Monday 20 February 2023

A century-old experiment, part 2

In a blog post a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned trying to use a 100+ year old bridle on a single-line diamond kite and thereby turning it into a steerable dual-line kite. That did work, but there was still an issue with the kite losing its dihedral shape, caused by the spine no longer being connected to the flying lines. 

I think I solved that issue by tying an extra Y-shaped bridle line from the existing single-line bridle to the two 'new' bridle lines, near the tow points.

Only one way to find out if that works: fly the kite with extra Y-shaped bridle in 10-15mph winds!

Well, judge for yourself, but the dihedral shape is maintained, so the extra bridle legs indeed prevent the spine being pushed back. In addition, the kite also steered a bit better. 

Now of course, the ultimate test of their steerability is to fly a pair of them together. Now it so happens that the Vertex comes in three colour versions. The mostly green version is called 'Aurora', but there is also a mostly orange version which is called 'Infrared'. Green and orange are our often-used flying colours, so ..... You didn't really think we'd just get one of them, right? We're Flying Fish, remember? We fly kites in pairs .... 

So the 'Infrared' Vertex was quickly equipped with the same extra Y-shaped bridle (we'd brought it with us to the field, in case it worked on the 'Aurora' one), and here they are, ready to go!

Of course, they're not designed to be team kites (they're not even designed to be flown on two lines), but we could fly them together in reasonable synchrony, and fly basic patterns such as follow-ons and parallel infinities.

Was really fun to try out putting a 100+ year bridling idea on a pair of modern single-line diamonds, and then come up with a way to deal with an unexpected problem.