I'm still looking for the perfect kite, so I thought I'd solicit opinions.
Most of the places I want to photograph seem to require at least two of the following:
- Tight launch area. Today it was a short dock. Last time was in a pocket between slash piles in a clear cut.
- Launching in a wind shadow or with shear winds. I keep finding locations with a building or tree line upwind of me.
- Light winds. Beaufort 2 is normal. Even more normal is Beaufort 1.5 for the first 30 meters, then unsteady Beaufort 2-4 above.
- High string angle. After the kite is up 100 feet, I want to be able to walk around trees, sailboats and other tall things I can't get far enough away from.
- High probability of aircraft at 4-500 feet (float planes and helicopters). It would be nice to be able to take the kite up to 300 feet before attaching the camera, but I prefer to leave a lot more margin for error and keep the whole rig low.
What I've tried so far. #1
Premier Mesh 11' delta. This was my first big kite, and it's been great. Very forgiving in gusts, launches nicely from the hand in compact areas. I've been able to get it in the air in anything but the lightest winds. Hateful when it falls into blackberries or brush. I'm looking for a 2nd kite because it doesn't have enough lifting capacity in light winds( for a 300g rig.) #2
. Fled. I didn't have any luck with mine without a tail or with a drogue (constant overflying). While I've got it working with a huge fuzzy tail, that tail is no good for my normal conditions. #3
2m rokakku. I have a heavy fiberglass sparred rok, and I'm uncertain I have the rigging correct. In a solid wind in a clearing, it's a fine kite. It isn't good at launching in very low wind, or at least I haven't found the right rigging angles. In any case, the long Rok harness seems to take a lot more room to launch and retrieve. I've never been able to just lift it into the air like a delta.
After this experience, I'm inclined to try 2 medium size deltas or delta conynes in a train. While people do that, it's rare on the list. I could also try swapping out the spars on the rok and keep drinking the rok koolaid. The Dopero looks nice, but I worry about the upper wind range.
Do I need to work on building a hot air balloon for kite launching?