Texas AWE Encampment     (TAE)
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Oct. 15, 2019                Dave Santos

2019 Texas AWE Encampment Update

As in years past, the Texas Encampment is a loose assortment of AWE R&D activities that tend to involve travel around the state and camping at test sites. Last weekend was an intensive mix of trials at Mustang Island on the Gulf Coast, with new faces from the paramotoring community, with whom kPower shares a passion for soft wings and soon perhaps a grand new kFarm closer to Austin.

Some TAE highlights-

- The Kite Electric Skateboard was tested in sand, rolling well on firm sand, but bogging down in loose sand. Recharging was done from vehicle 12V with an inverter and standard FiiK charger. No epic journey was made, due to the narrow beach with aligned wind making tacking upwind impractical. A 9m2 PLPL passively pulled the board downwind for short distances. The power board itself was the envy of all, almost rivalling paramotor flying in admiration.

- Belatedly (five years late), the Born NPW depower line system was tested and proved effective, and will be used further, perhaps even for the polar WindSled. The depower line seems to be able to forestall NPW flight reversal (a common bug) if applied and released promptly.

- 132M2 Mothra3 AT was tested in its latest rigging incarnation. We were not thrashed in the moderate breeze, but new instabilities were identified for remediation. The tip kites tend to misbehave due to their maximal bridle asymmetry at the edge of the arch. If the arch is not set quite square, oscillations can originate at the upwind leg and propagate downwind. Two of the kites were torn at their TE guy lines, but will be easily repaired. Not a triumphant Mothra session, but very educational both to theory and the new faces. New face, Oliver, is a paratrooper and industrial climber, slated to climb Mothra AT when conditions allow.

- Flying a 4.5M2 Ozone Fury at night got extra juice by simply dropping a headlamp into the center cell, such that it danced with the full Moon with a comparable glow. This beat futzing with how to attach the light, which eventually was spat out during a deep dive. This method of adding light is sure to catch on, with a light in each cell offering a real spectacle.

- Fly It Kite Shop at Port A fully recovered after disastrous 2m hurricane storm surge two years ago. kPower bought a small HQ dual line foil to support the biz.

- Thanks to Oliver, Pierre, Austin, and D-Ray for Encampment participation.