Kite Blog


So, it was the third weekend where conditions were simply not conducive to 'kite flying'. 20-40mph was forecast and it certainly sounded like it in Hackney!

I was planning to set about repairing the JMH full vents but got distracted by the new line of development on the web site. In addition to having started to set up pages for the individual JMH kites I have also set up some event pages as follows:-

Cervia 2018

Cervia 2019

Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire 2019

I do have sets of images for a couple more events and have established a reasonably straightforward workflow for the future.

Maybe we will get to fly kites next weekend.



And then it was wet. High winds had been forecast but did not really materialise.

So, preventative maintenance on the 2007/8 Rev 1 stacks today. All leading edge mesh edges oversewn with a three step zig-zag stitch. There were not as many actual breaks as I had anticipated. Maybe there are more on the 1.5 stack?

We managed to get a peculiar wrap in the stacking lines of one four set. Not yet resolved but shows that it can be done! After un-tangling the JMH Double Malay stack anything is possible!



The synoptic chart from the Met Office on Wednesday 5th February was clear that the isobars would be tightly packed today and so they were.

No thoughts of kite flying but a bit of weather spotting via the webcams at Lyme Regis, West Bay and Polzeath.

The day did start though, with a bit of knot tying, roping in a rotten fence post in the back yard...


02/02/2020 Blackheath

Brisk WSW breeze 17-30mph so 1.5 RSS kite for me today... Out of the comfort zone for anything else really so no SLKs today.

Terry Riley's album Assassin Reverie track Tread on the Trail proved to be an interesting accompaniment for two fliers.

Having completed the rigging for the Peter Malinski Tetraeder earlier in the week thoughts turned to configurations. Having done one initial drawing it became apparent how versatile the system is and just how many variations are available. It will be fun translating back into the configuration of the spars and connectors as they are one step removed from the sail shapes.

The team will be doing the first four days at Berck this year to leave days available for Dieppe. I am thinking about Fanø but suspect that it would be best left until we are more familiar with the JMH kites.


26/01/2020 Blackheath

There was low dark cloud and some drizzle leaving Hackney but the low cloud had broken south of the river with a bit of sun breaking through occasionally.

Steady southerly breeze probably about 10mph so full vented 1.5s with green race. A bit of Bersarin Quartett to get 'in the mood' and then I was intent on putting together the JMH Double Malay stack.

I had a dim recollection that it had been put away hastily 'the last time' but had not fully appreciated the consequences of that! It took almost two hours to get to the stage that the individual pairs of bridles could be addressed. At that point the forecast rain was approaching fast and despite a hasty wrap it was on us before we got to the vehicles.

It might be a bit frustrating when things don't quite go as smoothly as hoped for. The image posted this week of the Double Malay stack flying at Fanø in 2009 was an inspiration. We'll get the flying images and video in due course!


19/01/2020 Blackheath

Just enough breeze for Zens with green race but not much else today.

I had taken the Peter Malinski Hex stack pilot copy as more work is needed on the bridle. It was not to be! Yesterday I had been working on the connectors for the Malinski Tetreader. 40 or so still to do so that is 120 knots to tie before starting to fit them; 4 to each of the 35 sails. The line I was using was being re-cycled from the 2007 JMH design Rev 1.5 bridles. I do have a reel of bridle line somewhere!

I was travelling light today as my normal vehicle had been hit by catalytic convertor thieves during the week. Not all cars are kite kit friendly.

Still waiting to get final confirmation for Berck and Cervia but plans are mostly in place.


12/01/2020 Blackheath

There really was a brisk SW wind this morning despite forecasts suggesting otherwise up until about 24 hours previously! While there were quite extended periods of 10-15mph it did blow c30mph quite often during the time we were there.

So RSS Spiders 1.5 were just right!

In the circumstances I was not 'brave' enough to attempt to put up the JMH Double Malay stack 1994. We have flown it before but not with a good sunny backdrop such as we had at times today.

We flew the RSS kites for a considerable length of time, silent mode only with accompaniment from Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Kronos Quartet and Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan.

The approach to the northbound Blackwall Tunnel was stationary so I took the long route home.


05/01/2020 Blackheath

A bit of a grey day again but there was some SW wind and the drizzle I saw driving towards Blackheath held off. I.5 full vents with green race were comfortable but mid vents would probably have been fine.

I had hoped that Jake would be able to join us today for the first un-wrapping of the JMH Asymetric Kite Stack 1995. I had brought the kite along with some 2m lengths of dowel in case of breakages and as the ground was not wet and the wind speed felt low enough we did go ahead with assembling the 'structure'.

I could not quite feel the 'lift' of the stack initially and while we did get two launches there was something amiss. On reviewing the video it was clear that there was a configuration issue with the front set. We had a similar issue with the Triple Malay stack on our first flight of that composition.

We have received the formal invitation to Cervia and some of us have opted for the early flight out of Heathrow this year as there was a significant price step already.

Scarborough is not happening again so we are looking at other options now to fill out the years events. Billing near Northampton is a possibility even though it is the week after Portsmouth. We might consider other events in the West!


January 2020
Felix Mottram