Saturday, 21 September 2013

Double Bat!

In a previous blog post, introducing our Bat kite, I mentioned that we had another sail, which just needed framing to give us a second Bat. Well, if you've visited our Facebook page recently, you'll know that I indeed framed and bridled this second sail. Was fun, as I'd never build up an entire kite from scratch like that, but, given that I had all the spars, connectors, etc, it wasn't hard to do. So one thing remained to be done: fly it and see whether the two match in flight!

Given that the two kites only differed  in weight by 8 grams, it seemed that some small bridle tweaks would be enough to match their speed, and make them fly the same. Well, not quite .... we needed quite large differences in the bridle settings between the two to get them close to matching, but we couldn't quite get them to match. The self-framed kite remained just a tad slower than the original kite, and slowing the original kite down got to the point where its nose was so far back that it had difficulty launching.

To make a long story short, what finally clinched it was changing the stand-offs on the self-framed kite from 3mm to 2mm (original had 2.5mm), and shortening them slightly. What that did was make the sail a wee bit looser. This was really counter-intuitive to me. After framing, the sail of the self-framed kite was just a bit tighter than that of the original kite, and I would have thought that a tighter sail would mean higher speed as it would lose less energy than a looser sail. Clearly, I was wrong in that!

Anyway, they're flying well together now, and really really look cool in the sky!

They're pretty light kites, and seem most suitable for flying in lighter winds, say 5-10mph; I wouldn't want to fly them in winds much over 10mph.

So, coming to a flying field near you (maybe): one pair of Bat kites!

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