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Got my Zen!


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#161 kwmf

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:21 PM

Finally got the Zen out for a flight, and got some pics of it on it's own with wind in the sail.

I started with the B-series, race rods and 80' LPG lines of 90# for about 10 minutes so that I could get a quick feel for the 1.5 vs the Zen. I didn't fly the 1.5 for long since I really wanted to fly the Zen and just wanted enough flight time on the 1.5 so I could develop a feel when switching. Wind speed was annoying with the 1.5 ranging from sufficiently powered to falling out the sky.

After alternating between working to keep the 1.5 going and having the wind power it for me I decided that it was time to switch to the Zen. Staked the handles, took the Zen down to the end of the lines, pulled off the 1.5 and attached the Zen and went back to fly. Everything was the same except for the kite on the end of the lines, so I figured I should be able to get a reasonable comparison.

I semi fluffed my first launch because of a Zen characteristic that I noticed throughout my time this afternoon - the Zen is much heavier than the 1.5 with race rods. Both me and my girlfriend found that if we didn't ensure we had tension on the top line first and then move to launch correctly, that the extra weight of the Zen would have it bog down where the 1.5 just got man-handled through that.

Anyway, after that launch getting bogged down I landed and relaunched properly and proceeded to get on with flying. The wind continued to be annoying in it's fluctuations, but it did server to show some differences between the Zen and 1.5 as my girlfriend and I handed the Zen back and forth (as we had the 1.5) and fly.

We both found the Zen to be far less agile than the 1.5 for the most part, but I saw definite flashes of nimble abilities there. I think with more low wind experience we would be able to maintain momentum and avoid any situations where we start to stall out and get bogged down. I also think that the flashes of it's capabilities that I saw occured mostly when my girlfriend flew a little different than usual, perhaps out of frustration, and the kite responded to the request. My guess is that the wing is capable of being more nimble that we saw today, but that it takes a little experience, skill and a particular flying style (iQuad) to bring it out. Time will tell if I'm right or not on this one...

I was constantly aware of the increased weight on the lines due to the Zen being heavier than the 1.5 and the Zen spars being heavier than Race Rods. I found that this required one to be a little bit more firm with the handle inputs since you have to apply more force to get the heavier mass moving. I'm guessing this also helps to dampen out some erratic inputs from a more novice pilot.

We also found that while the 1.5 would range from powered up to falling from the sky today, the Zen would range from powered up to floating ever so slowly back to earth. The wind was changing so much it was practically impossible to hold any kind of hover other than and inverted one, and even then you could easily lose it. Our usually ever faithful side hovers would lock in and then gradually just start to sink. When the wind died, the Zen basically went into and auto-piloted landing. If we lost wind and didn't do anything to generate some power, the Zen would just go for a graceful decent to landing on it's own, where the 1.5 would start to fall somewhat less gracefully.

In the end we both agreed that the Zen was easier to keep in the air than the 1.5, but we generally were not able (in the wind conditions we had) to get the Zen to be as responsive as we wanted. As I said earlier, I'm guessing that will take some practice and familiarisation with the Zen to bring that out of the kite.


I'm now looking for an afternoon where I can start off flying the 1.5 powered up and the wind decreases slowly until the 1.5 isn't flying and then I can switch to the Zen. An afternoon with steady winds that gradually decline will make a nice comparative test for me. I'm also considering the iQuad frame setup of a 2-wrap center with Race everything else to pull some weight out and lighten things up a bit. I may even try a 3 wrap center for a little extra weight, but I'm not sure how that will impact the sail loading.

Anyway, obligatory pics of the Zen below...

Regards, Steven

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#162 Madquad

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:29 PM

Nice Pics !

personally i don't like to have trees behind me when flying Posted Image

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#163 kwmf

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 11:14 PM

We take what we can get ..... There's no kite area at the beach here, so you fly amongst the people.

While I can keep from crashing onto anyone and even provide mild entertainment, I certainly can't try out new stuff, mostly fly on the 50' lines and have to deal with really grumpy buggers as well as the ignorant. Pretty much means I will make a 40 minute trip inland to this field insted of a 15 minute trip to the beach so that I have a MUCH better time. The wind generally isn't too bad and most directions the wind blows don't come through the trees.

In this case the wind was actually blowing from my left (right of the photo) at an angle .... the alignment of kite - me - trees is just a result of where the camera was in relation to everything.

#164 Mitch

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 02:11 AM

I'd be quite interested to hear how the experiment goes with race rods. The Zen is already quite flexible in any but the barest breeze. I'd love to take a tad of weight off, but don't want to fold the thing in half when I load the sail up with the 3 miles per hour wind I have in by biceps. Keep us posted on that, please.
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#165 kwmf

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 02:40 AM

Well I believe that all the current iQaud videos of them doing routines with the Zen are framed with a race frame and 2 wrap center to prevent over flexing when loading. Check out the video for Antelope Island and you will see there isn't much flexing going on. I think the Zen frame actually flexes more than the Race frame, but that's only based on my 1.5 size frames.

I seem to recall both Bazzer and Steve de Rooy prefering a hybrid frame with race outers and a different center.

#166 Mitch

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 03:06 AM

Well I believe that all the current iQaud videos of them doing routines with the Zen are framed with a race frame and 2 wrap center to prevent over flexing when loading. Check out the video for Antelope Island and you will see there isn't much flexing going on. I think the Zen frame actually flexes more than the Race frame, but that's only based on my 1.5 size frames.

I seem to recall both Bazzer and Steve de Rooy prefering a hybrid frame with race outers and a different center.


6 am here. My bedtime. I'll check it out first thing when I get up. Thanks.
Mitch
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#167 Bazzer

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 07:03 AM

My preference is a two wrap centre with 3 wrap outer leading edge. Race verticals.
Thats what was the original prototype configuration.
Still my personal favorite.
Bazzer

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#168 kwmf

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 07:23 AM

Care to explain the thinking/results of that mix?

#169 Bazzer

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:05 AM

yep , quite simple,
It's what I like!

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#170 stroke survivor

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:45 AM

Bazzer : Is this setup any lighter than the complete Zen frame? Question is from a flatfoot!!! :kid_smartass: Thanks for your answer!!

wayne from portland
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#171 Mitch

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 01:14 PM

Also, you have chosen to have the increased weight and rigidity at the outside of the wing and the increased flex and decreased weight in the center. Does that improve handling?
Mitch

#172 Bazzer

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 06:15 PM

Also, you have chosen to have the increased weight and rigidity at the outside of the wing and the increased flex and decreased weight in the center. Does that improve handling?

In my mind yes. The flex that is. I like the heavier tips for axels and also the flex of the 3 wrap over the race rod.
Don't get hung up weighing everything.
It needs weight in the front edge to throw it around corners. Physics and gravity. You still need to produce air speed when there isn't any. The bigger sail allows you to move less.
Don't be tempted to put a ton of forward on the kite.
Its like having a beach ball of air in the middle of your sail.
The more your bring the top edge toward you the more it falls off the bottom of the sail.
Same as to much brake will send the ball over the top edge.
I'm not getting into all of the weight versus lift stuff because basically when your out on the field it means nowt. Same as a wind speed meter.
If you expect a kite to fly with out air movement............erm its a kite.
Put a motor on it. Or move a little.
You still need light wind technique to fly in low winds...go figure!
This just makes it easier.

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#173 kwmf

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:45 PM

Don't be tempted to put a ton of forward


I'm assuming then that you guys fly with the top lines pulled in a bit when compared to your 1.5's then?
If so, how much (roughly) do you pull it in by?

I'm still learning how to adapt my top/bottom differential to different conditions so I like to get rough baselines for what a reasonable differential might be for different conditions.

#174 Mitch

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:11 AM

Please remind me. What frame did the Zen come with. They are marked as "Zen", but are they 2 wrap or 3? or something altogether different? I presume heavier but not as stiff as Race rods.
Mitch

#175 jburka

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 06:42 AM

Please remind me. What frame did the Zen come with. They are marked as "Zen", but are they 2 wrap or 3? or something altogether different? I presume heavier but not as stiff as Race rods.


They're Zen rods, which are also available in a 1.5-size frame set. They've got some definite spring to them. I've only ever flown the sticks in a Zen, so I can't really say how they compare to other rods!

#176 fungus

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:52 AM

so you develop and market the Zen, then tell us its better with another framePosted Image .
its like buying a Ford and being told its better with a BMW enginePosted Image

fungusPosted Image
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#177 Bazzer

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 06:29 AM

so you develop and market the Zen, then tell us its better with another framePosted Image .
its like buying a Ford and being told its better with a BMW enginePosted Image

fungusPosted Image

I hear ya.
I used to play a lot of golf.
My first set of clubs were from Argus.
The second were a better make. Only to find out afterwards that I could off had them fitted!
It's more a case of what is suitable to the average flyer as a start point.
Even a Ford will give you options! ...
Originally you could only get Black cars!
Bazzer

Edited by Bazzer, 29 September 2010 - 07:03 AM.

Eat ...make Revs ....sleep......repeat!
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#178 kwmf

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 07:26 AM

Well I have a Race frame as well as a 2 wrap center on the way ... so I'll see how it goes

#179 stroke survivor

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:35 AM

Bazzer - Question? Will the race frame ends fit into the Zen center? Already have a race frame for my Rev 1, Just looking at possibilities for the future!! :kid_smartass::kid_smartass:

wayne from portland
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#180 RevWizard

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:42 AM

Bazzer - Question? Will the race frame ends fit into the Zen center? Already have a race frame for my Rev 1, Just looking at possibilities for the future!! :kid_smartass::kid_smartass:

All REV I rods using inner ferrules are interchangeable with each other including the ZEN rods.

The older REV I rods that use outer ferrules(about 1992 and earlier), should be kept together because the outer diameters of the rod is critical. This meaning newer rods sometimes do not fit into the outer ferrule because the outer diameter is too large.

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