Harris Extreme Kite Test

OK, yesterday got a bit hairy scary. This was Daisy 3’s toughest test yet.
The back of my parents house has a terrible wind field for a kite flying. A small patch of grass crowns a small steep hill covered in pine trees and granite.
The wind was super gusty because it rolls off much larger hills close by. The strongest wind I have yet tested in.
Perfect for kite survival testing. Turns out to be a good human survival test site too.

I thought I’d be smart and do the test alone. (?) The test plan was to fly Daisy 3 further downwind, underneath the lifter tether, suspending the Daisy 3 lift line from a point high on the lifter tether. But I was rushing to show off to the ferry passengers who would be going past in 5 minutes.
Things quickly went wrong when I thought I should fly the lifter on a long single tether; to avoid the down draft over the hill… oops! This meant spare tether line loose at the top of the hill at launch time. I imagined a “clean” launch and flight. Wrong! It was far too windy for that! I knew the dangers but stupidity and bravery took over. During launching as I paid out a little tether, the lift kite swung and yanked wildly. Did I have my gloves on? no doh! It was all I could do to wrestle the lift kite back down away from the wee cliff edge.

Still not being to overly bright, I re-rigged a single shorter tether. Now I could launch safely. Ah but the flight was hugely erratic. (Peter Lynn describes why)
With a bit of safety in mind. I rigged a wide split dual tether. Lines at about 110 degrees arc. Stability improved a bit but the kite was still surging and swaying ~40 deg from average downwind.
I attached the lift line which gave a further slight steadying influence.
I should have also split the lift line, bridled it onto the two tether lines… but instead I attached directly to the lifer kite bridle point.

I carried on and hoisted the back end of Daisy 3 sufficiently to start spinning… Blimey was it ever going round fast. Good power against the brake. Sometimes with wind shifts it seemed to be pointing near vertically. But it was a short test. Around 5 mins of battling Human VS wind. I had rigged the lift line poorly with no good way of cleating and flying single handedly. I was holding the lift line end in my braking hand.

The wind won in the end. I was quickly knackered. This was a high intensity sport test. An even shorter 2nd test, was followed by the start of a third. When I noticed the same T piece shear fracture as had happened previously had now happened to another old design T piece. Test over pack away. First sensible decision of the day.

I need to move to a more stable lift platform. KPower style.
Possibly going to cooperate with skybums on this.

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