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.

Clicking on the orange button up there on the left will ensure you never miss a post. Running your cursor over that button will also bring up alternative ways to subscribe. Use whatever is most familiar to you.

Mobile users: You'll need to scroll right down or click the navigation button to find the orange RSS button.

(P.S. Just once a week, a good quality older page will pop up here too, so it doesn't stay buried forever. I'm sure you'll find them to be a good read!)

Here's all the latest posts - enjoy....

Aug 20, 2014

Flight Report:
Using A Kite Log

A new page going up soon on this site will feature some discussion on using a Kite Log. Just as pilots of all types of aircraft log their hours, so do some fliers with kites at the larger end of the scale. According to one site visitor who contacted me, more of us should be keeping logs!

Accordingly, I have put together a small PDF and called it a Kite Log Book Sheet. Today, with a log sheet printout in a pocket, I went out with the Multi-Dowel Diamond kite to test it. The log sheet that is, not the kite ;-)

The breeze was very light to begin with and the big Diamond had a brief flight to about 100 feet before sinking back to the grass.

On a second attempt the kite managed to stay in the air. But not without a lot of help from the guy working the line down below! With plenty of weak convection going on, there were periods of faster air and areas of rising air coming through occasionally.

Eventually I worked the kite up higher and managed to get 75 meters (250 feet) of line out.

Some video was taken as the Multi-Dowel Diamond kite drifted slowly this way and that at about 50 degrees of line angle. A tension test revealed that the kite was only pulling 2.5 kg at most.

In fact, on my first attempt to measure the tension, the kite sank out to within a meter (3 feet) of the ground. I promptly put down the scales and hauled the Diamond back up again!

Time was limited, as usual, so the kite was soon being pulled down. Otherwise, it might have stayed up for another 20 minutes or so without any intervention.

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.

Aug 18, 2014

Flight Report - Multi Dowel Diamond Kite Sucked Skywards

On its maiden flight, the new Multi Dowel Diamond kite floated around under a huge dark-bottomed cloud, spending several minutes at very high line angles.

Continue reading "Flight Report - Multi Dowel Diamond Kite Sucked Skywards"

Aug 14, 2014

An interview with Glenn Davison, of the AKA

This is one of several email interviews with prominent kite experts from around the world.

Continue reading "An interview with Glenn Davison, of the AKA"

Aug 12, 2014

Flight Report:
Dramatic KAP Action!

But sadly, this kite aerial photography session didn't get a single usable image. Beach panoramas and three flights with stepped EV camera settings. My practiced and honed KAP methodology went off like clockwork. But pity about the awkward position of the sun...

The subject was just too close to the sun's Winter position in the sky, despite the early-afternoon time of day. The glare off the sand and sea was ferocious, resulting in faded images with large areas of pure white. I just hope the light sensors in the camera are still OK!

Now about the dramas...

First up, the Multi-Dowel Sled kite failed in flight for the very first time. Not counting the time when the center dowel drum came loose during a collapse in extreme thermal turbulence. But that's another story...

On this occasion, the kite rose up shortly after launch, right into a big gust of wind. After straining this way and that for a few moments, a spar tip suddenly came free from the sail. And then the same thing happened at the other end - almost simultaneously it seemed! The left hand side spar dropped right out onto the sand, the two pieces still attached in the middle.

Further damage occurred to the kite on its way down, with bits of tape pulling off everywhere. All fixable, and I will be using extra tape here and there! Should be good for another couple of years at least.

At this point I switched to the Fresh Wind Barn Door kite, since the breeze strength was increasing generally.

Dramatic Moment number two occurred with the Barn Door in the air... Although smoother overall, when I was about to take the rig in, the kite got into trouble. An extreme swing left it pointing vertically downwards, the weight of the camera urging it on towards the ... water. No problem, this kite always rights itself ... ummm .... errr ... QUICK DO SOMETHING. With only about five meters (20 feet) of height to go, I let the line slip freely...

Thankfully the kite flipped onto its face immediately, with the leading edge heading out to sea. After wallowing around for a second or so, the bowed horizontal spar and the center of gravity did their thing and the kite righted itself. Line tension came back on, pinging the KAP rig back into the air from where it had plopped onto the beach sand.

As if nothing had happened, the big Barn Door kite soared straight back up to 250 feet over the waves. 'Phew!' is putting it mildly.

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe what's on offer in that message series!

Aug 10, 2014

Flight Report:
AKFA August Kite Fly

Quite a lot happened, so I'll have to be fairly concise...

At a measured 24 gusting to 29kph at head level over the sand, the breeze was a little fresher than forecast. However, it was good for most of the kites large and small that dotted the sky. Several AKFA members were out...

Two KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) sessions were in progress. A large inflatable Caterpillar gave an impressive although fairly static display as it sat on the sand, lined up with the wind. As windsocks do, even the fanciest of them like the Caterpillar. The owner also had his large Octopus up at one stage, which apparently managed to drag a 200 pound sand anchor out of its hole during a spell of very brisk wind!

At least a couple of fairly big parafoils were up plus a most unusual design which looked like a cross between three Deltas and a Box kite.

Others were enjoying some fast flying with soft stunt kites.

After obtaining some video of my own 2 meter (7ft) Carbon Diamond #2, I let it out on 200 feet of line. This pushed it to the limits of its tail-less stability, the 30kph gusts forcing it almost to the sand. First to one side, then the other - so it wasn't a simple matter of doing a bridle adjustment.

After packing up the Carbon Diamond, just for fun, I put up a Tiny Tots Diamond on about 150 feet of polyester sewing thread. It zipped around frantically, coping remarkably well with the moderate-to-fresh breeze. Others thought it looked like a mouse on drugs...

Finally, a couple of cliff jumps off the dunes under a large power kite were recorded on video.

All in all, this outing is going to result in at least three videos on Facebook next week!

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.

Aug 09, 2014

Wind Shear, Sheer Panic

For years, I had begged for a kite with cartoon characters on it (aka a retail kite), and finally, for my 10th birthday, I got a box kite with the Garfield

Continue reading "Wind Shear, Sheer Panic"

Aug 07, 2014

Kite aerial photography at Knox Park

Aerial photos over Adelaide, South Australia. Knox Park near South Road in Morphett Vale, looking West towards the sea.

Continue reading "Kite aerial photography at Knox Park"

Aug 07, 2014

Flight Report:
Big Delta Flexes Its Wings

That sounds a little poetic, but some of the flexing was due to awkward landings while I was attempting to take video! A couple of times the breeze near the grass became so light that the big Multi-Dowel Delta floundered and pointed in various directions. It's a bit hard to let out line suddenly when you have it wrapped around your foot...

Anyway, a couple of longer flights were achieved when just over 30 meters (100 feet) of line was let out. The large blue kite soared around just below the smoothest air up higher. So the videos caught some erratic flying as the very light breeze swirled, ebbed and flowed across the reserve.

Gliding around, sitting up on its tail to climb in the gusts, swinging back into wind after heading off downwind. Large excursions off to the left and right, before smoothly heading up towards the apex again. The things light wind Deltas do.

The late afternoon sun lit up the sail as it moved across the cloudless pale blue sky. But I had to hurry - 8 yr old Aren was finishing soccer practice at school and would not cope well if I was too late...

"Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and get an emailed series of messages: "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe what's on offer in that message series!

 

New! 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...



Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...

For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!

 

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