KITES; both building and flying them,... mostly quad-lines, although I own others that never seem to get pulled from the bags!<br /><br />I work for the federal government's National Institutes of Health in the printing & graphic design area. <br /><br />I have the best wife/woman in the whole world! <br /><br />I'm part of a local kite club (actually several!, Wings Over Washington is the one that receives most of my attention though) and greatly value the opinions of the friends/ other members I have met. They help me solve developmental issues, as I'm much more of a concept-type of guy, than an actual implementer. I love these three guys (Harold Ames, Dave Ashworth & Mike Mosman) 'cause they're all engineer-geeks. You give them a cocktail napkin sketch and the next week they hand you back a prototype to test.
Scott Weider has "owned" this reverse flight from directly overhead trick for decade or longer. Seek his advice on how to make it look effortless (him with a back full of screws, steel plates and enough scar tissue to reach the ceiling)
Tapered Breeze tubes are extremely light weight and delicate, indoors only
P-90s are the next cheap and light weight solution for low wind, indoors
Diamonds, expensive and worth it, low wind or for swirling conditions
2wrap rev sticks
P-300 Skyshark tubes
3wrap rev sticks
... These are the frames that can go into the leading edge that I'm familar with and carry routinely
Posted by REVflyer
on 09 September 2014 - 02:57 AM
"better" is a comparison term, i say differently is more appropriate
it will fly with a stiffer & slower response
the wind window will be reduced
it will only break with a severe diagonal impact across the leading edge
My 100% Shook is equipped with 4 wraps and it has to be absolutely howling before I use that kite. any more wind that that and I'm diggin' out the stacks of baby revs (for when the porta-potties blow over & the coast guard won't leave harbor)
Posted by REVflyer
on 08 September 2014 - 02:18 AM
I met a guy this weekend at the club's first Sunday fly on the grounds of the Washington Monument. His kite was an SLE w/3 wraps and he had equal length leaders on 13 inchers. I literally forced him to immediately change out the tops, to the length of the handle throw w/100# hi-test bridle line (doubled strand, 4 closely spaced knots in only one of the 2 legs).
We then tuned the lines to a well-placed stake for neutral on the new set-up of his handles. I taped one with red vinyl electrical tape to identify his "right" handle.
With the kite inverted, we keep adding reverse to the tuning, until I was completely satisfied with the end results. Obviously way too much down for him at this time. I added a double overhand knot a good inch behind on the tops, indicating this is a starting point but the goal is to wind up on the single stranded knots further away from the handles.
I gave him a few practice seasons objectives, first the cartwheel, then inverted to shoulder height and back down to the ground and finally he was to go to the top of the wind window, rotate the kite to leading edge down and work on how slowly he could get it to decent, while recovering his field. With more proficiency his goal is to stop above the ground inverted and reverse his kite back up the path it had just followed. YES I assured him this will take many, many hours of practice, but it is a line in the sand that must be crossed-over if you want to fly team with us. You know the phrase, or should "own they hover". Well in the mid-atlantic states that is seldom accomplished unless you yourself are also in movement. Less is more, don't squeeze the cobra, move forward to lessen and back you feet up to add energy. A little handle motion and little foot pedaling makes it stationary NOT one single action!
We had pretty good wind (high full sails or low range of mid-vent decision) and you could not have wiped that smile off his face with a 2x4 by the end of the day. He flew my Shook 40% on Diamonds, then walked down to inspect it carefully. Jeff Burka burst into laughter and said "oh boy that walk will cost him"
We are also so pleased have melissa join us on the quad-team line for the first couple of rides. She has been forced to do the practice sessions outlined above alone on the side of the field for a long time while the significant other gets to join in. All of her hard work has paid off though, we're watching her fly and she looks great. She even yells my own comments back at me to "get your arms down, why all this flailing, that's not what I've told you to do, Hey are you auditioning for NFL referee, you gotta' WANT it,.... anyway, back on point, go make some quad-lined friends and let them save you hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours
Posted by REVflyer
on 05 September 2014 - 03:08 AM
if you want to wait for a custom and not support a merchant directly, you can call the factory.
There are two trains of thought on light weight kites. Mass vs float
A carefully shaped sail, pieced and sewn together, fabric bias considered for stretching & strength on every panel,
you could go further,... requesting a 1-1/2 oz nylon (instead of standard Dacron 3.9 oz) leading edge sleeve
you can occasionally request a tighter leading edge sleeve be built too (more aerodynamic), so it only holds 1 quarter inch diameter tube.
Buy a single skinned sail (building it yourself?, consider a bonded assembly process instead of sewing, use 9460 tape from 3M). Without the weight of the thread or any extra layers of fabric material you will arrive at the lightest weight kite for a given surface area.
So now you're down to the real question. How much mass is necessary to make flight enjoyable? With proper weight placement you get a free bit of motion. It the kite is utterly insignificant in weight you don't get a free ride, the kite is all floaty but ONLY when affixed to your control inputs. As soon as you give any slack at all the kite falls unless you are tending these lines carefully. (you may be moving all around instead of standing stationary!)
I've never owned a Polo, but I do have a lot of experience with single skinned "no-sew" sails. This past weekend I flew a dedicated indoor 1.5, homebuilt by that grand-master Dave Ashworth (mostly orcon w/bits of icarex, the frame is Breeze tapered leading edge and point 125 carbon tubes for the down-spars) It weights about as much as 4-5 single dollar bills in a number ten envelope). I compared it against a highly customized Zen on 100 feet of 50# LPG using 15 inch no-snags.
One was all floaty, effortless flight, but not relaxing. You can't stand stationary but you could fly with single church fart most of the day. The other kite was more effort to maintain flight but also more rewarding with it's capabilities. Yeah! I still had to move, but the kite would also do a bunch of cool tricks and I wasn't breaking a hard sweat to enjoy myself either.
It was a dead calm hot humid day, I only flew until the shadows from the trees rotated away from my direction.
There's no easy solution, everything you modify has an overall impact on the dynamics of flight.
Bazzer makes a super slick SUL B-series Pro, but he doesn't like doing it "my way". Eliot Shook makes the most killer leading edge sleeves you've ever seen, if you can afford that price of admission. I have combined the two makers into several kites, the best one is a Zen.
I have owned and flown single skinned SULs no-sews homebuilts for probably 5,000 hours as well.
Framing matters as well as the bridle style, again a bunch of variables can impact the flight dynamics and only comparisons will show you the differences. I like a ultra responsive kite, others might call it too twitchy.
I prefer weight be placed in specific areas and lessened in others, for example you can shorten the down spars so they end at the bottom of the sail (probably an inch or so) This moves the balance point towards the leading edge and makes a field recovery glide a pilot-less certainty. You could go further with a dedicated SUL. You could go to a tapered spar, again pushing the balance point more towards the leading edge.
Bridle choices decide where on the frame's leading edge the kite will bend, sure you could add stiffness or flex by switching around frames. I use a french bridle. Instead of holding the kite, it's arc-welded! It bends on the outer thirds, not in the center, so if I want more mass (for throwing it around) I could swap out the center tube to something stiffer. It will not change how the kite powers up, just how much weight is available, all packed around the leading edge.
Discuss your needs and open your cheque book, but no one solution will ever solve all the concerns. If you push hard enough in only one direction,..... "that's all the kite will ever do acceptably" one thing!
I went on a family vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina last week. My dad has been flying kites for as long as I can remember, and put me behind some handles around age 7. I rather liked it, but never pursued it fully. I kited sporadically for the next ten years, just dual line sport kites--bags and deltas. Eight years ago, my dad bought a Rev EXP but never even took it out of the bag. Recently, we pulled the kites out of the basement and brushed off the dust.
At the beach, we first struggled with line management, handle setup, and kite setup (spars in front or behind?). With the spars in front, I tried to get it off the ground. It was extremely difficult to control and I had never watched the training video, so the handles threw me off. We went inside and watched the video. It all clicked in my head, and I got the kite in the air after fixing our setup problems. It had me grinning endlessly once I understood how to move it. The amount of control, precision, and speed it has just blew my mind, even in the two days I got to fly it. The winds were relatively strong and constant, at least 10 miles an hour on both days (rather fast wind for a beginning Rev flyer), and the kite pulled me hard in the middle of the window.
My dad has since dictated it my kite because, despite his best efforts, he can't seem to get it in the air. To his credit, there were quick connect hooks on the lines, handles, and bridles, and the lines had never been equalized. Within two days of research, I understood what we needed to do to make it more precise and I finally understood the concept of a wind window. The sheer amount of kiting information on the internet is mind boggling! I removed the quick connects and equalized the lines and it added a little more precision. I managed to learn sideways hovers and reverse flight and hovers (though it's still a little testy). Mostly I fooled around with the speed, propellor spins, crazy acrobatics, and power control that these kites offer.
The last three days of the trip were rainy and unpleasant to kite in. So I researched more. When we arrived home, I machined some delrin bushings and pressed them into the ends of the handles (sans hooks) and cross drilled through them for a simple, long-lasting no-snag solution. I have some 175# bridle on the way to make adjustable leaders and can't wait to experiment with them. I understand that more brake will make the kite more controllable in reverse, and I want to actually hold a reverse hover.
Long story short, I am a Rev addict and I'm never turning back. Flying it just makes me laugh and smile; it entertains me far more than flying a two line.
I've watched videos featuring all of the Rev kites I can find, and really like the precision and smoothness that the Rev 1 offers. I'm eyeing a Sedgwick and also a B-series. I like the speed the 1.5 size offers, but I like the idea of the slowness of a Rev 1. I know I'll probably end up with a bag full of Revs, but which one should I go for after I've thrashed the EXP around a bunch? I'm leaning towards the familiar 1.5 size, plus the two frames just makes sense for a variety of wind conditions. I don't know if I'll be able to try any out locally, are there any Kentuckiana-area Rev flyers around?
Thanks to all who post here with valuable information, and thank you for reading.
All the best,
HEY! Next time you're on the outer banks a visit to the Shook Palace is certainly in order. Two hard-core fliers who just happen to own a kite shop and make custom Masterpiece Revolution Kites, as well as stocking a variety of cool bits and mods to fit these wings. Cath and Eliot, Flying Smiles Kites, The Whalehead Club, Shook Mesh customs, . . . It's heaven for quad-heads,
Next time make sure you call first, confirm their availability, and finally share some flying time with these spectacular folks. So much better than stock is available if you have a credit card and a half a day. Or when you decide that your first loved Rev must be resurrected from the grave. Who U gonna' call for quality repairs on that kite?
Play pawnshop? They takes your unloved kites (MAYBE!, depending on condition) and you leave with other merchandise. THat bartering is half the fun!
I have 22 footers if there's enough room (like in Wildwood) and a special 8 foot length for flying at a specific location in the Nat'l Air & Space Museum (under the UAVs, one of them is only 14 ft from the floor).
Very often you simply take an old set of 120's and cut 'em down. Maybe one line broke jacking around against the sea-wall? Now they are 100 ft. Next they get kind of ragged at this length so you make a a couple of sets of 46ers. One of these will get hacked down on site for a custom length. Maybe you fold two in half and divide. Or pinch all four part way along the length, melt, knot and fly. I use a forceps for knot making so it's very repeatable, no sleeving and 90 pound line so it doesn't snag every molecule of crap on the floor. Laser Pro is like WIRE, Skybond is slicker and easier to see in my opinion. (I use both)
Getting a set of indoor handles that you connect with I found very difficult. I finally settled on these little dinky tubers, they're extremely short as well. They are so light in weight though, that the kite can carry 'em underneath in a glide. You can decide as you walk parallel with that fully released glide, whether to re-grasp the handles again or snag the leading edge instead.
I currently use a custom orcon Rev-styled kite with a "Breeze" leading edge and point 125 tube down-spars (2nd GEN ~ Ashworth). Since the frame is so delicate (and flexible!) you need to add a longish bridle to prevent distortion upon pilot commands. There are also magic stick type structures but Dave doesn't connect the two halves with the bridge line.
I couldn't connect with the stock indoor Revolution kite. I want my kites to be like a set of golf clubs. Each one feels like the others but performs best in different circumstances. That means you have to fiddle with them a lot. Or, in the example of Dave's orcon efforts, that cost me a Revolution kite bag and a industrial light table from a commercial printer. Because the moment I touched it I had to have that darn thing, not one like it,..... the very one in front of us.
Orcon sucks as kite building material. It even sticks to itself when you roll it up! It's about as strong as potato chip bag with a big slit in the side. It's even printed with some safety message every few feet in opaque white. You can't sew orcon, it has to be bonded, it only comes in oyster white. You can't have a sharp corner in your graphics or construction, nice smooth gradual turns (big diameters) are mandated. Oh but the flight dynamics make up for everything else. I don't care if it's durable or ragged looking. When you send this kite into a glide you can go to the bathroom and return before it hits the ground! Send it towards a smooth wall and it magnetically sticks and lowers itself magically to the floor. You can time this maneuver with a sundial!
Indoors the flying conditions are always the same, except for the height limits. I envy anyone who has a steady practice location. You can even flail indoors!
The buying public is ready for the helium's introduction. The best of both worlds, blending the indoor with an SUL, using the platform size we all appreciate plus a bridle so it instantly feels right!
We're lined-up Ben, . . . .summer is here, no wind time and a new design only on the horizon so far?
100 pound hi-test bridle line is the perfect leader stuff. Double strands, but placing the position knot(s) in only one of the two legs. Then it's easy to move, less danglie-crap to tangle when flying slack-line too
ideally the leaders on the flying lines should be made from this same material (remove the braided spectra core, just using the 40# Dacron sheath)
I'd make the top leader just short of reaching across the gap between the two attachment points.
Brake adjustments are done on the bottom leaders (muscle memory for 3D-stuff & the further out you can reach ~ the more impact on the kite ~ for a "catch") Long throw handles get longer leaders.
Jared Hayworth is a great addition to any kiting activity, his entire family in fact! Set-up (without the attitude!), he hustles all day long doing whatever is needed,..... photos, lessons, sherpa duties, plans the competitions for the Eastern League as the Commissioner.
For the Air & Space Museum indoor gig he brings their big ole flat screen TV (off of the wall and drives 8 hours), so we have a monitor for video playbacks in the lobby. He doesn't want to be involved with the cliques or politics, just sharing the joy. I include him as a dear friend.