AKFA - Adelaide Kite Flyers Association. Occasionally local businesses or organizations invite AKFA to attend. The appearance of large kites adds to the appeal of the event!
These short flight reports once appeared in the site blog page - that's the one you enter via the 'what's new!' site navigation link. Just scroll down and stop at any kiting detail that appeals :-)
Kites And Golf At Warooka
More officially, this was the Sandbar Golf Classic and Family Fun Day at Flaherty's Beach, on York Peninsula...
AKFA (Adelaide Kite Fliers Association) had once again been invited to put on a colorful show to help draw a crowd. An unusual event for sure, with no golf greens - only sandy browns!
After missing the turnoff and then finding our way back to the beach from Warooka, a kite or two appeared just above the horizon. A good clue that we were on the right gravel track as we drove through the thick scrub towards the sand.
A short trudge over a dune and there it was - tents, vehicles, people and ... kites! Nothing huge, but a head-turner for those whose last involvement was making a simple newspaper diamond in their youth. So far, struggling in marginal winds was a flat Parafoil, a Delta Conyne and a novelty inflatable shaped like an elephant's face and trunk. Plus a few thin banners and tails hanging from lines and kites.
Soon we had the red Tyvek Roller in the air. A lot of line was let out with the kite hanging close to the sand. But finally a few tugs succeeded in urging the Roller up into faster air. And there it hung for a couple of hours at 200 ft while I got busy with some KAP (Kite Aerial Photography)...
As the afternoon wore on, the on-and-off very light conditions freshened into a decent gentle-to-moderate sea breeze. Several KAP flights were done with my big 2m (7ft) tall Carbon Diamond. The kite needed some careful trimming to stay centered since it was a light-wind design flying near the top of it's wind range. Camera direction and height were varied from flight to flight. Also, some walking up and down the beach gave different perspectives of all the activity.
Finally, we put up a 9-Diamond train which flew steep and steady in the smooth airflow. Due to the almost constant wind speed up the entire length of the train, it pulled like never before! The spring scales showed 4.5 to 5 kg.
Before we AKFA people left, it became clear from short conversations with locals that the kiting display had definitely been appreciated!
Kites And Whales
The connection, yesterday (Sunday)? The "Whale Time Play Time Festival" down at Victor Harbour, to celebrate the start of the whale-watching season. AKFA was invited to show off a few big kites and hence help to draw a crowd.
Hoping that there would be ample space along the beach, we came prepared with a sizeable stack of Multi-Fly Diamonds. Also, the Dowel Sode was brought along in case the breeze lightened off a lot...
However, on arrival we discovered that kite flying had been restricted to a rather small patch of grass and paths, thanks to high tides and camel rides. Camels and small ponies were being led along the foreshore, with passengers young and old.
Anyway, I managed to fly a single Diamond for a while, in the not-so-smooth moderate breeze coming off the water and over an embankment. With tall trees close by, not to mention other kites, letting out line to the usual 3 or 400 feet was not an option. It was more like 50 feet today.
The Diamond was being pushed to the right from time to time so I unhitched a tail loop from the right tip and hitched it onto the left side, to compensate. This had a noticeable positive effect. All the same, I ended up taking the kite down so we could check out the Whale Time festival nearby.
The public certainly seemed to appreciate seeing large kites and appropriately marine line-laundry up close!
Flying Kites For Melanoma Awareness
Yesterday saw hundreds of people converge on a park alongside Henley Beach, to take part in an event designed to raise awareness of Melanoma issues. Skin cancer in other words, which is a significant problem in our very sunny country of Australia. AKFA (Adelaide Kite Flyers Association), of which I am a member, was invited to provide some entertainment for the crowd. So quite a few of us turned up with our best tethered craft.
For the first hour or so, there seemed to be a near miss every few minutes! Big parafoils collapsing, lines crossing, normally stable kites making hair-raising swoops close to the sand, tails getting draped over lines and so on. The up-side? Even better entertainment for the crowd!
My large Multi-Dowel Delta was a real handful until it climbed out to 100 feet or so. Even then, after hand-flying it for a few minutes, it was decided to play safe and take it down.
My best kite (haha) on the day turned out to be the Multi-Dowel Diamond. With a bright orange drogue 'chute in tow, the big blue Diamond coped well with the rather difficult off-shore winds at first. Later, the breeze gradually swung around to the North and freshened slightly, making things a lot easier for all the big kites on show. At that point I measured a smooth 12 to 15 kph with the Windtronic meter.
A very enjoyable outing in the end, with my boy playing in the sand and wife helping out with some of the photography. Many of the public experienced something of the breadth of modern kite-flying for the first time, judging by comments overheard.
The Big Kites Fly At Meningie
Last weekend we were invited down to Meningie (south of Adelaide in South Australia) to put on a kiting demonstration, as part of a local fair. Our host, Vern, also contributed by printing up a set of instructions and pre-printed A4 (similar to Letter size) kites for kids to make up on the spot.
After parking on the oval near the club-rooms, we soon had a colorful windsock erected on a fiberglass fishing pole. Posters of the MBK Multi-Dowel Box and Barn Door kites adorned Vern's ute (pick-up). Slipped under the wiper-blades on the wind-screen!
After a while there were dozens of people walking around the stalls. Meanwhile, we had lofted a number of kites. Including the big Multi-Dowel Sled. Quick to rig and pulls like a horse even in light breezes. Although winds over the grass were light at times, the gusts higher up seemed to be quite robust. Hence the Fresh Wind Barn Door was later rigged and launched. It was just left to its own devices for quite a while, lashed to the iron railing which surrounded the oval.
A less windy period towards the middle of the day saw us launch the bigger Multi-Dowel Barn Door, since its fresh-wind cousin kept sinking out to the grass! We even tried the big Multi-Dowel Delta at one point, but the gusts proved too strong and it was taken down before any damage occurred.
Finally, the KAP rig was put up under the Sled for a couple of 20-shot sequences. Unfortunately, most people had left by this time. But at least there were some half-decent aerial shots of the parked cars and club house area.
Nice weather, nice place - we'll remember it for quite a while!
All Ages Come And Try Kite Flying Day
A long but apt title for the event, hosted by AKFA (the Adelaide Kite Flyers Association). Held at Fort Glanville beach last Sunday. Just hundreds of meters south of the Semaphore jetty, this local event attracted a sizeable crowd.
The AKFA president and his helpers were run off their feet making simple kites and handing out free kite kits for the kids. Several large kites normally only seen at the annual festival were floating about, helping to attract yet more of the public from the surrounding area. Wind speed: 14 to 17kph. In the 'Gentle' range, technically speaking.
Soon after arrival I put up the 2-Skewer Delta on just 30 or 40 meters (100ft+) of 20 pound Dacron. It seemed quite happy in the fairly constant breeze, so I left it tethered to a small sand-bag. After that, it was time to wander around, snapping photos of the various kites being flown. Plus a shot or two of the larger show kites as a group.
A friend of mine dropped in, using his superior camera to zoom in on various targets. Some of those images might bob up on the MBK site soon!
Later in the afternoon, we put up the big Fresh Wind Barn Door kite. The breeze, which had now strengthened considerably to 18kph with 22kph gusts, was adequate to keep the Barn Door high with camera rig dangling from the line. By the time I had completed a second flight for more photos, the breeze had increased again to 24kph gusting to 27kph. Probably well over 30kph at flying height.
The highlight for me was seeing a great-looking blue and white Genki in flight at around 300 feet. A very efficient high-aspect-ratio kite which looks something like an aircraft wing in flight.
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