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6sqm Stackable Pilot.
6m2 Stackable Pilot.
Fliers who take on the challenge of flying large single line soft kites at international kite events typically go through four stages:

The first is : Before they start flying larger kites- they're flying small framed kites and/or art kites when their space is invaded by some large out of control soft kite:
"---- the arrogance of these people!!- and their incompetence!, they seem to think they own the sky, big is not better, my kites have just as much right to the sky as theirs have - and mine are much prettier, better made and fly a damned sight better. And why don't they keep these big kites under better control, and if they can't then they should just put them back in their bags and let those of us who can have a chance- not that they're proper kites anyway, more like just sky junk that can't fly by itself- not really kites at all.------"

The second is : "We'll maybe I'll just add a mid-size or so soft kite to my set for the smaller events I do that don't have any of these big kites that event organisers seem to always want to see- and maybe this will get me a few more invitations. And anyway, they can't be difficult to fly compared to the stuff I fly now- no assembly, just pull them out, stick a pilot above, stake off and go sit down- but not irresponsibly like those guys flying the large stuff. I keep control of my kites all the time, and only fly when the wind is suitable, and when there's plenty of space and no other kites near that there could be problems with- and I pull down for lunch and other breaks.

6sqm Pilots Stacked.
6m2 Pilots Stacked.
The third is : "We'll this seems to be working, actually it's very easy when the wind is good, so easy that I've added a few more, and have now picked up a couple of maxi's as well, and I'm certainly getting invited to more events. And, I've found that it is better to leave them up, because getting everything launched and settled in a free piece of sky can take quite a while and I don't want others to take my space and anchors while I'm away. It is very annoying that organisers don't seem to understand that we need anchors to tie off these larger kites to though- why don't they ever seem to provide safe and properly spaced objects to tie to- stakes really aren't safe, and I can't travel with anything bigger. And they also should compensate us for the wear and tear on our kites- repairs seem to be never ending and start to add up- all right for some I suppose, but I'm doing all this out of my own pocket. I'm not going to get into trying to keep kites up when the wind is uncooperative though. Kite fliers who persist in doing re-launch after re-launch with all the inevitable tangles and trouble this causes just annoy other fliers- and frankly, it's very hard on the kites, and not easy on me either------."

22sqm 4 bridle Pilot.
22m2 4 bridle Pilot
The fourth is : "--- well maybe I can now just about see the point of keeping stuff up in the sky when the wind is bad. From the event organiser's perspective (and I'd rather like to get invites to a few of the larger international events that I haven't yet been to), this is when it's critical to keep as many kites as possible in the air. In smooth mid-range winds, all the fair weather fliers will have kites up anyway. But, confidentially, it's a lot more difficult to fly these big kites when the wind is screwy than I realised, a never ending job, not easy at all. My pilots all seem to lean to the left when the wind is up, and sometime go into looping-I really should make the effort to learn how to tune them some day. When the conditions are rough, I've decided it's not really worth the trouble and risks anyway- it's a hobby after all and I'm in it to have fun, not for work. So, when there aren't suitable anchors and when the wind is difficult, or if something comes up that seems more interesting to do, l just leave my kites in their bags. But other fliers really do annoy me sometimes. When everything's nice and the wind is smooth and steady, they seem very reluctant to pull their kites down and let me have a space to fly in- very selfish-------."

End of conversation.

What can I say to this except that by my view, putting the effort in to keep flying when conditions are difficult is worthwhile.
Large single line kites are, to a considerable extent, the engine that is driving the ever growing number, size and success of international kite festivals. It's a hard job; sometimes there'll be no let-up from continual untangling and re-launching for hours at a stretch: Physically demanding, destructive of kites and at times soul destroying- often unappreciated, occasionally even openly scorned by other fliers.
Fliers with the skills and commitment to function at this level- and that do so consistently- are in very short supply. We need more of them, but unfortunately, most kite fliers are like our conversationalist above- and in a way, I don't blame them at all- perhaps they're the sane ones.

Peter Lynn, at Galveston, Texas, November 29 2011
- and yes, we had a thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat.

PS. Attached are dimensioned plans (ably drawn up from my sketches by Robert van Weers) for my latest pilot design. It's a 6 sq.m 4 cell 8 bridle stackable design that is the most reliable, widest wind range single line kite I've ever developed. It has a bit more pull for it's size, but it's angle of flight is very slightly down in comparison to more performance orientated pilot designs. Three of them stacked are an excellent replacement for the 22 sq.m 4 bridle pilots we generally now use for banner lifting- and a lot easier to launch and fly . Left/right tuning is set by adjusting the relative lengths of the side "B" bridles (same as for the original PL 8 bridle series pilots), and "B" centre can be lengthened up to 200mm for less pull in very strong conditions and for a slight improvement at the light end.
I am making this design available for home kite makers to copy free of charge- and will help by engaging in reasonable email conversations about details of construction and tuning via I do ask that businesses not make commercial use of this copyrighted design without my express permission, and hope that fliers will express their disapproval in tangible ways should infringements occur.

Bridle Dimensions.
Bridle Dimensions.
Side Flare Dimensions.
Side Flare Dimensions.
Main Panel Dimensions
Main Panel Dimensions
Rib Dimensions.
Rib Dimensions.

Peter Lynn Kites Ltd
105 Alford Forest Rd
Ashburton 8300
Ph: +64 (0) 3 308 4538
Fax: + 64 (0)3 308 1905

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