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Author: Subject: Flying with little to no wind
rofer


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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 01:42 PM
Flying with little to no wind


So, when there's very little to no wind obviously I'm not going to be able to be able to get moving on anything, but I've read it's still possible to fly large kites static. So, on the days where I can't do much I figured I might as well work on learning to fly my big 8m Century II.

I'm wondering what exactly I need to be doing to keep a kite like this in the air. After shortening the power lines at my handles I've been able to reliably get my Century up into the air with a combination of walking backwards and pulling sharply on the handles, but I've yet to be able to keep it in the air for long. Once I get it up to 45 or so what should I be doing? Should I be turning it down to start figure eights?

Also, is it possible hold my position once I get the kite in the air or will I need to constantly be moving a bit backwards to keep it from falling out of the sky?




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ssayre




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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 01:49 PM


A kite that size should stay up in a light breeze without walking backwards. If there are periods of no wind that last more than a few seconds than you'll probably have to step back. Keep it moving and try and turn it before your get to the edge of the window to prevent stalling. I could fly my 8 meter toxic in 2-4 winds but it takes some work. 4-7 should be easy flying.
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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 01:50 PM


You should not have to move at all. The main thing is to keep the kite moving. Figure 8's are great for this. Low wind flying will help you gain the finesse needed later down the line. But I would imagine that even in little to no wind that kite will still pull you pretty good when swooped down thru the powerzone.



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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 02:14 PM


Naturally you can't fly in zero wind for long. I have found I am riding through a complete lull when in motion before but that is different.

Once the kite has lifted turn it and fly it across the power zone. Your wind window will not be as big so turn it back early. Work on doing down turns rather than turning the kite up. Gravity helps with this move. Keep the kite in motion and moving through the power zone as much as possible .

Generally I find flying big kites in super low wind a bit of a drag. Too much like work. If you get it down you can fly a 3m kite in some amazing low winds. Again the key is keeping the kite in motion and away from the edges.




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rofer


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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 02:16 PM


When I say little to no wind I mean the local weather station is reporting gusts around 4mph with the average wind being something like 1-2mph. The only time I've seen the wind average around 6mph was when we had 25mph gusts. Add to that the fact that I don't have anywhere with terribly clean wind, especially at the ground and I can be pretty sure I'll need to step back to launch.

Mostly wondering how what to do if there's pretty much no powerzone because the wind is essentially stopped.




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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 02:55 PM


Have you ever considered Chess. :lol:

oh deary me, I do make myself laugh sometimes. I echo Bladerunners comment. Smaller kites that are lighter and can be quickly manipulated stand a better chance for static flying. The big kites only really come into their own once on the move with the apparent wind effect helping them along. Keep a nice fluid motion going, walk back if you have to but then walk forwards to regain your ground when the kite is in a dive or when the wind gets up. Avoid upturns at the edge. Use gravity to assist with the kites motion and consider that actually there might not be enough wind to fly. I like your dedication though.
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John Holgate




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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 03:05 PM


Sounds like a good time to do some 360's :)



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rofer


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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 04:23 PM


Quote: Originally posted by John Holgate  
Sounds like a good time to do some 360's :)

Oooh, hadn't considered that. Sounds like a good way to keep running out of space.

Also, just tried to get it out in some wind that I could only occasionally feel on my face. After realizing I had some of the power bridles tangled and fixing that it was really able to pull! Look forward to trying this on a day that actually has a little wind.




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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 04:34 PM


When you do downloops it will generate considerable force. And you have to start turning before you hit the edge of the window. And as stated earlier ,regain ground when powered. I think once you learn to "powerfly" it, you'll be getting one heck of a workout,flying in next to no wind.:thumbup:



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Aaeolien




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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 04:35 PM


My suggestion for those low winds. Invest in a RC airplane or helicopter or quadcopter. LOL Thats exactly what we do when the winds are that low. We bring out the airplanes. We actually got into the kite thing because we couldn't fly the planes in the wind. :)
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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 04:39 PM


Quote:
Quote: Originally posted by WELDNGOD  
When you do downloops it will generate considerable force. And you have to start turning before you hit the edge of the window. And as stated earlier ,regain ground when powered. I think once you learn to "powerfly" it, you'll be getting one heck of a workout,flying in next to no wind.:thumbup:

That's exactly what I was hoping to hear (and from the person I'd expect to know this kite best)! Definitely getting better with this kite and enjoying it more and more.

[quote&author=Aaeolien]
My suggestion for those low winds. Invest in a RC airplane or helicopter or quadcopter. LOL Thats exactly what we do when the winds are that low. We bring out the airplanes. We actually got into the kite thing because we couldn't fly the planes in the wind. :)

But kiting is my obsession right now! Recently when I need to get out and the kites won't fly I've just been practicing with the mountain board. I figure those skill will come in handy once the wind starts to improve.

Besides, I can't afford any RC stuff, I need to save that money for more kites!




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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 07:01 PM


Check and make sure that your back lines are a little slack, not so much that there is a huge difference from the front lines. If your back lines, "brake"lines are too tight you will struggle to keep the kite in the air as well. They should have a slight droop to them





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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 07:03 PM


Yeah, I had that problem initially until I decided to make knots closer to my handles on the leader. Now that I've done that I'm able to actually fly it a bit.



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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 07:18 PM


Can a 360 be done with all size kites? I've never pulled one off; but in the video's I've seen is always with a large kite.
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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 08:12 PM


For me I like flying a larger kite that is a light kite and also a fast kite - so even in zero wind i can get it inflated with a few pumps and walking back but once flying it doesn't take running just a gentle walk to get the kite to fly all round in any direction, very much like indoor kite flying. But having a lighter kite that wants to fly and has a nice easy glide helps. Heavier kites take more pumping and smaller kites need a bit more speed so depending on the kite size you may need a bit more of a jog to get the kite around. Out of all my kites the 6.5 Spirit is one of the nicest handling when I'm playing around in zero wind. What you want is to really get a feel for the kite when to pump it a little and when to let it glide and walk forward letting gravity help in a dive while slowing the kite down for nice gentle movements and less tiring to keep it flying smooth. All this light wind flying will develop a really good kite sense that will help you get the most out of your kites when you need it.



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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 08:31 PM


I've been having the same problems, but the way I see it, at least I'm getting LOTS of practice laying out and packing up the kite. :)
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[*] posted on 9-16-2014 at 10:00 PM


To bad you know nothing about long lines. How about a 10m Century on 210' lines in ZERO wind and reaching 15mph in the buggy?
Guess fletch is the only other one that knows.




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[*] posted on 9-17-2014 at 03:33 AM


Keep it moving and you should be good. Sometimes it is more of a workout than if you actually had some good wind.
Here are a few videos of low or no wind flying.
Skydog 9.3
http://youtu.be/bqUEWS-Kxws?list=UUGjDfgtjUP4bT_9ByIwrMuQ

Voltage 8.5m
http://youtu.be/n2684j6dY3A?list=UUGjDfgtjUP4bT_9ByIwrMuQ

Reactor 6.9m
http://youtu.be/1R3YF9P7bPA?list=UUGjDfgtjUP4bT_9ByIwrMuQ




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[*] posted on 9-17-2014 at 06:54 AM


Quote: Originally posted by bigkid  
To bad you know nothing about long lines. How about a 10m Century on 210' lines in ZERO wind and reaching 15mph in the buggy?
Guess fletch is the only other one that knows.

I've seen the difference long lines can make, unfortunately I don't have the space for them. Having my Century II on my 20m lines means I only have a little room to back up in some of my spots. Very jealous of your spot where you can put out 210' lines and still have room to move.

I feel like I'm flying in some of the worst conditions. I don't have much wind and I'm generally in a rather enclosed space surrounded by trees. I'm managing somehow though and things are only getting better as Winter approaches.




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ssayre




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[*] posted on 9-17-2014 at 06:59 AM


always keep an eye out for spots. My spots range from 5 minutes away to an hour away.
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rofer


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[*] posted on 9-17-2014 at 07:01 AM


My problem is as an undergrad my time is very constrained. Combine that with my lack of a car and there aren't a whole lot of places I can go. My furthest is maybe half an hour away, but pretty good when I can get out there. Once it snows over and there are fewer other people around I imagine it'll get a lot better.



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[*] posted on 9-18-2014 at 02:54 AM


Flying in a tight spot surrounded by trees is really adding difficulty to flying. My 8m NPW needs @6mph but step up to the 11.5m and that will fly easily in @3mph (that just feel the slight wind on your face time). I find taking a couple of steps back to get it lifted then keep it moving around the centre of the window and keep working on those down turns to get some speed. As you take it across the centre that's the time to move forward again. Low wind flying may not be adrenalin pumping stuff but you do really improve your skills.



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[*] posted on 10-6-2014 at 02:42 PM


> My problem is as an undergrad my time is very constrained.
Haha.. as an undergrad, I don't think you know what constrained time is yet! Enjoy that while it lasts!





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rofer


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[*] posted on 10-6-2014 at 02:47 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SpecialK  
> My problem is as an undergrad my time is very constrained.
Haha.. as an undergrad, I don't think you know what constrained time is yet! Enjoy that while it lasts!

Heh, I'd argue otherwise. I generally work full-time over the summers and that's so much nicer. My time is really flexible now, but if I only have an hour to spare that doesn't leave me with much I can do.




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[*] posted on 10-7-2014 at 02:11 PM


Prioritize guys!! Fly all day, and work for one hour. Hard core kiters don't require much sustenance. The kite already serves as a hammock and shelter after hours.
Joke of course... Lol




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[*] posted on 11-7-2014 at 08:49 AM


Since I just about always have low winds I will chime in and or reiterate a couple of points made above:
Longer lines - I have just about completely given up on flying my big wings [8 -12m foils] on less than 30 m lines. At those sizes the ground clearance for turning is severely compromised by the line length. The longer lines also help to get above the ground noise from your surroundings.
Chokes - different people have different terms for them, I call them chokes. This is a short [25 -30cm] auxiliary line that I use to connect the drive lines to the brakes at the pigtails. I use a static connection at the drive and a dynamic connection at the brake ["o" or "d" ring]. These effectively add about a meter of "area" to a kite by imposing constraint on the trailing edge and do wonders for finding power for the kites in low wind.




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ssayre




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[*] posted on 11-7-2014 at 08:53 AM


Cerebite, that sounds interesting, can you post a picture of the chokes?
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kitemaker4




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[*] posted on 11-7-2014 at 09:10 AM


Just a note on nasa wings. You have to remember that foils are twin skin kites and nasa wings are single skin kites so they should do better in low wind.

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[*] posted on 11-7-2014 at 09:16 AM


I will have to see if I can find a photo. As I said a line [para-chord size] about 30 cm long after the knots are made [I also have some short ones but they only work on the tiny [<2m] kites] with a c. 2 cm D or O ring on one end. Larkshead the end without the ring to the power lines and let the ring end ride up and down [slide] on the brake lines.
The Z line that John H et al are doing on the NASA wings is a variant of the theme [fixed on both ends].




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[*] posted on 11-7-2014 at 10:21 AM


I fly Revs to get a kite fix when there is no wind. They'll fly in a fart :D




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