This time round, although the field and time of day were the same, the wind had shifted to the South. Cool, smooth and very
light. It would be a good test of the lower end of the 3 Skewer A Frame
kite's wind range! On the downwind side of the field, leaves were
barely ruffled in the tree tops.
MBK 3-Skewer A-Frame
MBK 3-Skewer A-Frame
With only a few meters of line out, the kite just sank out every time
after short tows into the air. Perhaps I had overdone it when shifting
the towing point back... So I edged the knot forward just a little and
tried again with more line let out.
This time the kite climbed more
willingly, and found just enough air to hang up there at a modest 25
degrees or so of line angle.
Talk about marginal conditions!
Anyway, it did provide an opportunity
to snap off a few photos. Also, a couple of videos. I always take more
than one these days in case the camera focuses on something other than
the kite! It's happened before.
After the photo session was done, it was time to see just how high the kite would go...
It was a rather slow climb, with the kite gradually heading out
along the line of sight. Hence the line length was increasing somewhat
faster than the altitude of the bright orange kite. Never-the-less,
after quite a few minutes there were signs of faster air. Only slightly faster, but enough to power the kite up over 50 degrees of line angle. That was more like it!
Finally, at around 300 feet above ground, there was a constant
pull on the line. But nothing a 4 year-old child couldn't handle. The
wooden winder slipped slowly across the grass when I put it down, just
out of curiosity. And this kite is nearly 1m (3 feet) across! The weight
of my kite bag with another winder inside plus hat, tapes and so on
easily held the winder firm against the ground.
The 3 Skewer A frame kite was barely moving as it responded to tiny changes in the direction and speed of the breeze. Looped tail flowing out behind, and twisting just a little here and there. But the air was remarkably smooth, compared to the usual inland turbulence we get, being several kilometers from the sea.
At this point, just over 120m (400 feet) of line was out. Several small children appeared and one of them excitedly pointed up to the small orange dot in the sky, with the black plastic tail barely visible.
Not long after that I checked the time on the digital camera, before starting to take the kite down. It was an easy job today with only light tension in the line.
The Windtronic wind meter would surely record some very low figures... It sure did, at a max gust strength of 3.8 kph at ground level and an average wind speed of just 0.3 kph! Perhaps the kite was experiencing around 4 to 5 kph up there at 300+ feet. It was certainly the recipe for a very pleasant flight with no dramas.
Making Skewer Kites is one of my downloadable, printable e-books which has instructions for Diamond, Delta and Box kites - among many others. All well-tested designs. There's nothing like flying something you made yourself!
The story or stories above document actual flying experiences.
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!