Original Multi-Dowel Rokkaku
A number of small changes had been made, based on the experiences of the
first outing! A stiffener had been added to the central vertical spar
piece, and a longer bridle line fitted. That is, the piece that connects
the upper and lower bridle loops. Also, the lower bridle legs had been
shifted apart more, to 50% of the horizontal spar length on each side.
While rigging, the sail's top corner strap snapped apart. That sure
hadn't lasted long! However, it only took a minute or 2 to fit a new
one. This time using the full width of the packing tape rather than trimming it down.
At this time the wind at shoulder height was measured at 4.7kph gusting up to around 8kph.
wasn't long after the flying line was attached that the huge Rok
wallowed up into the darkening sky. Rays of the late afternoon sun
played on the thin garden plastic, from one side.
Wind speed had really
dropped a lot over the preceding hour or so, making it a challenge to
keep the kite up there at all. Flying with only about 10 meters (35
feet) of line out, I managed to take a few still photos and a couple of
short videos. This required 2 hands for the camera, so the line was
conveniently secured under one foot!
Despite the imposing size of
the Multi Dowel Rokkaku kite, it only seemed to be pulling about 1 to 2
kg (2 - 5 pounds) of tension. Out of curiosity, I pulled the spring
scales out, put a few turns of line around the hook and checked the
reading. Yep - just 1 or 2 kilos (around 4 pounds) of tension in the 200
pound flying line!
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With all the camera work out of the way, it was time for some fun...
climb this beast as high as possible before the sun goes down! It was
tricky. Several minutes went by before a slightly stronger gust enabled
line to be carefully let out for a few meters at a time. From time to
time, as tension came on the line, I would let the kite out further and
The line angle stayed pretty constant at around 45
degrees the whole time. That's not particularly efficient for a kite of
this size, but some more changes which will stiffen the kite even
further should help that. Also, the average wind speed would have been
somewhat lower than optimum.
Finally, I had the pleasure of watching the huge Rokkaku float almost motionless up at around 250 feet, on 90 meters (300 feet) of line. Up there, the breeze felt like a constant 7 or 8 kph. A quick check with the Windtronic wind meter at shoulder height showed roughly 4kph gusting to 6kph. I took some video - see below... The only movement was camera-shake really :-) All too soon it was time to take the kite down.