Monday, May 8th, 2006
Parachute Kite: Test Flight #2
Winds were 10 to 15 m.p.h. for our second test flight.
The mechanism which releases the parachute held together with no unintentional chute releases. Wearing leather gloves helped immensely with handling the string reel in a smooth not-burning-my-hands manner. This combination got the kite airborne much better than in the first test flight.
What Remained the Same:
The numerous parachute strings get tangled after each flight with themselves, the doll and the release mechanism. The chute should be redesigned with fewer strings. Period.
I had a difficult time keeping the chute airborne for a significant amount of time. There was no telling when the chute would dive quickly to the ground with a wind change or dip. To compensate, we began releasing the chute as soon as it reached a good height, even though we would have preferred enjoying flying it as a kite for longer.
In a Nutshell:
The idea of Little Miss (at 22 months of age) enjoying running after a falling parachute proved foolish. When the chute releases there is moment of freefall as the chute is in flux, crumbling into a ball, before it reopens. Accordingly, the parachute must be flying high before it is released, which means I am usually a great distance from the parachute when it falls. What about Little Miss? She’s near my feet, too far away to be interested.
The idea of a parachute kite is cooler than its execution, at least for a toddler. In the future, I’ll bring a regular kite with us to the park as a backup.