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.
In the DC Metro area our wind gauge measurement is division!
Take the quoted wind-speed from the weather channel and divide it by three. Most measurements are taken 300 to 500 feet high, that doesn't help a sport kite flier though. If the "service" says 5 to 10 mph for today, you're actually only looking at 1.5 - 3+ (SUL or Zen) down where it helps us.
I'd like to see you practice BACKING the kite from inverted and forget all about this forward drive stuff. Eventually you must master control an inch above the ground. This is a lot easier with the weight on the bottom (leading edge inverted).
Here's the session outline.
Start with the kite inverted, sitting on the ground and back-up (fly in reverse by pushing your thumbs at the kite) to waist or shoulder height. STOP and hover. Then lower it gently back to mother earth. Repeat this five times with the objective of a smoother flight speed in both directions and straight lines. You may find that smaller handle movements combined with moving your feet helps tremendously, particularly in low wind.
Okay next, double the objective height and try it all over again. You may find you need to shorten your brake (bottom) lines by pulling in the bottom leaders, or letting out the tops. Eventually you want to be able to do this flight path to the very top of the wind window, like it was riding on railroad tracks, following a laser beam! This will take many hundreds of hours to perfect and make effortless looking.
When you get bored go fly as you usually would, but keep coming back to the inverted session. If your revolution kite will not back-up you might as well can cut off two strings because you are not using the kite as it is can be ("demonstrated the quad-line effect?" is the name for this asked question in judge-speech)
What you are doing by adding all of this down is a benefit to low wind flight too,... here's why. You are pulling the sail more square to the wind's maximum pressure. If you held a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood in a wind tunnel, which path of the wind would place maximum pressure on your plywood? If you angled the wood in any direction some of the wind pressure would spill off, right?
When in doubt about tuning ALWAYS add down first and see if that is an improvement.
You'll eventually have to break the habits of all forward drive tuning, if you ever want to gain mastery on a revolution kite. We all learned to scream to the top of the window with forward drive first. Don't waste the next seven years to change like I did!
My current setting for leader lengths is the tops are 300 to 400% longer than the bottoms. I make all my tuning adjustments using the bottom leaders (so the tops are always the same length, muscle memory for 3-D tricks). Handle length dictates the top leader length. I want it "just short" of reaching the bottom leader attachment point. Longer handles get longer leaders. Choices are personal,... do what feels right to you, the path doesn't matter only the destination!
I've personally witnessed buggying on a full vent 1.5 (that individual was no "giant" in stature though, HA!) He eventually move to the outer banks, guessing the no-wind of the mid-atlantic states got too boring.
One time Bob (Sundown) pulled a plastic kid's wading pool out of his pickup truck, then set-up an 8-pack stack of dualies and proceeded to lean back on the pool's edge whilst sitting inside it, (thereby raising the front significantly ~ Bob's a very big boy).
Oops, i forgot,... the night before we arrived for first Sunday fly it had snowed 8 inches of fresh powder. We couldn't go to the Monuments (construction again!) so we went towards an equestrian park instead. Hadn't plowed the lot so we pulled over on the side of the entrance road.
Anyway, we were all laughing at and kidding Sundown as he was lovingly cleaning out the pool's interior, then he set-up and went scootin' across the field howling in ecstasy. Know what happened next? WE double-quick formed a line to wait for our own turn scudding in the winter pool!
Oh yeah, 120s are a great flying length of lines regardless of your kite choice
some of us, (myself included) are occasionally delusional enough to assume we can do it better ourselves than acquiring those products through commercially available sources. With that said I have purchased perfect sets from both Cath and Teresa.
Which products do you want?
Cath has Skybond: It is super slippery, thinner diameter, but a softer hand. Teresa sells LaserPro which is more commonly used with most team quad fliers..., not as slippery, thicker too, but also much more like flying on wire. A direct connect? When you do 3D stuff, the LPG string doesn't pick-up debris as easily or tangle as quickly (or as tightly!)
I use both brands, depending on the circumstances presented and who's with me. I particularly like the 50# and 140# Skybond though for tough conditions (one's for each end of the wind range), but for seriously chasing spectators the line is 90#LPG, especially when throwing the kite all around with tons of slack in between movements.
Some of my linesets have sleeving, but only if I bought 'em that way.
When making my own lines that is just another darn thing to tangle-up which is eliminated by design. Use figure of eight knots, but first place a stopper knot into the single strand line before it's formed into the loop. Practice the figure of eight knot as it wants to tighten in both directions (towards the knot's center point) How do you predict where it will wind up? In fact you'll use a set of forceps to pinch the two strands together where you want the knot to be as a final location. When you practice tying this knot, you'll need to identify the two loops (which resemble an "8" on it's side when visually examined). You have to force one loop OVER the other half and pull out all of that accompanying slack back out (away from the locked point) so the knot positions itself against the forcep jaws as a final position when tight. This isn't easy, you'll have to wiggle and work it, so practice.
When you make linesets without sleeving you need a BIGger loop than with sleeving, as any adjustments will be made by shortening the longest line (by adding in still more knots). With sleeving you can untie, that won't work w/o it!
One is designed to survive the shock of a striking fish, as well as the load of dragging that fighting creature thru water. The other is designed to wrap smoothly around itself with little friction and not change it's overall length.
You could use a garden trowel in a knife fight,... It is made of strong metal, has a cutting edge and a very comfortable handle
Buy the right stuff and never regret you decision!
I've not complained 'bout tough weather since I left Chicago, except for a couple of times!
I went to college (NIU/Dekalb~ in the late 70's) and once we had snowdrifts that covered school buses & telephone poles for miles in every direction. The interstate was closed for 3 days and I don't remember much else (except our early arrival at the local liquor store and immense popularity thereafter until a decent thaw). You can't even shovel it,... where are you going to put that snow, on top of the dorm? Front end loaders and dump trucks were necessary to haul it away. That didn't start 'til crews could reach the equipment.
Bethesda. MD got 26 inches all at one time while we were at the MKS building retreat. The hotel staff would be the same folks who served breakfast late last night and cocktails the day before. When I finally got home the misses & neighbors had shoveled all their snow into MY parking spot. You could hide an extended cab pick-up truck in the pile. Man I was mad at the world that day!
Went thru hurricane Andrew, but from 90 miles away. Pretty scary stuff but my home and landscaping survived intact.
Been thru two tornados, once the whole house was gone (2 stories brick) except for a single chest of drawers and the chimney. Second time, after rebuilding the homestead, the twister took off the top story, lifted the carpet from the first floor and place the second level back down again. The carpet is now on the ceiling! We moved three hours away and felt pity on the folks that acquired our old home. Even the mail man moved!!!
the framing members and bridles are all interchangeable
different panel sizes & number of panels used, different fabrics, different location of framing components are all construction variables between the 3 referenced kites. Increasing labor cost and using higher quality raw materials make for a more expensive product. That doesn't mean one specific model is the only thing goin' on though! Any of the Revolution kites are great flying wings. It comes down to the thickness of your wallet and whether the current model (state of the art)today is exactly what you desire
I believe there are differences in the leading edge too (amount of curvature built in by design, not necessarily the material it's made from)
Unless you can't feed the step-kids on a semi-regular basis you should plan to buy the best model you can honestly afford. You get what you pay for, even if you might not be able to appreciate that fact immediately
Adding the magic sticks makes for "different" flight dynamics to be sure, . . . not necessarily better. With that said, the complete modifications I have incorporated fit my own personal style very well!
At one point during TI last week Paul Dugard was handed my kite, WAY too long a set of handles, and too much brake, different bridle and sail construction. Darn it, he could still fly one in each hand (although not comfortably).
We worked on some slack line tricks for those curious enough to inquire about techniques. This is where the sticks really shine, 'cause you don't have to walk down there and re-set up your kite when things don't go exactly as planned.
Also, as mentioned about, when resting on the ground, the lines are completely slack which is nice for spectators who cross the field oblivious to the world (obliv-iots is the official term)
Lastly, sticks are pretty cheap and can be easily taken off if they don't do what you want.
The most amazing thing about the sticks is the glide gained for field recovery from the top of the wind window. Easily 3 or 400% of the altitude. The Zen almost rides out of sight, literally hundreds of feet, even dragging the abandoned handles underneath
this is spider silk thickness adhesive, used instead of sewing
An entire kite made with no stitching. The material is designed to bond two pieces of metal together. On a kite the fabric next to the adhesive bond will fail first, not the seam itself. We used to make a low wind kite called the Ryv1.6 and it was a no-sew project (all straight lines). I used several of these kites to a couple thousand hours each, until you could blow smoke rings thru the fabric!
Go onto KiteBuilderDOTcom and ask about no-sew projects or 9460 bonding. They can send you specifics about how best to use this product and where it's commercially available.
Just so you know, .... it's not a faster construction method than sewing
It could easily reinforce an existing sail with a light weight wear strip. Lay the tape out in a straight line on the material selected, icarex, nylon, signature cloth, polyester, whatever. The wear strip material should be cut to exact size, hot cut if possible.
First you "bond" onto the wear strip, then peel the release tape, apply to your sail and bond again, but turn the sail over so you can watch the front side. A craft iron with a teflon coated & shaped foot is an excellent acquisition for this method of construction
Lay some books on your bonding efforts overnight or carefully iron the wear strip from the opposite side so you can visually witness the transfer bonding (it will get smooth-er if you've laid it out correctly)
you can peel this stuff up if you make a mistake, but you'd better practice on a scrap first and HURRY-up if it's the live job on your kite.