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

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