We headed out for another test today, but the wind came and went in gusts. After the kite fell out of the sky during a lull, the crew discovered that the kite had also already been deflating due to a faulty connection between the leading edge bladder and a strut bladder.
As polyurethane ages, it shrinks, and that meant that the bladders in this older kite had shrunk in storage. An octopus valve connecting the strut to the bladder had failed as the polyurethane fittings pulled it apart, causing a leak. Don fixed this as the other guys untangled the line. By the time of relaunch, there was still no wind, so we headed back to the dock. Tomorrow we’ll check all of the connection points and try again. We considered using a lifting kite for photography again, but changed our minds after some preliminary land tests.Return to News