The weather is continuing to keep me grounded, days and days of overcast followed by bright spells with slack wind and sudden cloudburst, reading the daily forecast is becoming a moment of dread. It’s been weeks now.
I decide to see if I can tweak the rig, the balance between weight and strength might be achieved with plastic for parts under low stress, the beam needs:
- A secure attachment point to the line
- Piviot for the pendulum
- Clip to provide a counter to turning against the line
- Adequate length to provide cross line rigidity
I have long given up on the centre pivot idea for pendulum beams, it’s principal functions being to provide a pivot point and prevent unwanted rotation across the line. A simple hook with 2 or 3 turns of line shows how little is needed to kill the twisting tendency.
Aluminium L section, 6mm bar section joints =150gPlastic 2mm thick L section cut down from 26mm x 26mm with brass eyelet inserts, all bar section replaced with 6mm OD tube=50g.Ziptie replaces split ring (quieter), a trapped bolt secured with a drilling for a lock nut & bolt secures the top tube.
Brass eyelets should slow hole wear at the pivot points. Beam is 24cm long.
The tried and tested 75mm pennant cleat feels secure.
The set up weighs in at 540g as opposed to 690g for the previous aluminium suspension. The plastic doesn’t feel as solid as the aluminium, I can twist it and it will flex. I’ll find out how well it performs when the cloud lifts and the wind picks up.
Opportunity came on a work trip to the Netherlands, packing the bike for a week on the road meant only 2 kites: after considering all the soft kites I have I took the Sutton Flowform 30 for the light stuff and the KAPfoil 1.6 for Bft 4.
I got to fly during a lunch-time beach interlude between rain showers, the wind felt punchier than it was and after a slow start with the KAPfoil I gave up with it and the big Sutton gradually raised the camera.
The light was weak and I did not expect great things from the camera but, despite the soft light, the GR performed well, helped by light reflected from the steely grey sea.
It’s been a strange week, looking at the North Sea from the ‘other’ side, riding in a gentle rhythm from town to town in the company of family, working with good friends I feel far more European than the nay- sayers at home.
We cast our votes before we left and it’s sad to say goodbye to a Europe that once included us and return to mean spirited bickering over our own back yard. As I pay our hotel bill I realise the money in our pockets is worth a lot less than when we left. They call it ‘Brexit’ but it makes Britain look unfriendly, uncaring and selfish from the other side of the sea.