters (70 feet). This was just enough to clear the slower moving air down low and the kite sat steadily at a modest line angle of perhaps 40 degrees. Wind speeds did not seem to be pushing past 10kph though!

A few movies were taken, just to record the flight really. The backdrop was a dull and uninteresting mass of gray cloud. The kite drifted slowly left and right, and also lost and gained height from time to time. I'll be posting a clip on FB later so people can at least see what a light-wind Roller looks like.

Winter flying is only for the keenest I suppose. Still, it was nice to see the Roller shake off the cobwebs and soar once again! After the movies were taken, a few more meters of line were let out before finally it was time to bring the Roller down and return to the car park.

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. 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.

Jul 13, 2014

Flight Report:
AKFA July Kite Fly

The day before, the forecast was for an offshore 3kph breeze. A bit light, to put it mildly! However, on the Sunday morning, 11 to 17 kph was being recorded at two coastal locations South of Fort Glanville. Ideal.

After lunch, we arrived to find several AKFA kites up in light but smooth winds coming off the ocean. All at fairly modest heights to avoid the possibility of contacting cars in the car park, if anything went wrong! A power Sled, a flat Penguin, a 'Firebird' Delta to name a few. Some line laundry under a sizable parafoil too this time, in the form of a scuba diver swimming past a translucent white jellyfish.

We took some photos and video. I'll post a video later this week on Facebook.

More people arrived later. Resulting in a few small colorful Deltas floating around over the sand.

Mike the omni-kiter (he flies everything) went off a sand dune 'cliff' under his largest traction foil. We missed it. However, he said he needed a bit more breeze to do a really good job of it!

Our first kite up was the 1.2m Dowel Dopero, followed half an hour or so later by the 2m Carbon Diamond. Both kites relishing the 10 to 15kph airflow at about 150 feet over the sand. However, sudden lulls downed most of the kites on at least two occasions. To our surprise the Dopero managed to re-launch itself off a low dune while the big Tyvek-sailed Diamond was being packed away! A quick meter reading showed around 6 gusting to 8.5kph at shoulder height at this time.

A good outing in sunny conditions despite the chilly breeze!

Huge Homemade Kites And Aerial Photography: This is often the topic for posts which appear here. New things are always being tried so sign up for my newsletter to stay right up to date with the latest developments!

Jul 12, 2014

My Best Kite - Facebook Page Like Box

This page on My Best Kite allows visitors to see a feed of the latest Facebook posts made by Tim Parish, the MBK website owner.

Continue reading "My Best Kite - Facebook Page Like Box"

Jul 08, 2014

How To Build A Delta Kite - Complete Instructions: MBK 2-Skewer Delta.

Learn how to build a Delta kite by following these step-by-step instructions for the MBK 2-Skewer Delta.

Continue reading "How To Build A Delta Kite - Complete Instructions: MBK 2-Skewer Delta."

Jul 07, 2014

KAP Report - Adelaide CBD from Karrangga Park

KAP: Looking north, across South Terrace into the Adelaide CBD in South Australia, from around 200 feet above Karrangga Park

Continue reading "KAP Report - Adelaide CBD from Karrangga Park"

Jul 05, 2014

Flight Report:
Delta Dices With Death

But it pulled through. Two days ago, the sun shone and the wind whistled. A chance to punish the 2-Skewer Delta kite Mk2 in high wind just to see what would happen!

The strongest gusts were pushing near 40kph, although at shoulder height out in the middle I could only record 20kph on the meter. The wildly swaying tree branches on the far side told the true story.

Near the upwind edge of the reserve, great swirls came through and made launching tricky, despite the ample air speed. There were huge changes in wind direction.

Anyway, a couple of videos were taken. One of which I might post on Facebook later. Even with its reinforced spine, the kite was forced into flapping for much of its flight time! The interesting thing was, at even greater pressure, the kite narrowed to a very low-aspect-ratio shape and went steady again. Just for a few seconds at a time.

At no point did the kite get forced into looping. Good!

Amazingly, the spreader put up with all this to the end. Possibly due to it being fairly close to the nose. And the beating was being shared by the leading edge skewers.

It was clear that a more forward towing point would have helped since the kite ws bogging down quite a lot, below 45 degrees of line angle. Never mind, I won't be changing the design since it is supposed to be a light-wind kite after all.

At least this version of the 2-Skewer delta seems to be durable in unsuitable wind speeds. People will appreciate not having to repair broken skewers when the wind comes up a bit. Or quite a bit!

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. 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.

Jul 04, 2014

My Flat Diamond Kite

This is an experiment building flat Diamond kites without the usual bowed or dihedral form and keeping the spine unattached to the cross-spar. This design

Continue reading "My Flat Diamond Kite"

Jul 02, 2014

Flight Report:
2-Skewer Delta With Stiffer Spine

Finally, the weather co-operated to allow an outing with the 2-Skewer Delta kite. With an extra skewer glued onto the vertical spar or spine. The aim was to reduce or completely cure the oscillations that happen when the kite is pushed a bit hard in terms of wind speed.

A few videos were taken. My FaceBook page will feature one of them next week. Oh yes, My Best Kite is on there now. About time, you might be saying!

The sun came out around the middle of the day, so the flights ended up being strongly affected by rough thermal air. Sudden gusts and lulls. At least the strongest gusts gave the kite a good work-out - although I had been hoping for a somewhat higher average wind speed.

At one point it looked like the sail near the nose had been punctured by the bamboo. With a few centimeters of sail pushed back, the kite still flew fine! On landing, it turned out that the tape had simply worked loose. Easy fixed with a bit more tape.

Well, there wasn't much sign of the dreaded oscillations, although I might take it out once more and try it in even stronger wind. Although the little orange Delta was up over 100 feet, it was just possible to hear the sail fluttering as it powered through the gusts.

Forgot to take an anemometer reading, but it was gusting to 19kph before I headed out. According to two online weather stations. The average of the nearest two is useful, since we are situated smack in the middle geographically.

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. 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.

Jun 29, 2014

Repairing The Beetle Kite

I found two small, two string kites in the trash. They were both broken yet hardly used. On both of them the plastic grommets that hold the cross bar were

Continue reading "Repairing The Beetle Kite"

Jun 28, 2014

Flight Report:
Sunny And Windy: PP Weather!

By PP I mean, of course, the iconic Peter Powell stunt kite. The quite recently released Sky Stunter MkIII in this case. The wind was just a bit too wild to consider going into town for some aerial photography of the CBD. Even the big box kite would have been pushed hard today.

Standing near the middle of the field, the wind meter at shoulder height registered an average of 13.7kph gusting to 29kph. No doubt the wind speed was reaching the high 30s or even low 40s higher up.

In no time at all we had the stunt kite rigged and attached to its lines. Also attached was the bright orange 76ft tubular tail!

Talk about gusty! Take off was easy, before the kite started to take the strain of fresh wind gusts up around 100 feet off the grass.

Doing precise maneuvers was difficult. Not just due to inexperience ;-) but also because of very sudden lulls in the wind strength. 3/4 of the way around a vertical eight, the kite stopped dead and refused to climb the rest of the way to the top of the figure.

The sun was in an awkward position too. Some of the time I saw random thick lines against the blue-gray sky - before realizing they were after-images of the sun! From then on I tried to keep a little further from the blazing orb.

Eight year old Aren had a couple of goes, and did well to keep the kite in the air for a minute or so on his own. He reckoned he pulled off a figure eight at one stage which I'm sure he did. This time he was quite brave regarding the line tension, which must have felt very heavy to him several times. The kite was flexing noticeably in the heaviest gusts.

Well, it was fun although sport kites aren't really my thing. It's good to have a kite on hand which can be flown in strong wind. With Aren getting sick of the biting cold breeze, I walked around to give the kite more room before flying it over to the extreme right...

One final bit of fun was had - landing the Peter Powell Sky Stunter MkIII as gently as possible on the grass, with just a hint of control remaining.

Huge Homemade Kites And Aerial Photography: This is often the topic for posts which appear here. New things are always being tried so sign up for my newsletter to stay right up to date with the latest developments!

Jun 19, 2014

Flight Report:
Carbon Diamond Crash Test!

The weather was forecast to get a lot wetter over the coming days. So it was decided to make hay, ummm fly a kite, while the sun was shining. Conveniently, the wind strength was up too. The 2 meter (7ft) span Carbon Diamond No. 2 had only been flown in light winds to this point.

It was a good torture-test in very gusty wind. Down low the wind was treacherous, dropping out completely then surging to moderate strengths. Up higher, according to online weather data, it was gusting to around 30kph. Brushing the 'fresh' range of wind speed.

The big Diamond generally did OK, only deforming the horizontal spars noticeably in the very strongest gusts. And not even the slightest hint of the fish-tailing motion that plagues my other Diamonds when they are pushed too hard.

The winder that I was using came with the 100 pound Dacron line wound on in a figure-eight fashion.

PRO: The line pulls off easily, in a rocking motion. Nice for letting out line. Also, the line stays twist-free.

CON: Loops tend to work loose and fall off the winder, causing tangles! A right royal pain in the rear end.

I'll just be looping it on in the one direction from now on.

After flying around on just under 30 meters (100 feet) of line for a while, I was distracted by the tangled mess on the winder, plus a nosey dog that had been chasing the kite whenever it got low!

Somehow, I let the kite get into a bad situation down low and it ended up spearing into the soft earth. There it was, a folded-up, flapping heap. Thankfully there was no serious damage. Just a pushed-through corner pocket - which might have actually saved the spar from snapping!

Now I'm considering pulling some bow into the horizontal rods after all, to make the kite better behaved in rough air near the ground. An insurance policy for all that expensive brittle carbon.

About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. 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.

 

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