Okay, pardon my stream of thought below. These questions have been sitting on my mind for a while now, so I thought I'd ask in one post. I appreciate any feedback you may have on any one or more of the items below. :)
1. Soft kites
I generally prefer soft kites as there is very little setup and they are easy and quick to stow away in a backpack. Now that the Sutton Flowforms are no longer being made, are there any comparable kites? I have no experience with the Sutton kites, but it seems to be highly regarded in the KAP community. I most often use a HQ Flow Form 2.0 when doing KAP. My biggest complaint (really a nit) about the HQ is the heavy material. It requires a slightly stiffer breeze and doesn't pack as compactly as I'd like. Otherwise, it is a strong and stable kite.
2. Nylon versus polyester
I suppose this ties in with my previous question. What is the difference between nylon and polyester? Which is stronger? Lighter? More tear resistant? Any other considerations? I noticed that the HQ KAP Foil kites are made of nylon, and the HQ Flow Form kites are made of polyester. Is nylon better for KAP? If so, what attributes make it better for this application?
3. Flying in vicinity of airports
The FAR Part 101 regulation seems very restrictive. Is my interpretation correct that you're not allowed to fly a kite within 5 miles of an airport unless the kite remains below the top of nearby structure and within 250 feet of it? Are the notice requirements in Part 101.15 intended to be a waiver to this? What exactly does "unshielded" moored balloon or kite mean? When did you last call ATC? Where were you flying your kite? How do you find the phone number?
I thought about creating a couple checklists for KAPing (similar to a pilot checklist). First, a preflight checklist to quickly assess my equipment and flying area (e.g., Are batteries charged? Have I identified a safety box? Are there any nearby people or objects that I need to avoid? Have I notified ATC (if applicable)?). And perhaps a maintenance checklist (e.g., check kite line for cuts or frays, check rig for tight fittings). Has anyone created something like this? If so, would you mind sharing as a starting point for myself?
5. Sewing your own kites
I don't have plans to dive into this anytime soon, but at some point, I'd like to learn to sew my own kites (once I have more space to work). Are there any recommend resources to learn?