Like I wrote in another blog post here at AERIALIS Kites, I try always to include a session of practising pre-defined flight patterns when I go flying. That means intentional flying which will improve your overall flying skills.
Last weekend I had a few great hours on the beach with a vented quad kite, and as mentioned above, I spent some time repeating a few of these exercises.
90° turns and straight trajectories
In the first exercise I practice crisp 90° turns, straight vertical and horizontal trajectories and distinct stops. I place the kite on the ground, let’s say to the right of the wind window and from then it goes like…
- Turn 90° left
- Fly a straight horizontal trajectory across the wind window
- Turn 90° right
- Reverse down
You can add to the difficulty by stopping the kite half way across the wind window (in the centre) and to a 180° turn to the right and fly the rest of the horizontal line in reverse. When doing the 180° turn, the kite should rotate around its centre.
Pivot Ladder up
The next exercise is the Pivot Ladder Up. Start with the kite a few feet above the ground with its leading edge pointing to – let’s say – the left. Start by rotating the kite up and to the right 180°. The kite should pivot around its upper wingtip and after the rotation, what used to be the upper wing tip, should now be the lower one.
Repeat in the opposite direction and alternate the rotations right, left, right until you get to the top of the wind window.
Up Turn Down Turn Land
The third exercise is just like it says in the title above. You start with the kite on the ground. Then launch and fly straight upwards. At about 50% do a stop and a 180° turn. Now your kite should sit safely in an inverted hover. Fly straight down until you are about one kite width above the ground. Do another 180° turn (the opposite direction as the first 180° turn) and land directly.
Repeat until you nail it perfectly!
Squares and Rectangles
The title says it all. Do both clockwise and anti-clockwise (to untangle the lines) rectangles and squares and focus on straight trajectories, constant speed and crisp corners.
Bicycle Rotations and Clockwork
Both the bicycle and the clockwork are rotating your kite. The Bicycle ones are smoooth rotations with the constant speed with the kite rotating around its centre. …at least when done perfectly. The kite should rotate on the spot in the air.
A variation of this is the moving bicycle rotations. Then the kite is supposed to rotate whilst moving to the left (or to the right) across the wind window. Hard to nail, but practice makes perfect!
Another variation of the rotation is the Clockwork. The kite should still rotate around its centre, but the rotation should no longer be a smoooooth rotation in a constant speed. Now a complete rotation consists of four 90° turns done quickly.
Start by positioning your kite in an upright hover and decide if you’re going for a right or left rotation.
Then do a crisp 90° turn to the … let’s say left. Stop and immediately do another 90° crisp turn to the left. Stop and repeat, stop and repeat. Now you have completed one full rotation and you can go one over and over again.
Then switch to a rotation to the right and repeat until …. Well, as long as you like! 😎😉
Below you’ll find a video where you can see all of these exercises. Not all performed perfectly, but hopefully, we’ll enough for you to get the picture.