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Seeking advice on how to stack Rev's...


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#1 fileone

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 02:46 PM

Please excuse my blatant lack of knowledge, as I have just recently become addicted to Revolution Kites.

I have already collected three Rev's, and I would like to experiment with a mini stack of dual EXP's.  I have absolutely no knowledge of how to approach stacking Rev's, and I was hoping to ask the experts on how to do this properly.

- Are stacking lines available for purchase, or do these line need to be fabricated by the individual flyer?
- What other considerations should be included in stacking Rev's (stronger flight lines, longer flight lines, etc)?
- Do certain Rev's perform better in a stacked configuration?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks from a newbie.

#2 awindofchange

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 04:50 PM

Good questions, I have been flying a couple stacked revs for a while now and will try to answer.  If anyone else has any information (even if it is contradicting) please join in!

Most Rev's can be stacked on 4.5' or 5.5' foot lines.  I have found that the larger rev's work a bit better on the longer stack lines and the smaller rev's work on 4.5' lines.  Shorter than 4.5' seem to cause turbulence between the kites and I dont recommend it.  My 8 stack of 1.5 SLE's are all 4.5' and it works great.

Pretty much all rev's can be stacked although I have never stacked the Power Blast 2-4's or the 4-8's, or the indoor.  For the Rev 1, EXP, and 1.5's, 7 stack lines are used.  One on each leading edge wing tip (2) one on each leading edge spar (2) one on the leading edge center (1) one on each lower wing tip (2).  All stack lines are exactly the same length.  Our shop does carry pre-made Revolution stacking kits but if you are ok with making your own lines then it is not hard to do.

To make your own stack lines just make a loop on each end of the line so the overall length is 4.5' (or whatever length you decide to use) and that they are all equal.  Larks head each loop onto the end cap of each attachment point just like the bridle is attached (wing tip to wing tip, leading edge to leading edge, etc...)

Normally you can stack 2-3 rev's together without any additional components.  If you decide to stack more than 3 then you may want to consider upgrading the frame(s) on the front kite to make sure it can withstand the additional stress placed on it from the stacked kites.  All kites hang off of the front kite(s).  In my 8 stack, the first 4 kites have custom heavy frames (8 wrap).  During flight when the winds are up you can still see the first kite bow a bit when it is under tension even with the heavy frame in it.  Again, if you are only stacking up to 2-3 additional revs the standard frame will probably be just fine.

Additional "tweaking" on the stack lines may be necessary once you get the stack into the air.  I have found that shortening the bottom lines on the last kite by 1/4" helps keep the stack in line better and reduces the "chasing" effect the last kite has on the rest of the stack.  For easy testing just larks head some small dowel's into the line and fly to see if it is better or worse.  The other "tweaking" can be done once the kites are all setup and staked to the ground.  Stand all the kites up and put minimal tension ln the rear kite at each stack line connection - make sure the entire stack in perfectly straight and in line with your handles.  With minimal tension at each point you should be able to see if any of your stack lines need to be adjusted.  The leading edge tips are hardest to do because of their ability to flex but all the other lines should pull equally tight as you tension them.  If any are loose or droop more than the others, adjust them as needed.  It is best to have someone else watch the stack as you fly - specifically watching each kite and noting if there are any unusual flight patterns with each kite as they fly across the window.  Someone with a good eye should be able to spot any stack lines that are out of adjustment because that kite will not be perfectly in line with the rest of the stack.

With most of the stacks I have set up for others I have had to adjust the brake lines on my handles.  Under normal settings the brakes are way to tight with the stack.  I am not really sure why this is but you may need to add an additional 2" onto the rear lines.  You may not realise this at first but if your stack has an incredible amount of power and spins are hard to correct then your brake lines are too tight.  Play with this adjustment until you find a setting that works good for you.

If you plan on stacking a mix of different rev's then you may also need to adjust each stack line set differently for each rev.  Custom attachment points may also need to be developed if the revs dont quite match up with each other.

I have also found it best to completely remove each bridle on the stacked rev - this helps keep line tangles to a minimum.  The stack lines can get a bit confusing when you have a bunch of revs stacked together - the bridles make it even moreso.  Your flying line may also need to be upgraded depending on the type of rev's you are stacking and how many.  If you are only stacking 1 or 2 kites then your original line "may" be ok.  I would recommend upgrading to at least 150# to be safe. If more rev's are to be stacked then 200# or 300# may be necessary.  My 8 stack has 300# X 4 line and has been fine.

Flyign the stack -
This is the most amazing thing, the stack will fly almost exactly like one kite, it will just feel ultra heavy depending on the amount of kites stacked.  If the stack is not tuned properly then you may end up with a lot of "chasing" in the stack so dive stops & reverse hovers will be very difficult to do.  Turning will also require some man-handling to get the stack to whip around but you should get the feel of it in 5 or so minutes of flying.  Reverse launching a larger stack can be difficult and some serious reverse on the handles with added backwards steps will be necessary to get the stack to lift off of the ground.  Once it does then flip it over quickly and the stack should "snap" into shape and feel solid again.  Another pilot in our group who is very experienced in flying stacks told me to "fly the back kite, not the front one" and it took me a while to figure out what he was talking about.  He was exactly right and if you teach yourself to watch the rear kite and fly that one as if it was hooked directly to your handles then the timing on your flying will be spot on and easier to do.  The rear kite for some reason turns first and the stack follows...strange but pretty neat once you figure it out.

Last hint - keep your leading edge bungee's tighter on the stack than normal flying.  For some reason the leading edge end caps seem to pop off a lot easier when stacked - tighter bungee's will help reduce this.

Sorry for the long post - hope it helps.

#3 fileone

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:39 AM

Kent,

Thanks for your help.  This gives me a good footing to get started off of.  Hopefully we'll have some good winds in Chicago this weekend so I can get in some much needed practice flight hours.

I'm going to try to create the stacking lines based on your recommendations.

#4 AldenMiler

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 05:31 PM

I don't know if it's a good thing that I found this post or a bad thing... <_<

I am a kite and Rev newbie myself. I picked up a 1.5 SLE last year and have really been enjoying it. I am fascinated with the stacks and would like to try one (of course this would require the purchase of another Rev...).

I appreciate the good info from awindofchange, it will help me get started when I get my next Rev.

Right now I am suffering withdrawl! I am in Maryland and it is snowing and sleeting, yesterday I was in Florida 81 degrees with a stiff breeze on the beach. I got an hour of flying in before I had to head to the airport. It'll have to hold me for a month or so before I can get to the beach again.

-Alden
"Don't go in there!" RC

#5 Mike

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 06:49 AM

I don't fly stacks a lot, but stacks are fun. I have a 6 stack of 1.5s and a 5 stack of IIs.
But I think a 3-stack is just right for the 1.5s. The larger stacks pull harder and move slower. The 3 stack doesn't pull too hard and flies more like flying a single kite.
My favorite is flying a 3 stack of Rev IIs.

With all that though, the really experienced stack fliers can make flying a 6 stack look pretty sweet.
I was flying my 6 stack on a windy day and fighting the pull, using all my strength to control it, when Sam Ritter walks up and asks if he can try my stack.
He then flew my stack beautifully with precision and control--with one hand!
Now Sam outweighs me by about 3 to 1, but still, it shows what experience and skill can do. Sam regularly flies stacks of 8 Rev 1s.

Here's a photo of Sam and Lee Sedgwick, another excellent Rev flier, flying in Grand Haven, MI:
Posted Image
Mike Kory:
Posted Image and Posted Image

#6 awindofchange

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:08 PM

One of the first things I noticed when I got my stack of 8 1.5's is that the pull was incredible. It was also quite twitchy to control. After flying it a while a good friend of mine who was a bit more experienced with stacks took control. He instantly told me the brake lines were way too tight. I was hesitant because I just made the lineset and knew that all four lines were exactly equal like they should be. Anyways, not to offend I pulled out some extra leader line and added in about 6 inches of leader on the bottom of the handles and put in adjustment knots about 1 inch apart. Letting the brake lines out about 3 inches made all the difference in the world! I was amazed. The stack had about 1/2 the pull it had before, flew faster, tracked better, and was all around more enjoyable to fly!!!

Needless to say that when I was putting the stack away after a long day, I staked down the lineset to check to see if I was out of my mind when I made them....nope, they were all equal. For some unknown reason (to me) the stacks seem to like a lot less brake line on them. Too much brake line and they pull like a truck and can be quite twitchy. The stack still pulls like a truck in the stronger winds but is sooooo much more controllable.

So, if you are making a stack, add in some extra adjustments on your handles for fine tuning....actually you can use the adjustments on EVERY rev you fly. They all like fine tuning!!!!

Hope this helps.

#7 Baloo

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:20 PM

LOVE the picture Mike.

Looking forward to trying a 3 stack of Rev 2's. Got some line on the way.

#8 Mike

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 07:42 AM

On the big stacks, I fly with less brake and more forward too. I shorten my top lines which is the same effect as lengthening the brake lines.
On the 3-stack Rev IIs I do not. With that stack I'm able to do dive stops and spins that are pretty dramatic.
Mike Kory:
Posted Image and Posted Image

#9 AldenMiler

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:34 PM

You guys are killing me!

I'm supposed to go to the beach in the middle of April but now I am thinking of changing to the end of the month so I can go to the Kite Festival in Ocean City...

Hopefully I'll get some breeze before then.

-Alden
"Don't go in there!" RC

#10 Quad KiT

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:12 AM

Alden, it is all downhill from here friend! 22 REVs later I am totally obsessed and have something kite planned for the next six straight weekends!!! :blink:

#11 REVflyer

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 05:29 AM

I agree with most everything written above.

Alden,
If you come to ocean city look for the WOW stuff and find me,... I've got a couple of stacks of forty inch baby Ryvs that are like bumble bees on amphetamines. You can try out a mini stack and see how fast they really are for yourself. We call 'em the final exam for a PhD in quads.

You can tie-off the stack lines to a master line that passes thru all 7 of the attachment points too,
then all the stress is placed upon the front kite's bridle (each kite free floats independently, nice thinking Harold Ames!!!)

In big wind we insert another rod into the interior of the leading edge tubes for additonal strength.

thread a piece of high-test bridle line (100#) thru the back of the leading edges and tie a sliding knot to prevent the end-caps from any movements or disengaging entirely

absolutely learn to fly the back kite, things go terribly wrong otherwise!

After everything is tuned properly I'd recommend you leave the stack tied together, particularly if there are more than a couple of kites in the stack.

Stacks don't like to be hovered, they will occillate all over the place if given a chance. Inverted flight and side slides are possible, but a good reverse is really showing off your stuff.

Almost nothing makes an impact on the spectators compared to a stack of Revs.

#12 Stephen Hoath

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:48 AM

Almost nothing makes an impact on the spectators compared to a stack of Revs.

With maybe the exception of Rev stacks with long tails! :D

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#13 antman

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:56 PM

ive tried tails on my 1.5 a while ago when you spin the kite the tails got all knotted up on the kite and linesit was nuts
GOD PUT ME HERE. TO ENJOY THE WINDS

#14 RevWizard

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:41 PM

ive tried tails on my 1.5 a while ago when you spin the kite the tails got all knotted up on the kite and linesit was nuts

I make my tails from standard Icarex polyester by hot cutting and sewing.

I have been flying REVs with six tails at 15 meters long each, since 1994. There are a few things you need to be aware of with tails.
Nylon tails are terrible. They will invariably tangle, no matter what you do.
Polyester(Icarex) is the best material for tails. You must cut them hot with a sharp(almost like a knife) soldering tools. Don't use a blunt soldering iron as it leaves nice big blobs for tails to catch on.
Never cold cut the tails with a Xacto or similar razor knife. The sides will fray within minutes and start to catch the other tails.
Don't use the Icarex tails in very high humidity(like in Malaysia) or when it rains. They will simply stick together.
The perfect tail width is 2.5cm(about 1 in)
Once you have good tails, don't push you luck with spins. I couple spins is okay, but then give the tails a chance to unravel before you spin more. Anyway, spins don't look that good with tails. Loops is what you want to impress people. Save your spins for without tails.

If flying trains, only fly long tails on the last kite, long meaning anything longer then the train lines.
Flying backwards with trains in lighter winds may cause the tails to tangle in the train lines, so be careful.

Long John (formerly Mr. R)

STACK International Executive Committee - 6/1996-6/2008
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World Sport Kite Championship Judge - 2004-2005-2006(Chief Judge)
13x 1st - 12x 2nd - 6x 3rd places in 37 overall Quadline individual competitions


Web Site - http://www.johnnmitchell.com/index.html Check it out today!


#15 AldenMiler

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 07:13 PM

I see I have started something here...

I sent Revflyer (he's a neighbor compared to the rest of you) a message and found out more about kites than I knew was possible...

My wife has agreed to go see the indoor fly at the Air and Space Museum this weekend. Also, the Smithsonian Kite Fly (on my Birthday).

She's back from Florida tonight so I have my kite, tie out, and lines, I wonder what the weather is supposed to be like tomorrow...

-Alden
"Don't go in there!" RC

#16 Quad KiT

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 07:38 PM

Man I will see you guys in OC this April! I am going to stack my REV IIs and throw on some tails if thats what people like to see!

#17 AldenMiler

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:56 PM

Well, I spoke with Kent today and my new Baressi Rev is on it's way. Along with that I am getting lines to stack it with my 1.5 SLE (thanks Kent).

Hopefully I'll get to take it down to the Smithsonian Institution Kite day (my birthday...) and give it a try.

I got approval from my wife to switch our weekend at the beach so I'll be in OC at the end of April also.

It is a slippery slope for sure...

-Alden
"Don't go in there!" RC

#18 REVflyer

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 06:55 AM

Alden,
you are so hooked on the dark-side already dude!!!!

changing your vacation plans to meet-up with other kiters and attend a competition?

buying new kites to stack with your existing models?

Looking at our calendar to see what's next < http://www.wowkitecl...om/calendar.htm >

soon you'll own a cool sewing machine, have a room full of parts and fabric, plus still continuing to buy retails kites. Heck you might even be the next president of WOW also and we don't even have your membership fee yet!

You'll get a couple of weekends with us and decide whether recovery is even possible, but my guess is "NO!". you'll see the masters flying huge stacks of Rev ones in Ocean City. I don't believe it's possible to break the cycle and recover from the addiction.

#19 AldenMiler

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 07:08 AM

I've known I was doomed for more than a year now.

I was at the beach, bought a kite and flew for an hour or so. When I was done I realized I hadn't thought of work or anything else for that time. That's when I knew it was cheap therapy...

-Alden
"Don't go in there!" RC

#20 Baloo

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:24 AM

Thanks, you have just given me another argument, the 2 B series kites I have just bought are cheaper than therapy.

Not that I need excuses really. It is not the flying, it is just being there (now who am I trying to fool)




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