Hexagonal Train c1987
Hexagonal Train 48 sails (1 yellow sail and Pilot missing) 1987?
127.5 x 146 cm each sail, overall length 94m
68.6 sq. metres
Weight: 25 kg
Photo 1991 poster
From a Hamburg Collection.
Spar pockets need attention and spare spars cut.
Facsimile pilot made Autumn 2019 and flown on Blackheath in May 2020.
A Black Peter Lynn 2 Square Metre pilot kite may be used for initial test flights.
50 spar pockets were sewn as at January 19th 2021 before the repair works commenced.
The pockets were shaped to provide the spar opening.
The folded dacron was trimmed after sewing either side by about 3mm.
Preparation for pocket repairs.
The main flying lines have been looped and secured.
The main tying bar is tied to the leading kite for transit.
Signature kite appears at the end of this set of sails.
One yellow sail is missing and so a white and grey version will be made, like the pilot kite, to replace the missing element.
Split rings replaced and sails secured.
10 original spars were replaced with new ones and then the kites were prepared for the the final fixes to this set as at 30th January 2021.
Silver gaffer tape marks final repair points for flying line attachment and punctured spar pocket.
It was actually quite straightforwards to access the final two pockets. The stack can be folded open like a book.
The main line fixing point has been made ready to re-attach the line.
The last kite in the second stack is also a signature kite. The pilot kite attachment is quite substantial as are the connecting rings to the lower stack.
The second set were in better condition, only two pocket repairs, but no split rings are in place for tail attachment.
Replacement Sail, preparation.
Trial fit, centre fitting still to be cut and drilled.
Split rings all fitted as at 24th February 2021.
Tails checked and tied individually. Clips still to be checked and fitted.
10cm x 150cm lengths pinned for initial sewing.
25m sewn ready for cutting.
Slowly; using a sharp knife and a cutting mat... count to one hundred for 1.5m section.
Two 12.5m tails completed, awaiting 105cm lengths for sail attachment legs.
When preparing the lower stack for taking to the field to insert the missing sail I had noticed a twisted flying line and wondered how it would resolve. It did resolve without issue but a couple of the sails had been flipped and needed re-setting. Quite a few of the central fixing points had twists in the lines.
Although there was little or no wind we secured the stack at both ends while attending to the sewing in of the replacement sail and fixing centre point bridle lines. The impact secured line fixing at the centre bridle points does not appear to be completely reliable.
Tails have been individually bundled and tied. Further thought on building and breakdown is needed.
Clips for tails all fitted.
Test flight on 23rd May 2021 of replacement pilot kite with new tail on 5mm braided polyster line.
Sylt, Germany, 1987
Launch sequence with secure anchor; a truck! Thanks to Karin Gurezka for the images.
John Mitchell recalls owning a jacket from Scheveningen with an image of the train on the back. Peter had not approved it!
Pilot Replacement Project
An initial sketch started the build. Finding polyethylene sheet for the central fitting was not difficult!
The initial flight after construction was disappointing but when the pandemic restrictions were initially lifted I was able to spend time on the field adjusting the bridle...
Site Updated January 2021 Felix Mottram