To get a KAP experience for smaller kite flyers I’ll be testing out smaller versions of my favorite lifters to see how they do in readiness for community KAP sessions.
I have got hold of a 1.6m (5′) Rokkaku by Colours in Motion from EmKay kites to see if it will lift the 220g SP rig hapilly. It does. The little Rok is more twitchy than its big 2.5m (8′) brother (its an unfair comparison I know but I love flying it) and pulls with a lot less power. I flew the small Rok on my lightest line and the big one on the heavier line: they pretty much flew at the same angle but the smaller kite tended to drop faster in lull.
This shot shows how the smaller Rok likes to yaw about. Both kites are in the same airflow but the smaller dosn’t ride the wind so well: the spars are fibreglass and like the fabric are stiff and on the heavy side. There are no joins to the cross spars and the bowstrings are pretty hefty: all in all the design has gone for strength over weight.
This flight was in 12mph average windspeed dropping to 8 or 9 at lull.The top and bottom spars are of equal weight so the bottom spar needs to be bowed harder than the top to get the proper Rok shape. The keel is bowed too, its held in place by a velcro tab which seems to work ok.
I adjusted the bridle folowing Mike Jones instructions; shortening the top yoke by a good 3cm was required before it would lift. It flies at the chracteristic steep angle when its done.
The little Rok lifted 220g hapily and was steady inthe sky, it has a tendency to to move about more than I’d like but its easy to control on a light line.
The big difference between the suberb lightweight, high tensile construction of the Jones Airfoils 8′ rok and its smaller cousin is the response to lull, the JA kite flies in much lower wind speeds and drifts gently (even with an 800g rig attached) the CiM Rok tumbles much sooner as the wind drops!