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Author Topic: Teaching kids to fly  (Read 1765 times)
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Texanpilot
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« on: June 10, 2012, 03:59 PM »

Yesterday I sort of hosted a park day for some of the kids from my church (about 8 of them, ages 8-14).
It started with the boomerangs because the wind was light, but once the wind picked up to beginner flier speeds, the kites came out. 
I decided to be very generous and let the kids learn on my Mamba.  Huh   Of the kites in my bag, it was the most stable and I thought the best for learning (as opposed to my Deep Space, Elixir, etc.)

I've tried to teach kids to fly before - with varying measures of success.  Yesterday started no differently, some of the kids picked it up fairly quickly, others seemed to have some difficulty.

After a while I decided to do a bit of a show, pulling out my other kite bag and flying a pair of Quantum Pros, one in each hand.  They were duly entertained (and their parents impressed).  The of course, with the different kites out, one of them asked to try it. 

So, I let him try flying the QP with my "one-handed" handle (nothing more than a curved piece of PVC pipe - sort of like an oversized Airbow handle).  Distance between the flight lines was about 14 inches or so, and the kids were flying with one hand at each end of the handle.

It was amazing to me how much better this kid did when flying off the handle.  Not much problem at all in keeping the kite in the air - and this was one of the kids that struggled flying "normally".   Grin  This same thing happened with several of the other kids as well.  Tongue

I reckon the amount of input to the kite being limited by the handle kept them from committing the two biggest errors when learning:  flailing and over-correction.

So, I thought I would pass on my "discovery" in the hopes that as we try to recruit new fliers, we can give them some "training wheels" for their first few flights, thus guiding them to a more positive experience and ultimately a kite addiction.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 04:05 PM by Texanpilot » Logged

Steady winds, y'all.
Wayner
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 04:12 PM »

So, I thought I would pass on my "discovery" in the hopes that as we try to recruit new fliers

  Smiley  Smiley  Smiley
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kwwilson
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 09:00 PM »

Absolutely the best idea i have heard in a long time. Fantastic. You are what we need here. Ideas that WORK. I have to go make one and try it. u get 1 attaboy.! TY!
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mikenchico
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 09:02 PM »

Nice discovery, I wonder if it is more like controlling a bicycle or holding a video game controller so some kids take to it more naturally?

You could also experiment with a short length of line clipped between the straps to limit over controlling and flailing and promote keeping the hands closer together.

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Ara Ararauna
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 06:18 AM »

Sounds great!
Me being interested in human computer interaction, physical interfaces and full-body interaction, I'm always on the look out for these sort of discoveries.
I think we should make a formal experiment with statistically significant results, a representative demography, a control group and a random test control  Wink

Just kidding. I think it is indeed a great idea and sounds perfectly well reasoned.
Cheers,

N.
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Ken Bour
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 07:22 AM »

So, I let him try flying the QP with my "one-handed" handle (nothing more than a curved piece of PVC pipe - sort of like an oversized Airbow handle).  Distance between the flight lines was about 14 inches or so, and the kids were flying with one hand at each end of the handle.

It was amazing to me how much better this kid did when flying off the handle.  Not much problem at all in keeping the kite in the air - and this was one of the kids that struggled flying "normally".   Grin  This same thing happened with several of the other kids as well.  Tongue

I reckon the amount of input to the kite being limited by the handle kept them from committing the two biggest errors when learning:  flailing and over-correction.

So, I thought I would pass on my "discovery" in the hopes that as we try to recruit new fliers, we can give them some "training wheels" for their first few flights, thus guiding them to a more positive experience and ultimately a kite addiction.
Would you be able to post a pic? I am having trouble visualizing the handle you crafted.

Thanks, Ken
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red sweater
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 07:39 AM »

Would you be able to post a pic? I am having trouble visualizing the handle you crafted.

Thanks, Ken

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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 11:23 AM »

Thank you for sharing your story. I have some girl scouts I will be doing a kite flying class for and will use the handles. Could you post a picture of them so i can make some sets up? Grin
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tonycarl60
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 01:07 PM »

I also fly two kites at the same time using Benson Airbow handles and have on occasion handed one off to another person. So long as the wind isn't too strong it's pretty easy for a new flyer to catch on. You don't need any thing fancy for handles, an old broom stick or dowel cut to about one foot long, drill a hole in each end and put a short length of heavy line with a knot on each end to larks head the kite lines to, will do fine.

I'm really surprised more flyer's haven't tried to fly 2kites at the same time as it really is not that difficult to do and is a whole lotta fun Smiley
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Texanpilot
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 01:38 PM »

Basically, they're airbow handles in an el cheapo, larger size.   I just took a section of PVC, heated it up with my paint stripper heat gun to bend it, then drilled holes at either end for the leader lines.

I'll try to get some pictures up this evening.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 12:17 AM »

You don't really need the bend to do what Texan did, he pressed his handles to fly a kite one handed into use as a control bar, the bend helps when using one hand, it's not needed when using two hands and may be detrimental.

Here's one 18 inches long, 3/4 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe, available at any hardware or plumbing store, I use schedule 40 because it has a thicker wall and will work fine for lengths of 2 feet or more. Alternately a large enough wood dowel will also work.

Drill a hole at both ends through both sides of the tube, be sure you keep those holes lined up so the pigtails come out the same direction. Then you need two lengths of heavy line or bridle line about 12 - 14 inches long. fold those lines in half and use a folded wire like a sleeving tool and insert it through the holes and hook the center of the line through the wire and pull the line halfway through the holes. Remove the wire and take the looped end and loop it back over the end of the tube. To keep the pigtials from ever coming off the tube I insert one of the two loose ends from the other side through that loop so the loop is  between them then tie the knot you will larkshead your flying lines to.

Sorry my camera is somewhere between San Diego and here right now - phone pics.

The third pic is one of my dual kite bent handles, the line threading is more complicated so I can adjust the line balance as needed.

 Roll Eyes  I used the burner on Rhonda's new stove to heat & bend mine, I'd say Texan is much brighter then me, especially since I have a heat gun in the garage where I drilled the holes before running into the house to use the stove  Roll Eyes



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« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 12:22 AM by mikenchico » Logged

"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
Texanpilot
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 08:23 AM »

Thanks for the pictures Mike.

That's exactly what my handles look like.
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kwwilson
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 07:08 PM »

Thanks for the pics. Gotta go make some! kw
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mikeb
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 08:40 PM »

Sounds like a great idea that was just invented now. Well to me it was!
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Stogiez
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2012, 06:06 AM »

That handle works great when teaching new flyers.  Not just kids.  I came up with that same set up as mikenchico did a couple of years ago when I was still new and I found myself flailing.  It helped.

I also used it to help my then 7 yr old son learn to fly.

I carry a couple in my bag whenever I go out.  Just in case someone wants to learn.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 10:24 PM by Stogiez » Logged

A few SLKs, a few Dualies, and a couple of Quads.  Still trying to learn more.
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