Flexifoil Camera Kite Package

We have recently finished working on Flexifoil's first autoKAP product (Camera Kite) to help grow the community of this great kiting activity. The package includes a complete range of the basic equipment which is 'plug in and play'. The setup works with action cameras and smartphones. We hope you like what we have come up with. Please feel free to share your comments and ideas with us so we can keep improving.

Peter

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Comments

  • edited January 29
    Looks great, tell us more Peter!

    Camera type, method of control, weights, kite size?

    Have you flown it?


    B
  • edited January 29
    Found a link:
    flexifoil.com/camera-kite/
    image

    camera is not supplied but a 60 page book is.

    B
  • Peter-

    I've been dying to see some activity on this forum .. been feeling lonely .... this idea is certainly interesting.
    Initial reaction - kite looks a little small, and I wonder how badly beaten-up the camera will get,
    " riding high ", on the kite, as it is.

    I like the presentation of the complete ensemble of gear, logos and all. I need to look at the site Bill found.
    As someone pointed-out here a while back, Kapers tend to be a "do-it-yourself " group. You might think about
    offering smaller parts of the package...

    That way someone who already had line and gear bags etc. might just want to buy the kite, with it's camera-affixing
    all worked-out, and ready-to-go.

    Keep after it ... ' one-stop-shop-and-you're-in-the-air ', is a nice, if lofty, approach.

    Paul
  • My 2c is that the large printed "camera on kite" might be a turn-off for people for the same reason people don't like drones flying over their heads. It's basically an advertisement that you're being spied on. That print would certainly be enough to keep me from buying that kite.
  • edited February 13
    I wonder if Ray Merry had a hand in this?
    Flexifoil is his brand. He gave us the ITW 'perfect for KAP' 'Ultrafoil' which falls over in Bft 4.

    It's an odd looking set up. Camera is fixed to kite, I thought this method was almost universally abandonned 100 years ago,

    I like the idea of an 'all in one' approach for those who are less DIY inclined.

    I look forward to seeing some results, I only hope they are not another rash of bug eyed plane crash perspectives...
  • Thank you Bill, Paul & hawkeye for the feedback and questions.

    I will try to provide you all as much details as possible about this new venture of us.
    We have been working on this project for almost a year now, tried different type of kites and camera attachment setups.
    I personally have flown and tweaked the kites & attachment setups until we got to this final model of our first KAP introduction package. This first product is general aimed to bring new people into the kite aerial photography and provide them a complete package (excl. the camera) to put them on the way, hopefully for a long time with many great memories.

    The kite has a wingspan of 180cm and a height of 90cm with a weight of close to 350gr.
    The stabiliser (gimbal) attached to the kite has a weight of 185gr.
    We recommend to use an action camera up to 200gr (battery & housing incl.) or a smartphone.
    The entire thought is based on a fixed autoKAP system, so you can simply launch your kite with a camera fixed in the base of the kite. The user picks a preferred angle setup (ground shot or landscape) before the kite is launched with the camera attached, in time-lapse mode.

    All spare parts will coming available by early April in our webstore, followed with the kite only option soon after: http://www.flexifoil.com/camera-kite-spares/

    The user manual is available through the following link: Camera Kite user manual
    As you will notice we have paid much attention to explain the basics of the kite flying, so we can teach the novice step by step to obtain the best result over time and practice.

    The following instagram gallery page will show you a few examples of the shots we took with our product.
    https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/flexifoilcamerakite/

    Bring on the windy blue sky days..

    Looking forward to share more details very soon.

    Peter

    image

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  • intresting, Pretty good shots to begin with. The gopro effect is there and there is an 'apex' characterisation to the shots, it's a setup that makes low level cover difficult. I think the gimbal is a single axis device which, from my own experience with the GS1 stabilistaion can work well, as a fun device it might catch on.

    Nice to see the delta conyne make a comeback too!
  • edited January 30
    I enjoyed reading the instruction book, it strikes me as being comprehensive and high on safety which is great. There are some people for whom the graphics on the kite would be considered an advantage, but (per @hawkeye) as far as I'm concerned.
  • Maybe " less is more ". Pick one of the graphics, to keep on the kite. Might draw attention, " I wonder what it
    says... ". As is, it is a bit like a flying billboard, screaming a little too loud, " look at me ".
    Speaking likely for many Kapers, sometimes we don't really want ALL that much attention ....

    As I think more about it, I still like the package deal concept for those new to KAP. But since those who are flying it,
    have already " bought-in ", it's a bit like preaching to the choir....

    Then again I heard that Martin Luther King Jr. had said one MUST preach to the choir ... so they continue to sing !!

    Who knows ???
  • edited January 31
    In my experience a kite doesn't have to be very high in the sky for details on it to disappear. Often I have trouble seeing which way up it is, and that's at 200'

    I notice the manual doesn't cover:
    the legal height limits,
    the photography privacy & permissions issue
    nature reserve restrictions
    which are a big deal in the UK.

    As it's set up I think it's weird but I'm just an aerial photographer who flies a camera by kite! It is a bit disappointing to find it's all been put together without gleaning much knowledge from this forum, I have found this place to be something of an authoritative source as most ideas have been explored in detail here, with real-world data to confirm findings.

    Surprising too flexifoil didn't develop a soft kite along the lines of the stacker- Ralf's HQ KAPfoil shows soft kites can be mass-produced and stable.

    I say good luck to it- maybe it's a conversation started that leads to something new- a super light, super cheap RC gimbal is long overdue!


    B
  • Please warn users that all kinds of ground stakes, including this one become loose in sand and excape, even near rivers with grass on the ground. When free it can be a dangerous hazard.
    It's supposed to be a toy with camera total payload under 200g. However all kapers know that even a small kite can pull a lot.

    Manuals for beginners often look like explaining a nexby how to ride a bike. It's not easy.
    Experience kiting a while before kaping is prefered.
    I like guidance n°22, if in doubt, don't go out.
  • Thank you all for your feedback and suggestions, we will definitely use them with our next update of the user manual.

    Peter
  • Good luck with KAP kites. I'm much happier to see kites in the air rather than D--ns.
  • We are happy to share our introduction video for our newest autoKAP product package.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=zEy3tAAz6XU
  • SueSue
    edited March 5
    Hi all. I didn't see this discussion till today. However, I did see the Facebook advert to win a Camera Kite. (Thanks Simon Cooper, Northern Kite Group, UK, for the link) I liked, shared and commented on the post and today I was very pleased to receive this message from Peter Van den Bussche at Flexifoil.

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for 'liking and sharing' the new Flexifoil Camera Kite.

    Whilst the winner has now been picked, we loved your enthusiasm for this amazing new kite so we have decided to give you a brand new Flexifoil Camera Kite as well!

    All we ask is that you champion this amazing new kite across the land - on fields - on beaches and please post some of your best pictures taken from the kite and of the kite on any of the social media platforms you enjoy using. If you can hashtag #flexifoil and #camerakite with your posts we'd be very grateful.

    To claim your Camera Kite, please send an email to peterv@flexifoil.com or reply to this message within 5 days to claim your kite.

    Thank you for helping us show the world how much fun kite aerial photography can be.

    My very best,

    Peter Vanden Bussche

    I'm hoping to Fly High with it soon

    Sue
  • Well done, Sue!
  • SueSue
    edited March 8
    The Flexifoil Camera Kite arrived today in a big box.
    Flexifoil Camera Kite

    It all seems to be well thought out and good quality as you'd expect from Flexfoil.
    The kit arrived in a useful rucksack which contained everything (except the phone and action camera of course)
    Flexifoil Camera Kite

    The reel is very substantial - a lot better than the one I bought an while ago
    Flexifoil Camera Kite

    Inside was a smaller kit bag with small accessories in it.
    Flexifoil Camera Kite

    This has a handle at the top but not back straps which would make it into a usefull smaller rucksack to take onto your flying field with the camera, straps etc. in. Maybe that's something which could be added to later kits Peter Vanden Bussche?

    The gimbal, which attaches to the kite frame, comes into operation in seconds.
    Flexifoil Camera Kite

    There is a comprehensive book with descriptions and black and white photos (which are sometimes a bit dark to see clearly - partly because the spars are black, the kite has black wings and the gimbal is black and red.) (Better in a good light!)
    Flexifoil Camera Kite

    w.ipernity.com/doc/suestorey/46349012">Flexifoil Camera Kite

    And of course there's the kite
    Flexifoil Camera Kite

    I'm looking forward to this different style of KAP and hope the wind and weather smile on me soon so I can Fly High (Not too high as there's one 50m of line supplied.)

    Sue
  • edited March 8
    Saw this discussion first today.
    For German natives: I made a short unboxing video:



    Rgds
    Ralf
  • I'm looking forward to the photos you take Sue. Smooth winds for you
  • Danke shön Ralph

    Fly High (I will very soon!)

    Sue.
  • I am curious to see any new developments with this product. Any more experiences with it?
  • Hi.
    I'm at Berck sur Mer kite festival but in general the wind has been too light to fly the Camera Kite. We tried one day but the kite wouldn't fly as the F2 wind wasn't enough to keep it in the air.
    We have been flying our sport kites instead of KAPing when there was wind but I'll try the Camera Kite and hopefully the Gimbal and little camera next time I think there's enough wind.

    Fly High

    Sue
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