Monday 21 May 2018

Double Luna Moth!

Just over two years ago, I managed to get my hands on a complete set of original Joel Scholz dual-line kites: Neptune, Jaws, Kestrel, Hummer and Luna Moth.

Not often that you see the full set in one picture; even Joel himself had never seen a picture with all five!

Of course, Neptune pairs up with Jaws, and the same goes for Kestrel and Hummer. So that sort of leaves the Luna Moth on its own .... I wasn't aware of any others in the 'series' and Joel confirmed that, besides a few prototypes, no others exist. 

Rather than let the Luna Moth pine away on its own, I decided to try and find a second Luna Moth, so we'd have three pairs of original Joel Scholz kites to fly. 

Easier said than done .... these kites rarely come up for sale, and if they do, it's usually a Neptune or Jaws. Besides the one we got, I'd never ever seen a Luna Moth offered for sale ... Hen's teeth anyone?

But good things come to those who wait, and I finally managed to get my hands on a second Luna Moth! Searching for one, I put no restrictions on colour scheme, and as luck would have it, I couldn't have found a better one to match the Moth we already have!

New one on the left, old one on the right. Match also to our team colours: blue for me, red for Irma. And after a bit of bridle tweaking, they flew as well together as they looked!

Can you guess I'm really pleased about this addition to our pair quiver? Pretty pleased with the picture as well, I must say; taking pictures while flying remains a bit hit-and-miss, but this is clearly a 'hit'!

Sunday 6 May 2018

World Sport Kite Championships 2018 - the ballet videos

If you're into pair/team-flying, you'll know the 2018 World Sport Kite Championships took place at Berck-sur-Mer last month. Whereas photos and videos have been aplenty on Facebook, I thought it would be nice and useful to combine ballet videos of all participants in one blog post.

So here goes, in reverse order, and without further ado; enjoy!

#12 - Shanxi Taiyuan, aka China Dolls

#11 - Flame

#10 - Red Alert

#9 - Silat

#8 - AndeSky

#7 - Dalian Storm

#6 - Panam'Air

#5 - Les Mademoiz'Ailes

#4 - Four-Ce

#3 - Atemoc

#2 - Cerfs-Volants Folie

#1 - Start'Air

Congratulations to Start'Air for retaining their title!

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Nasa WingS

Very soon after we started flying kites, my family in the Netherlands asked me what I wanted for my birthday. We'd been discovering the wide variety of kites out there, and one had caught my attention: a Nasa Wing, so named because it originates from an early design of the parachutes that the Apollo capsules used to return back to earth. So a Nasa Wing 170 from Siegers Vliegers flew towards me before my birthday! First time I could fly it was during the field course in southern Spain for our 1st year biology/zoology students on which I was teaching. So I brought the kite with me, to fly at the end of a tiring day of teaching field biology/ecology.

There are worse places to fly a kite, eh? Final day of the field course, the wind had picked up quite a bit, and I thought I'd see how the kite handled in that wind. Well, let's just say I went belly-surfing over the beach! Once I had the kite back under control, it turned out that one of my students had witnessed and captured my belly-surfing. With an angelic smile on her face, she said "That looked like fun, Lex! Are you going to do that again?" Needless to say, some pictures ended up on Facebook ...

Fast forward by nearly nine years. Had you noticed the capital 'S' in the blog post title? History was repeating itself: family again asked about birthday presents, and, given that we had had fun with dual-line foils, I thought: "Why not get a second Nasa Wing and see what we can do with a pair of those?"

So here's our second Nasa Wing, virtually identical to the first, and again sourced from Siegers Vliegers.

Wind was on the low side to fly them, and we had to fiddle with the bridle setting of the new one, but flying as a pair they did in the end!

And here some video evidence of our Nasa WingS flying together in the low wind:

We need to play with the bridle settings a bit more when we have slightly stronger winds, but I think there's definitely potential in flying a pair of Nasa Wings!

Credit for pictures of me dragged along the beach: Charlotte Lawrance; for picture and video of both Nasa Wings flying: Piyush Patel