Kite Blog


17/03/2019 Blackheath

Fortunately this was the one Sunday in March that Jacob was in London so we could start assessing the JMH kites.

Ironically having been concentrating on selecting kites to try and additional equipment I had left my Rev handles at home. Spares were offered but I did not get to fly a Rev today! For those that did it was RSS sails which gives an indication of the wind speed, probably about 15mph I would guess.

First up was a set of 6 banners. Now we remember why we don't do banners at close quarters. Very noisy indeed, partly, I expect because the fabric is like new.!

The late delta seemed to be a reasonably safe choice and was made with different line attachment points. The front most point seemed to work fine but the kite did need a reasonable length of line for it to be stable.

Jacob flew the orange/purple Rokkaku from the bridle. Far too much wind really!

Finally we set up the late Della Porta: 4 squares with two tails. We do not think that this kite was 'finished' and it currently has a bias to the right. I was surprised that it could be flown at all given the wind speed.

We did have a celebratory Gammel Dansk at the start of proceedings today!

Felix


10/03/2019 Blackheath

It was windy as forecast so I did not expect to be on site for long today. Soon after arriving there were relatively long spell where the RSS kites were quite comfortable.

Gradually the length of the calmer spells shortened and so kites on the ground time increased. It did not feel as if anything was going to break but it was sufficiently uncomfortable flying so we called it a day at about midday.

The Aarhus trip was straightforward but I have to go back to collect four more kites weighing in at just under 20kg/44lb in the skiboard bag.

Might have to have a celebratory Gammel Dansk on Blackheath next Sunday, weather permitting!

Felix


03/03/2019

The weather for the 10th March still does not look promising. We didn't even try today given the rain and wind!

All set for Aarhus, Wednesday. The prospect of so many unique kites to fly is a bit exciting. A whole new chapter, even.

Felix


24/02/2019 Blackheath

Blue sky and sunshine in Hackney but heading towards the Blackwall Tunnel there was fog closer to the Thames with the tops of the Canary Wharf buildings appearing above it. Emerging from the tunnel south of the river it was fairly dense fog but at the top of the Sun in the Sands hill the sun was shining again in a blue sky.

A light east north easterly breeze was only just perceptible when we arrived but it did strengthen gradually and switch to more easterly before the thermal activity really set in. Zens and CR sails with mostly green race worked most of the time. Some extended free flying with a musical accompaniment was interspersed with called sequences. Some of the free flying was very effectively using the full window as well as close interaction with some clear interpretation of the musical 'mood'.

I am booked to fly to Aarhus on Wednesday 6th March, returning on Friday 8th March so I will be watching the weather forecast for Sunday 10th March with particular interest.

Felix


17/02/2019 Blackheath

Our arrival today coincided with the southerly breeze freshening somewhat so we eventually decided on full vented 1.5s with mostly race frames after having tried full sail and mid vents as well. The breeze was mostly c11mph but often more and with just the occasional lull.

Full sunshine as well to the point that I was feeling that I had too many layers!

Six up so mostly called and accompanied flying today. Steve Reich, Pat Metheny: Electric Counterpoint had an airing as well as some of the team pieces from recent years.

We ended up with Steve Reich: Variations for Winds, Strings, and Keyboards which at 21:42 was a bit long, but none the less, an interesting experiment.

Looks like I will be the one doing the Aarhus trip to collect the JMH kites. I am hoping that this can be arranged soon!

Felix


10/02/2019 Blackheath

A brief visit today as the weather forecast was not really very helpful. In the event a 15mph westerly breeze occasionally dropped off but there was a considerable wind chill, feeling as if it was only just above freezing point.

Occasional raindrops for most of the time until a settled band of rain arrived a bit before 1:00pm.

RSS kites again and it was noted how much 'lighter' these are compared to other high wind formats. The lack of gauze is a definite benefit especially in damp/wet conditions! There was some neat close uncalled flying with just the occasional kite contact.

The trailing edge of the band of rain abruptly gave way to sunny conditions back in Hackney.

Felix


03/02/2019 Blackheath

A light WSW breeze and mostly sunny session today.

Zens with green race and a couple of CR sails were eventually a bit overpowered but to start it must have been 4mph, if that, ending with 7 or 8mph, I guess!

Some excellent silent and close flying today along with relaxed called sequences and musical accompaniment.

It might have been good for the stacks but I was intent on checking out the 100m of 2.5mm diameter red sleeved spectra with the large JMH Rokakku and especially the line grips that arrived during the week. It may take a bit of practical experience to figure out the best way to get the grips to engage but they certainly take line handling to a different level.

It was a 'from the hand' launch of the 3m kite which is always amusing and while it might have been a bit risky the kite did handle the full line length and a walk down was required.

Felix


27/01/2019 Blackheath

Blustery, chilly NW breeze, probably 15 gusting 30mph. Mostly cloudy, just the occasional burst of sunshine.

RSS kites handled well, not too much of a struggle and of course dealt with the lulls. We noticed some pinching of the sails around the vertical spars which may have been due to the 'springs' being set on the inner of the spar rather than the outer side. Probably not of any importance but worth remembering if we decide not to use the springs...

Further work on the web site this last week as I found the coding for handling an image library. https://www.felixmottram.com/decorators/pictures.html Pleased to be able to get a scaleable group of images all together with the option to isolate images in a 'new tab'.

Interesting to go back to some of the older images and find that the source prints really were not very good. Re-scanning is not an option so we'll just have to accept them as they are. A work in progress:- https://www.felixmottram.com/decorators/olderpictures.html

Felix


20/01/2019 Blackheath

A hazy blue sky today, a light NNE breeze so dark glasses all round.

Zens with Green Race and a CR were not overpowered, 2-5mph probably!

I had wondered about putting up both JMH 8 stacks for a ‘photo-op’ but in the event we opted to spend time familiarising ourselves with the line settings for the 1.5 stack. Ideally I would want to have much finer steps than those on the provided leaders but today we started with the settings I had made in 9-10mph, put on much more brake and then stepped back to the starting position. Different fliers hold handles ‘differently’! Gripping the handles tightly, especially if they are held vertically, has a considerable impact, not that I actually spotted that particular aspect on the field today…

It ended up feeling quite warm even if the actual temperature was only 6-7C.

Felix


13/01/2019 Blackheath

A bit of a contrast to last Sunday, the wind still from the west but 15+ gusting 30+mph.

Very bright, almost sunny with a mix of thin high and lower cloud.

Full vent 1.5s were clearly overpowered so it was the RSS kites again. Even they felt like a bit of a handful in the higher gusts.

Still suffering from a lingering 'cold' which has the rest of my household in their beds today!

Portsmouth and Scarborough events are going ahead in 2019 and we have fliers lined up but not finalised.

Felix


06/01/2019 Blackheath

A bit of a struggle to get out today due to a lingering 'cold' that stopped me in my tracks on New Years Eve.

A light westerly breeze so Zens with green race, a great configuration. Landfall by Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet was a bit 'moody' but interesting to 'fly with'.

There was variable high cloud but that was doing nothing to stop the UV getting through. A very dark sunglass day.

We should be confirming Berck arrangements in the next day or so.

We will then be making arrangements for the JMH kites in Aarhus to be packed and road transported back to the UK. I am hoping to set up a weekend on Blackheath in March devoted to checking and test flying the kites, some of which are illustrated here:- https://www.felixmottram.com/jmh/ on the linked pdf.

Felix

January 2019
Felix Mottram