Night Fly Kites
Night Fly Kites
The subject of night flys has come up and a request has been made to create an area for the discussion of thier use.
I would start off by saying over the years people have tried various lighting systems from using glow sticks taped on to very fancy grain or wheat or led lights on Hawaiian team kites. The simple light system generally gave you an option of a flasher or steady lights and that was about it. You make the kite loop and dive to streak the light thru the sky. I can remember using an original Joel Shultz Sky Delight f -15 with a strobe light flying on the seawall in galveston. Nearby traffic thought it was a real plane comming in for an emergency landing and often stopped when it flew overhead. OF course years later we would never consider that stunt again.
The latest addition is a microchip sequencer that has several programmed patterns and it repeats each pattern numerous times before moving on to the next. My 20 foot delta with 1152 multi color led's puts on a Vegas Sign style light show. The other big development is in the Lithium rechargable batteries. The larger pack is about $75.00 and lasts several hours with a big load.
As mentioned earlier the easy start would be a few glow sticks taped to the kite for an interesting night effect. Gary has a catherine's wheel set with several mini sticks placed in pockets that creates a unique look that is simple to install. Other people have used straight off the counter battery strobe and led light strings found at Halloween and christmas to dress up thier kites at a relatively low investment.
You can really step it up when you add the computer controller and instead of just a flash the lights sequence and change colors.
The largest concern is that Lithium batteries have an overheating issue as Boeing has found out. Most have a thermister in the pack to turn the charge off when they heat up and back on as it cools down until its fully charged. You should remove it from the kite before charging and consider the fire hazard when its plugged in. A metal pan in the garage is a good place to charge them.
So the questions are: What is your experience with LED kites?
How did you make you own and what hints can you offer to get other people started.
Should night flying be a new after the dinner relax and fly activity during the festivals?
And most important how much tin foil should you wear on your head while the aliens are flying in your area. Yes the kites have caused numerous sightings so should we have a general rule not to fly them around trailer parks?
Re: Night Fly Kites
I would love to see that night kite in action. Did you make a sharable video clip?
I am prepping for my first excursion to WSIKF13. I want to be in on the night fly. I'd like to fly every night at the festival, provided I'm not wiped out from the day's events.
I've got one coming in from China @ 588 LED. When I get it opened up. I'll post a picture in the clubhouse.
BTW, funny stuff at the end of the message, but I do appreciate the more serious undertone there.
Re: Night Fly Kites
Night flying should be the default kite fly! <brag>The Midnight Squadron Kite Club was built around the idea.</brag> We lost our association with the college, which let us fly there at night, so the biggest challenges to night flying are police enforcement of 'Dusk til Dawn' closures and, well, club members having small children now.
Festivals like MIKE and Wildwood (MD & NJ) seem to have night flies regularly.
Back in 2009, I met a guy at ... MIKE? Sunfest? (both in MD) who won the best kite lighting award for his programmable mercury-switched lighting system for stunt kites. When it didn't get jarred around too much, it would change the lighting based on how the kite was turned. Myself, I personally prefer to fly unlit kites at night.
p.s. Oh yeah, I vaguely remember seeing something about a UFO-believers convention in Arlington, VA, and some group wanting to spoof some UFOs for them. A well lit UFO kite would do well...
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