June 20, 2006
MegaFlag Show in Dallas

As we were preparing to fly out to Dallas, the reports coming in were not encouraging. Heavy winds. Rain. Thunder and lightening. It seemed that for every three people we spoke with there were four or five projections – none of the good.

Susie and I were going to Texas so support LifeNet, a community organization committed to providing mental heath support to uninsured children. Our first showing of the MegaFlag had been at their Up and Away Kite Festival last year and we’d arranged to bring the giant kite back for another flight.

We didn’t know the upper wind limit of the behemoth and didn’t want to find out.

Saturday morning, Flight and Safety Coordinator Jim Martin briefed the volunteer crew. We then laid out the 10,000 square foot kite, straightened the lines, and locked into our three anchor points (one main anchor and two side stabilizers). We’d promised a 10 a.m. launch for the media. They were half an hour late, which meant we were right on time.

The night before, we had averted disaster. The Kite Trailer had been parked behind our hotel. Someone broke the lock and opened the door. But I guess they didn’t see anything of value in the huge mound of fabric and left.

After our first launch Saturday, we continued to watch the sky behind us. Clouds were growing darker and there was distant lightening. We brought the kite down and headed for cover.

An hour later the clouds blew off, the sky turned blue, and a bright Texas sun beamed down on all of us. It was perfect flying weather and we sent the MegaFlag slyward again. With the Dallas skyline just behind, it was a remarkable sight.

Our goal with a MegaShow is three launches a day and safe retrievals. To bring the kite down, we release the anchor lines and a safety line attached to the trailing edge turns the kite on its back and it quickly deflates. That’s a remarkable sight too!

MegaFlag Launch MegaFlag Launch MegaFlag Launch MegaFlag Launch

By late afternoon, the wind was building and our side anchor vehicles were starting to “adjust position”. That’s actually not a bad thing but having a pick-up truck slide ten feet is still a bit unnerving. It was time for a final take-down.

For an amazing sense of how the kite looks during a launch, click here. (The 30 second video with take a moment to load.) You can also get a closer look when we bring the kite to the AKA convention in October.

MegaFlag and Dallas Skyline

Here’s a report from one observer on the field:

"…I have to say it is one of the most surreal and awe-inspiring things I've ever seen ... it is truly enormous, anchored by three vehicles - two of which it dragged backwards briefly at one point. Thanks so much to Dave and his crew and team of volunteers who slaved away in a thorny field on a hot summers day in Texas and put a smile of the face of everyone in attendance. Here are some snaps of the flag - http://tinyurl.com/mx92x

Thanks to Lifenet for their good work, to the event sponsors, and to all of the volunteers who came out and helped arrange fabric, straighten lines, and get the kite off the ground. Hope you had as much fun and sense of accomplishment as we did!

MegaWare: We've got MegaFlag clothing and accessories on our CafePress site at www.cafepress.com/MegaFlag.

If you have helped fly the world's largest kite -- or if you want to help next time -- or if you just want to pretend you did -- check out crew accessories. To thank all our volunteers, we're offering team clothing at cost -- as low as $12.99 for tees and $16.99 for polos.

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