2 kites, 2 cameras: lift v mass

Kesgrave wind record

Judging by the way the cloud was sweeping the sky my estimate was up and down between about 10 and 20 mph so I reckoned it was a PFK kind of day. Up she went, I hitched on the 800g rig and it failed to rise. I tried a 400g auto rig and it raced  upward as the little red delta ate all the line I had. The camera rose and fell as the rippling ripstop wove its way around the tower, after a while I became convinced, even with my spool empty, the camera was not high enough to frame my target; it was down wind a long way but just not rising as steeply as I wanted. I had over estimated the wind speed.


After 15mins my autoKAP rig had captured many photos but none of the whole tower and this was the only one in sharp focus and even that was taken with the sun covered by cloud. The score stood at:

KAP 0 Weather Gods 1.

 Having realised the wind was not what it seemed I lofted a bigger kite; the Didak Explorer 2.7:

Didak a go go

I hitched the 800g rig to the line, let it rise, framed my shot and the wait for the light began…

Orford Castle X1 KAP_01Orford Castle X1 KAP_02

Despite walking the kite closer and closer to the tower I shied away from the nadir shot, the blustery airflow over the top of the tower looked like a rotor trap and I wasn’t going to chance it.

Orford Castle X1 KAP_03With the score at 1-1 I decided to head for home, happy I’d got a good sense of the dramatic verticals of the castle keep but for the really delicate positioning I need a steadier airflow and the smoothness of the rokkaku.

I’ll be back,


About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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2 Responses to 2 kites, 2 cameras: lift v mass

  1. Really wonderful images and I enjoy the account of your exploit, I notice you use a drogue with your explorer and the length seems very far from the kite is this more effective in stabilizing your kite as opposed to being half that distance how did you come to that length from the kite?

    • Thanks for the comment! I think the drogue set up was a tip from Brooks Leffler a while back. Shoud be 3 to 5 kite lengths behind. Too close and it’s in the ‘wash’ of the kite. The drogue acts as a lever so the longer the’arm’ the bigger the effect. The explorer is very prone to yaw left and right, the drogue is on a ‘Y’ tow line to dampen this. I expect a ribbon, tube or fuzzy tail would work just as well but I like drogues…they are tidier and easier to keep clear of trees at launch.

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