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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Chinese KAPping

Wed, 23 Aug 2006

I took the Dopero 125 kite out with me to Wuhan to demonstrate KAPping to our hosts at the China University of Geosciences (yes, a whole university of over 25,000 students just doing geoscience!). Summer in Wuhan is hot (33-35C) and humid, with very light wind during the day. The nights can cool down and there is often a breeze. Unfortunately our flying day was fairly typical which meant the whilst the Dopero could just get off the ground, lifting capacity was low. I was using my Coolpix 8400 (450g) which is the lightest setup I currently have and whilst the rig could get off the ground, it had the effect of dragging the kite down, pulling it vertical and then overextening it so that it lost lift and then floated to the ground. My solution was to run a long length of line out and then pull the kite into the air. This lifted the camera up quite high until it got to the point of over-extension at which point it glided down. This process just gave enough time to get some shots. This was really only a demonstrator so we weren't photographing anything of special interest.

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