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Author Topic: how much rain can you fly in?  (Read 2844 times)
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dyfrgi
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« on: June 26, 2009, 10:12 PM »

Every day in the past week, plus a couple more before that, it has rained. And the forecast for the next 5 days? Rain! Every day, too.

I've seen some videos in which people are flying in the rain. My question is, how much rain can you fly in? Obviously flying in a lightning storm isn't a great idea, but short of that, is there a line? Assuming the wind isn't too gusty, up to how much rain can you still fly?

I'm specifically thinking sport kites, here. In particular the BMK Muse, if that matters. Smiley
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chilese
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 10:29 PM »

I've flown in drizzle, not a big deal. If it's raining, I cover my head with the kite and wait. If it's raining and looks like it's going to stay that way, just go home.

Las Vegas gets less than 4 inches of rain per year. If it's raining, it's usually colder than I like anyway. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.  Smiley
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DWayne
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 10:39 PM »

As long as you can see the kite, fly.
Make sure you dry the kite and line set before packing them away.


Denny
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I always wanted to be a procrastinator..........
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tpatter
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2009, 10:40 PM »

I've even flown in hail - if the wind is there, then have fun and just take a hot shower when you are all done.  Smiley

The kite gets heavy, but with enough wind, it all works out.

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6 kite tom
Allen Carter
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 10:45 PM »

I've flown until I had to take my glasses off or hire an assistant to wipe them constantly.   Smiley

Nylon sails tend to soak up a lot of water and get heavy. A lot of poly kites fly fine when wet. Wet sand also adds a lot of weight. It's more about the pilot and the wind conditions. Most of the time when it's stormy the winds are funky, so there's usually plenty of incentive to make it a short session.

I've had some very memorable times in the rain, but living in California I only fly in it a couple times a year at most. Back when I was competing I flew in the rain a lot more.

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Allen, AKA kitehead
mikenchico
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 02:23 AM »

Like Allen stated, Nylon sails absorb water, they tend to shall we say "Swell", which will change the kites handling. Nylon may also stretch when wet and not return to its original dimensions when dry. Different coating materials are more, or less prone to these problems. I have had a cheaper kite stretch to the point that it never was the same again after a dip in the ocean.

The cloth we use is intended for boat sails so it is treated to minumize the effects of water, but some cheaper grades may suffer problems.

If your kite has a Nylon sail do a test of its water absorbancy prior to flying in the rain. Just sprinkle a little water on the sail and let sit for a few minutes. Don't soak it you just want some beads on the fabric. Then check it to see if where it got wet had expanded, you'll see sort of a pucker effect like seersucker fabric if it absorbed the water. If it does I probably wouldn't fly that kite wet just to be safe.

Polyester is hydrophobic and will not absorb water so it shouldn't suffer any adverse effects when wet.

Last don't store your kite in its bag after getting it wet. Once home, take it out of your bag, but leave it unassembled. Since the leading edge fabric is usually Dacron which is a Nylon I would suggest relaxing the leading edge tensioners too just to be safe. Then let it air dry for a few hours, it doesn't take long. This will help keep mold from forming which in extreme cases has been seen to weaken the sewing thread. You also run a slight risk of color bleeding with prolonged exposure to water or discoloration from molds.

 
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RonG
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 03:56 AM »

Polyester is hydrophobic and will not absorb water so it shouldn't suffer any adverse effects when wet.
True, but a lot of the bits we use around the poly are not.  Dacron leading edges will get waterlogged, nose webbing, nylon trailing edge tape, tail flaps, etc.  What I've found with my polyester kites is they start to fly pretty weird once they've been in the wet for a while, because the uneven absorption of water has thrown the balance completely off.
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ezme6
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 04:12 AM »

I wash my kites alot after the beach,  leave them fully assembled to dry, never had a problem
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"Do what you like"
dyfrgi
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 07:34 AM »

Rockin', thanks guys.
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Gardner
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2009, 07:57 AM »

This time of the year in the Texas Panhandle -- that is, Tornado Alley -- It's isn't safe to fly in the rain because of thunderstorms ::  Other than a stray tornado or two, cloud to ground lightning may zap you or you get konked Huh by hail, from pea-size up to grapefruit-size.  Also. you stand a chance of getting caught in a frog-strangler downpout -- an inch of rain in 15 minutes.  Another problem is wind.

Besides, all those minor problems, I don't particularly like to get wet and cold.

Gardner
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EBGB
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2009, 02:54 PM »

While it's true that water doesn't soak into polyester readily (it's hydrophobic), the effect goes away over time as the sail collects dirt, salt, etc that like water just fine.
They'll get wet - but they'll stay in better shape than nylon kites - and if you wash them, they might just bead water again.

Nylon likes the water very much. It wicks deep between the indvidual fibers of the frabric, where it acts like a lubricant, allowing the fibers to slide around in relation to each other. When it dries, the fibers are still in their new position - permanent stretch.


BTW:Dacron(TM) = Polyester = PET = Polyethylene Terephthalate.

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kjdubuque
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 12:13 PM »

Living in the NW it's either fly in the rain or don't fly a few months a year.  I avoid the down pours but the more common lighter winter rains are no big deal.  I follow the advise of taking the kite apart and letting it dry but I've forgotten a few times and not had any problems.  The bummer thing is the lines get really wet from the grass and they start sticking.

kris
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sbrown
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2009, 10:28 PM »

I fly over 200 days a year and we get around 1100 mm rain annually.
Flying in the rain is no big deal if you dress right.
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kiteking
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2009, 07:37 PM »

Zeke,

next time turn off auto-focus, if possible. that should help getting the "money" shot
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I used to live in Oregon (1977-1984) and would fly in the rain (no lightning). It was when that big fireball in the sky would appear that we feared the end was near and thought of a ceremonially sacrifice
« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 07:42 PM by kiteking » Logged

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MikeM
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