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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