In lighter breezes the Dowel Sode settles right down and is smooth and predictable like a Rok.
Being quite lightly built, the Dowel Sode requires a 4-point bridle
to keep the frame rigid in flight. This is also very handy for trimming
the kite straight, by shifting a bridle knot left or right a fraction.
Here's a short-format flight report featuring the Dowel kite...
Another short but very enjoyable flying session
while the small son enjoyed his soccer practice a few blocks away.
This time it was the Sode's turn to be brought out of moth-balls for
MBK Dowel Sode
After setting up the wind meter on its tripod and rigging the kite, launching was easy in the gusty breeze coming through between the scattered trees upwind. Out to about 30 meters of line, I just let it slip fast enough to maintain a 40 degree line angle.
Flying about on 60 meters (200 feet) of line, the big Sode surged around and quivered occasionally in the rough air. No dramas, although the line was tight in the almost moderate strength wind up there.
Then I had a bit of fun, shaking line off the winder with my left hand while controlling the slippage with my right hand. This was done fast enough to allow the kite to sink down to a mere 15 or 20 degree angle, far away on 90 meters (300 feet) of line. Once there, I just hung on while the kite did a magnificent fast climb, weaving gently on its way straight up to 60 degrees.
Not content with a mere 90 meters, I continued to let line out slowly until the Dowel Sode finally sat almost motionless up around an altitude of 350 feet above ground. The breeze was smooth and moderate in strength at that height. The line was pulled tight and sagged by only 5 to 10 degrees.
I can't actually remember ever flying this Sode in such smooth air before. There it was today, 'nailed to the sky', until I decided to take it down about 10 minutes later.
Passing down through 250 feet, the line tension quite suddenly slackened off - but just a little. Then again, below 50 feet, the line tension decreased further and the Sode started shifting around and quivering in turbulence from the trees and houses upwind.
With the kite on the ground, a quick check of the wind meter showed an average wind speed of just 3.7 kph near ground level, and a maximum gust of 12.4 kph. It felt like a steady 15 or 18 kph up high though!
Since these are short-format reports, they are grouped together. The first page covers dowel-sparred kites and the second covers bamboo-skewer kites...
If you are in the habit of checking the 'what's new!' link, you might remember some of these.
The links below are full-length reports recorded by me, each featuring an MBK Sode kite of one type or another...