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New B2 and low wind


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#1 kwmf

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 12:21 PM

Well my new B2's have been sitting in the bag since Monday, so I was going to fly a B2 today even if there wasn't really any wind to do it properly. As a result, I got to put the low wind abilities of the B2, 1.5 B and the Zen against each other today.

Now it should be known that I am no JB, Watty, RevFlyer or any other kind of low wind specialist. All I know is that I am able to fly in lower winds than my girlfriend (who flies a rev just fine under wind power) and and amazed at the lack of wind that I can actually fly in sometimes. Further, I lack the skills (wind powered or otherwise) to test the full capabilities of these machines in terms of precision or tricks, so my opinion is purely that based on the limited flight skills that I have.


First up was the virgin B2 full sail with a 2 wrap frame on 20' lines of 90# with the stock B2 handles. Obviously I wasn't really powered by the wind (except frequent gusts) but I can tell this can be a pretty quick and nimble little animal, but not in a bad way. I was blown away at just how little wind I had this thing flying in, there wasn't even enough to hover a anything (incl the zen) in any orientation most of the time unless you timed it with some gusts. The glide out for feild recovery was amazing and the catch and throws were like missiles ... on rails. The spin rate of the B2 looks like it can be pretty high, but with so little pull on the lines, I found myself natuarally using a light relaxed touch since I didn't need any 'muscle' power for control inputs. I'd say most of the adjustments to flying this thing lie in the degree of enthusiasm you input your controls with when compared to a 1.5 B series. This may have to do with the frame difference (the 1.5 B was on a race frame) and will require further testing, but I found the B2 wanted a little less enthusiasm with the controls, pulls, etc to get the same result. Regardless of this, I am VERY happy with the B2 so far.

Second up was the 1.5 B series, race frame and standard size handles on the same lines that I flew the B2 on. The B was a predictable as always since the 1.5 platform is what I spend most of my time on. I'd have to give a SLIGHT advantage to the 1.5 in terms of using the available wind, but it IS a larger sail. The 1.5 B series felt a LITTLE slow to begin with after the B2, but that went away really fast and it felt just fine after that. While I would give the larger sail the edge in terms of using the available wind, I don't feel it was a significant advantage and I would have been working just as hard and been just as happy with only the B2 to fly. What the B2 lacked in sail size it made up for in the fun factor department for me.


With thunder and lightning in the distance we decided it was time to pack up and a nearby lightning strike sped the line winding process. However another friend was on his way in so I turned around and went back out with him to just chat and pass time. After a while it appeared the wind was up some and there was no sign of any storm so I figured it was time to give the B2 a second round on a bit of wind power.


This time the B2 was on a 3 wrap frame on 90# line at 30' length. The wind wasn't that strong, but enough to hold some hovers and get a better idea for the straight line speed of the B2. Again, I didn't get the sense that the flying speed would be problematic and it's just the turn/spin rate that may present problems to people who's thought process is already taxed by the 1.5 platform. For my own part, I was very happy with the speed the B2 flies as well as the rate at which it slides. After less than 10 minutes the wind was back down and I was back to the same situation as before, just on longer lines. The catch and throws were still on rails and the fun factor was still great.

After a while, the wind was even lower and I was really having to work it (still had a big smile tho) so I though - Why not put it against the Zen. Now I don't get to fly the Zen that often so I don't have too much flight time on it, but I was new on the B2 so figured this would be a great way to highlight differences by using the extremes of the scale. Off came the B2 and it's handles and on went the Zen and standard B series handles to the same 30' lines. The Zen was running a full race frame in it.

The Zen (unsurprisingly) felt like a truck by comparison ... but it was a nimble truck to be fair. The increased pressure felt down the lines was VERY apparent, but I was flying the B2 in that wind so I didn't feel like the Zen had an advantage in terms of staying in the air. I have no doubt the Zen will stay up longer on the absolute edge, but both were flying and the Zen certainly had the power advantage. As a result, and gliding, floating, etc moves were slower, longer lasting and allowed for control inputs more than the less powered B2. This also marked the first time I pulled the Zen for a catch, and after playing with the B2 and this trick your brain looks up and goes "oh boy, this is a BIG kite coming at my head" ... which was pretty funny.

The Zen flies a different style to the B2 by the very nature of it's size and design intention as well as the stiff B2 frame vs the bendy Zen frame (also a function of size). Personally, I'm a fan of the faster paced snappy style of flying, so I really enjoyed the B2 in the low wind. Do I dislike my Zen and would I part with it .... most certainly not. The B2 was a fun factory of note today in wind that I would not have believed it was going to fly in and conditions that required skill on even the Zen to fly. The Zen made powered flight easier more often and has it's place in a different style of flying.


At the end of the day, all 3 machines flew in the conditions. While they all required a degree of skill to keep going in the conditions, it seems that I had enough of that to keep all 3 platforms flying, so it would come down to what kind of a machine you want. The 1.5 platforms seems to remain a platform that has it all, but the B2 had me smilling just a little bit more, even if it wasn't as powered up.

Now to wait for some wind and see what it has in store there ... along with it's vented version.



#2 stroke survivor

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:27 AM

Do you feel that the Zen worked as well on the short lines??? Most opinions are of the longer line option for the ZEN!!Posted Image

wayne from portland
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#3 kwmf

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:16 PM

Being in another country I don't get the same level of social interaction so I hadn't picked up that sentiment regarding the Zen ... so I guess I'm going to have to test the Zen against itself on different line lengths.

That said, the only negatives I felt were the slower nature an the need for more strength required for reverse inputs. Both of these are a natural function of the larger sail.

With what you've said I'm going to have to try the Zen on different lines lengths to see if I feel a difference.

#4 Baloo

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 03:17 PM

Not sure it is so mch to do with feeling a difference.

I like the Zen on longer lnes if I can as it lets it have so much more room to play in.

Strange as I love my Rev 1's on 50 ft lines. (love em on other length lines too of course.)

#5 ahofer

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:50 PM

Definitely prefer long lines on a Zen myself. And I love 50 foot lines with the B2.
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#6 --Pete

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 07:43 PM

... And I love 50 foot lines with the B2.


Oh, that must tax the reflexes!
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#7 stroke survivor

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:00 PM

I think the longer lines will give a little more reaction time and smooth out the performance!!! Only got to play with one once and I didn't have the light wind skills I do now!!! It was on 120', I think!!! JB or Dean or Katrina might know!! It was last fall, anybody remember???Posted Image

wayne from portland
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#8 kwmf

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:53 PM

Personally I don't suffer any claustrophobia from being on shorter lines, I may actually be kinda partial to them (keeping in mind my flying is mostly solo).

My most used line set is currenly my 50' (on the 1.5 B and Blast) with the 20, 30 and 80 fighting it out for second place. Normally I would fly on 80's but space, weather and some 3D work has had me on shorter lines a lot over the past 3 months.

#9 fungus

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:59 PM

Hi kwmf
thanks for an informative piece of writing, really enjoyed reading it, and the replies.

fungusPosted Image
wHind cHecks Har4 wHimps

#10 louiedogg03

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 01:03 AM

I have been flying my B2 on 90# 45 ft lines because it is just so easy to control even on the short lines. I just ordered a set of 50# 30ft lines so I can have even more fun with it. I love my B2Posted Image .
Louie Tiberio



#11 ahofer

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:27 AM

Oh, that must tax the reflexes!

Things happen fast near the ground. Good training.

That's the problem with the zen on short lines-going from right-side up to left-side up, and the associate change in arm extension can turn into flailing, especially at the edge of the window. I have had the sensation of not being able to make the turn. particularly in some swirly inland places I frequent.

In contrast, the B2 turns and flies fast with very small adjustments. So when you are rotating on either side of center window you have to guard against sudden acceleration. You know what that means near the ground-bam!
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#12 kwmf

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:38 AM

Sounds like thats confirming my assumption that the challange or difficulty in the B2 lies with it's rate of rotation more so than speed in general. I'm also thinking now one may need to be aware of keeping any acceleration in check until you're lined up and want it to go for it. Probably nothing you wouldn't have been doing anyway on a 1.5 if you were at an advanced level, it's just the the B2 is going to highlight your flaw for you ;)

I'm really looking forward to more time on this machine along with the vented version...

#13 ahofer

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:09 AM

Posted Image
IMAG0032 by aphofer, on Flickr

me last night celebrating Daylight Savings Time. Try this rig one-handed!
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#14 stroke survivor

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:11 AM

Personally I don't suffer any claustrophobia from being on shorter lines, I may actually be kinda partial to them (keeping in mind my flying is mostly solo).

My most used line set is currenly my 50' (on the 1.5 B and Blast) with the 20, 30 and 80 fighting it out for second place. Normally I would fly on 80's but space, weather and some 3D work has had me on shorter lines a lot over the past 3 months.


Try out the Zen on the 80' set, I think you'll like it better on that length!!! If you got 120's even better!!!Posted Image It has nothing to do with your preference for the length, just that longer lines suit the flying characteristics better!! IMHO !!! I've flown my Rev 1 on as short as a 40' set, but it seems to like the 80's better!!

wayne from portland
You have 2 choices - live on or die!! I ain't the dying type!!!  Also known as "portland flyer" on some forums!

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#15 jburka

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:47 AM

Try this rig one-handed!


Okay...now try that rig one-handed on 15' lines in a 10+ wind.

(someone called me a show-off at KP9 last weekend; I was just resting my hand!)

#16 kwmf

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:54 PM

eish

#17 REVflyer

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:14 AM

Burka was my first quad-line coach and I'm still not worthy to fly with him after more than a dozen years! Not many fliers can make a Rev2 look easier than Jeffery does. He flies up-wind, one-handed and doesn't even look at the kite as he's talking to you. He uses no bridle, huge handle lengths, short lines and he's flying all around himself, up & overs and yes even up-wind during his antics.

Once he told my how far I've progressed and then proceeded to demonstrate something new for me to work on. Honestly? I wanted to throw all my kites into the river and take up lawn darts instead. He makes it look entirely too easy. . . . ..... "resting my hand" HA that is so funny!

#18 --Pete

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:41 AM

Burka was my first quad-line coach...





Jeff and I "crossed paths" (in a cyber sort of way) several times back in the early-to-mid-1990s when we were both posting to the newsgroup rec.kites. (I thought that name looked familiar.)

Jeff gave good advice then, as now, on: Aerobats; Flexifoils, flying bars and launching sticks; sleeving and the "scrunch" thereof; 3-line kites (!!!); line-winders and how to use them; kite fabric and the coatings thereof.
We also both appear on a huge (636 addresses, with some interesting names) list of email addresses of people who ever posted on rec.kites. Ain't Google wonderful?

Not sure if we were ever physically in the same location at the same time, though.

(Hi, Jeff.)
--Pete
(sesquipedalian man)




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