It’s been a while since the last KAP comission so I thought it would be a good idea to sort out which kite works best for the next one. It was a pretty dirty wind today: slack line (less than 2 mph) one minute and heeling gusts (upwards of 12mph at peak flow) the next. The Didak Flowform 4 couldn’t cope with gust over about 8mph, it shot upward, rolled over at the zenith and lurched across the sky; not the response to gust I’d like, it’s a Bft 2 kite at best. I took it down and we turned our attention to the rest of the field. With a choice of flowforms old and new and Clive’s mighty 3m Rokkaku it was a case of getting a grip on which are most stable.
Left to right: My ff30, Clive’s Rok(top), the Didak explorer and Clive’s ff30 which had a strong tendency to turn right. We slackened off the bridle on the right hand side by degrees and it straighted up a bit. Then we shortened the middle bridle line giving a steeper ‘w’ shape to the leading edge, this proved to be a key move. It sits a lot happier on the wind now.
The conclusion is not too surprising. The obvious AoA advantage of the Rok was confirmed although it pulled very hard in gust. The Explorer had the least lift (and was flown on the lightest line) and the Didak Flowform 4 was the least stable. In the end, before the next rain shower, we were able to fly the 4 kites together in a fairly close formation off 2 ground stakes which is a good indication of their stability.
As the wind rose and fell the 4 kites all behaved differently: 3m Rok needs 3-4mph minimum to fly, the Explorer 4-5 mph, the Suttons 5- 6mph.