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Member Since 18 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Apr 03 2012 02:41 PM

Topics I've Started

Five broken spars - am I doing it wrong???

18 March 2012 - 03:04 PM

Hi, Folks.

First post - just introducing myself and the family (see photo below). I'm Matt.

I bought a Blast from windpowersports.com in 2003 or so and went through four center spars pretty quickly! So I bought a Blade III 4.9 to satisfy the power lust, and the Rev stayed in its bag for years (sans center spar). I then sold the Blade.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got two new spars courtesy of Stephen at kiteworld.co.uk.... and then a Shockwave from eBay.... and a second-hand, colour-coded Super Blast 2.4! Here they all are... ;)

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Bust one of the outer verticals on the Super Blast today - didn't feel too strong a wind but I don't really know it's flying history (ie how abused it was before I got it). Anyway, during the course of the day I managed to fly all three including a 20ft scud on the sand with the Blast and some night flying with the Shockwave.

I certainly won't claim to 'get' the Shockwave yet, but it certainly doesn't like to slide turn like the Blast and if it loses the wind, it doesn't catch again and just comes straight down. I do like it though and don't mind the apparent narrower controls.

On the 'workbench' right now is some kind of ultralight contraption - sail made of bin-liner (may move to florist's cellophane), brown parcel tape, some bendy straws, a few lengths of fibreglass rod I reclaimed from a tri-plane kite that didn't fly well as well as the lines from it. Not sure if the rods are 2.5 or 3mm or so, but can choose to put either one or two in the leading edge (1.5m in length). The third I cut for two verticals. I've taped a couple of cut-down bendy straws to each of the two wingtips and one each to the bottom points. Also a couple of straight sections along the leading edge to hold the leading edge captive. To prevent the rod from poking through the bend, I knotted some string, cut the knot off and stuffed it in the straw for the rod to press against. It has flown. On 12 foot lines I did a left spin, right spin, dive stop and land - I don't know 1-3mph wind?. Then the verticals came unstuck and the knots on the bridle worked loose and it's not flown since. So far, the sail, frame and bridle weight 95 grams (don't remember if that was one or two leading edge spars) - 135g if you count the lines, chopsticks for handles and the carrier bag in which I took all to the park. Good fun making it, and it might even fly again! ;)

I've also just made myself a set of handles. Back when I broke the fourth spar in the Blast (headphones on, crescendo in the music, heart-felt downwind launch in >20mph), I stuffed the wrapped/extended handles into the sand, collected in the lines and left the beach. So I've been flying it lately with 11" handles. Into the workshop and cut up some steel pipe which happened to have a 180 degree bend in it and straight sections either side. I cut down the middle and ended up with two 15 inch handles, each with a 90 deg bend. Drilled holes at the top, at 11, 13 and 15 inches and cut and bent some triangles out of wire coat hanger. Made leaders out of paracord and took the foam handlebar grips off an old exercise bike. I even hot-glued some end caps in the top of the tube! ;) Apart from the foam not being quite dense enough to prevent me from feeling the shape of the steel tube, I flew the Blast and Super Blast on the beach today and got on well. I found that I settled on a 13 inch set up where I could hold them a few inches down from the top and the (considerable!) pull felt balanced top and bottom. Here is a photo of them - the loops on the back I use to stake them. I'm really annoyed that this foam is too soft.

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SO happy to be flying Revs again!!