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Author Topic: My Valuable Lesson In Energy Transfer  (Read 961 times)
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JB
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« on: June 27, 2012, 05:49 PM »

Had to pick the kids up from summer camp today and wanted to fly the kite.  Checked the raw METAR data for Van Nuys airport and for the last two hours the wind was indicating 140 at 4-8.  So decided to go down to Balboa Park, which is just 2 miles off the departure end of 16.  The field is about 300 yards by 300 yards from trees to trees.  It's not the best field, but it's close to home.  The wind there is usually what Van Nuys is indicating but with a bit of turbulence and more variation.  Sometimes the wind just stops for 10 to 20 seconds and then starts blowing again.

Anyway, grabbed the e3, went as far as I could upwind on the field and launched.    It wasn't optimum, but I did learn a very valuable lesson that I had not learned, or even realized in my 10 hours of flying kites.  I learned the direct relationship between line pressure and kite speed.  This realization tought me a few more lessons.   I learned that line pressure is the kites way of indicating to the flyer the energy at any given moment.  In a low wind/no wind situation, where the majority of the flyers effort is to keep the kite aloft.  The flyer can use this pressure or energy and sacrafice kite speed to harness the energy and store it by maintaining just enough pressure to maintain foreward flight, and walking upwind, basically storing that excess wind energy to use later when the wind stops.  In my situation today, I was limited to flight time, by the length of the field.  If I ran outa field, then I had to land the kite and walk back to the upwind side of the field.  So the entire session I practiced keeping the kite flying smoothly, not to waste any energy in too sharp of turns.   When the wind presented excess energy above what was needed to keep the kite flying (I noticed this by excess line pressure), I released just enough pressure with my arms, extending them, then walked upwind while bringing my arms inward to my hips.  Later in the session, I was even succesfull in capturing the extra energy from short gusts of wind with my arms, then stored that energy with my position on the field.

Even though I practiced my stalls and landings yesterday at the beach with better wind, I believe todays lesson was much more valuable as it made me completely aware of some of the dynamics and more importantly gave me feeling for the transfer of energy that is happening durring a kite flight.

After the session when the wind finally died alltogether, I made my way over to my kids summer camp to pick em up.  I was about an hour early and just reflected on the kite session, which imediatley prompted me to order a 4D  Wink      I believe my new understanding of the energy transfer in kite flight, will help me further understand the factors of low/no wind flight.  What better way to take this knowledge to the next level by flying the 4D.

JB
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red sweater
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 05:55 PM »

That all sounds great!

May I make a suggestion? You can also reclaim territory quickly, even in light winds, by flying to the top of the window (pumping and walking backwards if you have to), pointing the kite at the ground, and walking/running forward. The kite will glide down and forward, rather than darting straight at the ground. The only caveat is to not advance too quickly, or you'll fully flare the kite, and it'll stop going forward.
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JB
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 06:07 PM »

Thanks Red Sweater.

Yeah, I actually practiced that a bit and it worked, but it seemed pretty chaotic and less ZEN  Wink

In essence, your capturing the potential energy of the kites altitude as you move foreward when it's flying itself upwind. 

Thanks

Still looking for a few folks that live around the Los Angeles area that I might be able to meet and learn from.

JB
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lylenc
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 06:45 PM »

Besides the glide from the top of the window to regain ground, you can walk forward in a zig zag pattern during kite movement across the window. Move forward and to the left when the kite is in the right side of the window. Move forward and to the right when the kite is in the left side of the window. That maintains more sail pressure than walking straight down wind.

You can also do cascades to advance, if you put a heavier "throw" into the pull for the flare portion of the cascade and hold the flare a fraction longer than normal before the next pull out of the flare. Even in light wind, that usually results in a step or two advancement for each flare position of the cascades.

If you constantly move forward during slack portions of tricking and when the nose is pointing down to slow its dive speed, you usually don't have too much ground to regain unless the wind stays too low for too long. You can also throw in 360s or other footwork moves to regain ground.
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Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
JB
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 07:04 PM »

Besides the glide from the top of the window to regain ground, you can walk forward in a zig zag pattern during kite movement across the window. Move forward and to the left when the kite is in the right side of the window. Move forward and to the right when the kite is in the left side of the window. That maintains more sail pressure than walking straight down wind.

You can also do cascades to advance, if you put a heavier "throw" into the pull for the flare portion of the cascade and hold the flare a fraction longer than normal before the next pull out of the flare. Even in light wind, that usually results in a step or two advancement for each flare position of the cascades.

If you constantly move forward during slack portions of tricking and when the nose is pointing down to slow its dive speed, you usually don't have too much ground to regain unless the wind stays too low for too long. You can also throw in 360s or other footwork moves to regain ground.

LOL, I have only been doing this now for about 12 hours..  Wink


I am practicing stalls and side slips right now.  Haven't even thought about tricks yet.

JB
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lylenc
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 08:39 AM »

Nose pointing down is an easy trick. Missing the dirt is a little more difficult.  Smiley

Most beginners aren't thinking about foot work and energy transfer. You are steps ahead of most of us when we were at that point in our flying time. Stalls and side slides are slack line control tricks and often overlooked in the beginning - again, steps ahead of most new flyers.  Cool
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 08:58 AM by lylenc » Logged

Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
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