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At last the weather improves!

edited December 2021 in General

We have had at least 6 weeks of rain or gales every day - conditions that are definitely not suitable for KAP. However, yesterday we were promised clear skies and moderate winds so I packed and rushed out to fly over two areas of scenic interest in the north of the Isle of Man.

Here are some snapshots from videos recorded using a RunCam 5 fitted to my PanGimbal and aeronaut-type suspension described previously. The last pair show the Sulby Reservoir at the head of Sulby Glen and a view above the ancient abandoned farmstead at Tholt-y-Will. In the foreground the small rectangular structure is the remains of an Early Christian Keeill (10th Century?) of which there are about 180 similar features on the Island.

The first shots are two images from a flight above Injebreck. In the distance you can see the southern end of the Sulby Reservoir, while to the right is the Summit of Snaefell, the highest point on the Island. The last image is a view south down

the valley to Baldwin. During the flight the wind rose to 30+mph over Injebreck and I had a struggle bringing the Alpine Delta Conye kite down.


  • You did well. The Alpine Delta Conyne is a lovely kite, but at 30 mph it's rather out of its comfort zone (Into The Wind rated it up to 20 mph). It's a great light-wind flier, thanks to its lightweight carbon spars, but like most items from Into The Wind it hasn't been available for some time. If those winds are common on the IOM, then maybe you need a back-up kite for such conditions. It would be a great pity to lose the Alpine DC, as it's irreplaceable now.

  • wow!

    (all the features call for an infrared camera ;-) ... some earthworks may be even older than the keeill)

  • NZflier: Yes, it was quite a task bringing it down although the wind had been forecast to decrease, instead it picked up! Actually this kite has fibreglass, not carbon, spars which flex to spill wind and I have joined the 2-part spreader with a 10mm roll-wrapped carbon tube to make a single stronger unit. Indeed we do have very variable weather here and today winds are gusting 80mph. I might use my home built box kite for winds >25mph. Something else would be good for the <10mph days - perhaps a Triton kite?

    KAP Jasa: Actually I have carried out a geophysical survey of most of the area surrounding the keeill and farmstead using a fluxgate gradiometer. The results show a complex landscape, both historical and possibly prehistoric. See the attached image for some of
    the preliminary results, not yet scaled and on a map I am afraid.

  • I forgot to say that the videos for both of these sites, panning 360 degrees over the landscape, are now up on Youtube. Search for:

    Kite Aerial Photography: High above hills on the Isle of Man


    Kite Aerial Photography: History and scenery over the Isle of Man

  • edited December 2021

    Love the videos!
    The Tarot gimbal did an excellent job of keeping the camera stable in high wind!
    Like the many cow paths cutting through the gaps in the walls!
    Keep the pictures and videos coming!


  • Aeronaut If your Alpine DC is the genuine article from Into The Wind, then the original spars should definitely be carbon. The kite was designed for light-wind flying and made as light as possible. Did you change some of the spars to extend its upper wind range?
    Your video looks great, and the angle of the sun certainly shows up the features of the landscape.

  • OK, I stand corrected. I have taken another look and my genuine Alpine DC was bought from Into The Wind and has a spiral wrapped fibreglass cross spar with all other spars being carbon fibre. In my opinion the cross spar has a design fault in that it comes in two halves joined by a light

    metal ferrule, with short pieces of solid carbon rod glued as reinforcement into the mating ends of the two halves. After one flight I found that these rods had come loose and were sliding up and down inside the cross spar halves. I therefore joined them permanently with a 10mm OD roll-wrapped carbon tube epoxied in place as seen here. Yes, this stiffens the central section somewhat but the structure is now more secure. I advised ITW of this modification.

  • Aeronaut: I no longer have my ITW Alpine DC, but I seem to remember having to make a modification too, as I experienced much the same problem, but the spar was pultruded carbon, not like yours. It was a weak point in an otherwise good kite. I made all of ITW's videos for their website and YouTube channel, so was sent the Alpine for that purpose. I do still have a Chinese copy which is almost indistinguishable from the original (maybe made in the same factory), and has all carbon spars but not the same ones as the ITW version. I haven't flown it for a while, so must do so again soon. A very nice kite.

  • Interesting to see these differences. As an aside I notice that ITW's stock is slowly diminishing, although in an email they mentioned that the Sky Bird (which I relish) should be back on sale next spring. Also of interest are their Ultrafoil kites and the Triton, none of which are in stock any more either. I may try to get the Triton from somewhere else as a light wind KAP lifter having watched your excellent video review. Thanks for all of these by the way which represent a lot of work. I only have a few kites of which the Hoffmans Canard is my favourite, both aesthetically and in terms of performance.

  • Aeronaut: About three years ago, Into The Wind lost the factory in China which they had used for many years, and they experienced great difficulty in finding alternative production facilities. (They also lost their general manager, who had been with them for 30 years).
    Almost all of their products are now out of stock, but as you say, they are hoping to have some of them at least available again next year.
    Thanks for your appreciation of the videos. The Canard is a lovely light-wind kite and one of my favourites too.
    The Triton is very hard to find, but you may be lucky here: .

  • NZflier: How sad to hear of the situation in which ITW find themselves. There is surely a lesson here in that businesses should pull back from outsourcing manufacture (particularly to China) and bring the employment and economic benefits back home. I am sure that many folks would be prepared to pay a little more for a home-grown product knowing that it would maintain a domestic industry.

    I am a fervent skip scrounger and over the years have salvaged six sewing machines, all in perfect working order. I just need to recruit the staff and then we can launch a new kite making venture to be called "Into The Gale". Appropriate for Manx weather!

  • Aeronaut: Sadly, there are very few kites you can buy that aren't made in China, or sometimes now in another Asian country, since all the major kite companies naturally want to maximise profits. A few designers, Robert Brasington being one who springs to mind, make and sell their products themselves, but even Robert finds it necessary to also licence designs to others.
    I love your idea of setting up an enterprise with your salvaged sewing machines, but unless you were able to build robots to operate them out of more salvaged parts, I don't think it could ever be financially viable. Good name, though!

  • It was worth the wait! Looks like some really nice landscapes on the Isle Of Man.

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