I took out the Colours in Motion Lifter in very light wind to see if the tuning strategy suggested by Peter Lynn might make an impression on its wayward behaviour in a light wind. Given the light weight of the kite I decided to fly it on Powerline Extreme Coramid line as supplied by Emkay kites. The light high-tensile line was just the thing as the wind sagged under the kite from time to time the weight of the line did not drag it out of the sky. At somewhere between 3 and 5mph the line was bolt straight, no sag at all; a remarkable thing for a low wind situation.
The photo on the left shows the straight line in the sky: I have never seen a kite line form a straight line to the kite like that!
As the kite is drops gently in a lull the super light line offers very little load. The kite’s unfortunate bias to the right is apparent but, in a light wind, this is not catastrophic as the kite does not turn under much power and the drogue balances the motion.
The stated wind range is 0.3 to17mph (0.5 to 27km/h) I have flown it in about 12 and 15mph so far with fairly poor results but flying it in a light wind shows it has good lift for the wind speed so perhaps this is a light wind lifter that is simply overblown in windspeeds above about 10mph (16km/h) (I’m geussing here until I find out for sure).
So flying it in a narrower(lighter) wind band seems a good idea, I’ll try and balance the right bias and I think adding Becot style vents to the outer keels may reduce the weaving at higher wind speeds.
The powerline extreme is not too bad to fly in light wind but it is very hard to grip (the line is waxed!) and starts to bite very hard as wind speed builds: gloves are vital with this stuff. I was able to tie the line off to a fence post without too much trouble but I have been warned that, without sleeving, this line can cut through itself under heavy load. The 4m2 of the Lifter picks up power very quicky with quite slight increases in wind speed and I found the line hard to wind hand over hand as the wind stiffened up and resorted to a walk down to save my hands.
So to sum up todays Lifter adventure: it’s best flown in a light wind with a light line.
I’m getting more confident with this kite now and it won’t be long before I can trust it in light airs with my camera! If it can be modifed to cope with stronger winds I’ll be happier, the thought of losing control of the kite in a sudden gust is worrying particularly as I have experienced just how unstable it can be.
The powerline extreme has a lot going for it too, it can take the load but is light enough to ‘float’ in the air when the wind drops but it can become a problem with an increase in wind power: under a big load it’s like piano wire!
Emkay Kites supplies the Climax Powerline Exreme in 500m lengths on special order.
Meanwhile I am flying the X1 with the flowform: