Thermalling in train

by Craig Ensey
(Lebanon, OR, USA)

Just a quick flight report about flying kites in train or, flying two on the same line. I was out at the park again with my kite flying co-pilot, Brennan.

This afternoon, the wind was about 7 mph, but with a lot of thermals! I had noticed the way my MBK Delta likes thermals. It just sits at a level attitude with lots of slack in the line. The best way I can describe it is "nosing around for lift" very much of like a flying manta-ray. If that makes any sense.

After a while, I got out my Pearson Roller and tried setting it up. I don't care too much for that kite because it takes so much time to get the bowlines and sail ties hooked up not to mention the chronically tangled bridle. It's also made from Taffeta, which is terrible for kites since it pulls apart so easily.

After only a few flights, the Roller now has a "fringe" of tattered strings hanging from the back of both sails. I guess it makes it more stable! It flies good, but I never take it out because it's too much work to get it going. This is not an MBK Roller, by the way.

I figured "why not" and put it together, hooked it on about 100 feet from the Delta which was about 200 feet AGL. Although it was technically flying, it was not exactly a success. First off the roller was too heavy for the Delta to pull it out of ground effect. It was also tangling on the main flying line as it tried to fly. More wind would have been better for the Roller, but the Delta can't take much more than 9-10 mph.

Overall, it was a good outing.

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Video
by: Tim Parish

Had a quick peek at your video - it reminds me of those long-distance NASA shots of the Shuttle and other craft in earlier years. Certainly gives the impression of high altitude :-)

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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