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hi Riff,

As a future improvement to consider,.... The Down Spar end-caps on top should be flush along the leading edge, sticking up is sure tangle point some day when you are all slack lined and spankin' it.

and maybe a little more curvature built into the leading edge (seems pretty laser straight in the video compared to other kites shown) so it "cups air" better.  Try a couple of inches (2) down from the center (on each wing-tip) so the curve is built into the leading edge sleeve without a set of sticks inserted,

your kites look good in the sunlight,

editing could take out JH in the foreground, Ha!

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@Paul LaMasters Thanks for the suggestions. I realize the way of the future is a flush LE but I prefer the classic approach for stackability. I may make a few with the flush LE for experimentation but that's not the plan right now. Someone we both know (MC) that won the Rev invitational Sunday said it only needed a French Bridle and Magic sticks to be right by him. Also suggested I let you fly it..

For most of these videos there was but a whisper of wind..

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On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 12:41 PM, Paul LaMasters said:

maybe a little more curvature built into the leading edge ... so it "cups air" better

 

20 hours ago, riffclown said:

You can do a stack with the flush LE but it does make the stack lines a bit trickier.

I’m all ears and learning. So, if I got this correctly, the couping is not only from the flex when pulling on all four lines and the spars that happen to be in place. It is also sewn in from the start by adding a LE curvature when the sail being is being flush? So how does this pre LE curvature induced couping happen? Is the flex happening earlier without much pulling being required or is it a constant shape when using the kite as it already was under more load? So with curved LE to coup air better you gain forward flight earlier when pulling and increased sensibility when pulling on all four lines? With a straighter LE rapid side side slides gets possible?

And regarding the two different stack lines configurations what would the difference be?

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5 hours ago, Exult said:

 

I’m all ears and learning. So, if I got this correctly, the couping is not only from the flex when pulling on all four lines and the spars that happen to be in place. It is also sewn in from the start by adding a LE curvature when the sail being is being flush? So how does this pre LE curvature induced couping happen? Is the flex happening earlier without much pulling being required or is it a constant shape when using the kite as it already was under more load? So with curved LE to coup air better you gain forward flight earlier when pulling and increased sensibility when pulling on all four lines? With a straighter LE rapid side side slides gets possible?

And regarding the two different stack lines configurations what would the difference be?


You've asked several very valid questions. First, I'll point out that There really isn't a right or wrong answer. It's a right for you or wrong for you answer.. Paul and I come from very different schools of tuning. Paul tunes   heavily so each kite will fly in its appointed wind range with virtually the same inputs. It's a technique few really master but he truly has got his kite arsenal tuned to a T. I tune differently and emphasize that every sail should have it's on personality in with that (in my mind) own capability.

OK, That being said, more curvature in the leading edge imparts glide into the sail as well as creating a positive tension across the belly of the sail. While there are merits to both, I typically use about 1.5 inches of total curve across the LE. Just enough to  tension the sail but not enough to glide it out.. It's my choice.. I've made a few sails with a lot of Curve and they fly fine as well but, like Paul, I prefer the shape of the sail to emphasize how I fly. Since I'm making my own I actually have total control of that aspect and I've played with it extensively. Every kite before the Diamonds kite was an experiment into how adjusting, sail tension, camber, curve, and dimensions affected the way the kites fly as a whole.

As for the Flushed LE, that is accomplished by using a T Connector inside the LE Sleeve (exposed or not) which makes for a very smooth leading edge and an overall cleaner look.. it also nearly eliminates any possibility of snagging a flying line while doing axels or fades. Unfortunately the tradeoff is that T connector changes ever so slightly the length of the main stacking lines to be different than the other 5 stacklines on a sail. I DO fly stacks and to my knowledge, I'm the only person routinely throw launching a stack to fly. The Flush LE add literally another hour or so to the tuning time since you no longer have the initial starting point of all stack lines the same length.

I love Freilein, Revolution and Phoenix kites. Things I do like in those kites I incorporate into my sail. things I don't, I go my own way.

Freilein, I like their endcaps so much, they are what I choose to use for all my kites. I'm not a fan of the Flushed LE. Hole along the LE instead of mesh are fine but I don't want to spend all that time cutting holes. QC on these kites is beyond anything I've ever seen. 100% consistency across the lines.

Revolution, Truly the pioneer in this design.. Things they got right are basic layout, dimensions, the best frame process and everything Eliot Shook ever built for them. Things they got wrong, Changing the frames to "discourage copiers", adding the annoying springs to their sails to impart float, ignoring production glitches and not taking accountability for a really bad run of frames. They blamed the customer. I like Rev but those things moved me quickly to the used market to get frames from outside the bad batch. I haven't bought a new Rev since.

Phoenix, Bazzer makes (and always has made) great sails. Through inputs from iQuad, JB and the Pro series, he turned those experiences and his vision in the Phoenix. He got a lot of things right and they are beautiful sails. I like the Ashes best of the line. What Bazzer missed in my opinion the venting the trailing edge of the full sail on the Phoenix line really changes the way the sail loads up and raise the bottom number of the wind range a bit.

What I tweaked to incorporate into my sails is:
-standard width (I have 3 standards, 72", 93", 96"
-Sewn LE ends to discourage fraying and a few personal LE tweaks I learned from Eliot Shook
-Slightly shorter verticals (speeds up the sail overall without sacrificing too much of the low end)
-VERY reinforced bottom attachment points and LE End points. (To quote Eliot when I showed him my tweak, "That doesn't suck!, you might see this again"

all of my sails are different and they fly somewhat differently because of that.. That's also a reason I firmly insist on flying them first, if they are a failure, then I can remake.

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you can do a flush leading edge end-cap attachment point on the leading edge sleeve W/O going to the T-fitting solution too.  Bazzer's Phoenix efforts are "lashed down" onto the back of the sail (kinda' like screws into sheet of plywood) instead of a single loop of elastic shock cord.  Nothing moves and its absolute totally flush.  

He also incorporates  a doubled row of straight stitching into the trailing edge border (edge binding).  This make more of a hard ribbon to slice/cut thru the airstream in reverse flight, as opposed to the much more common triple stitched zig-zag method.

Lam does the progressively tighter and tighter zig-zag, like every couple of stitches are a different size, even on his appliqué.  A WAY COOL effect that almost nobody else would do except for their own personal equipment.  Doing it yourself means you can change anything, even the ridiculous!!!

A French Bridle incorporates a "restricter line" that can be used as well, to lock down the end=caps on the leading edge.  Doing this also adds a distance between the sail fabric and the frame (up at the top) such that your hand can fit inbetween w/o touching either item.  This is the same effect as the reflex solution with none of the pre-engineered flaws.  You can get that killer glide to (throw and catch) by trapping those elastic knots and washers behind the down-spar's fittings/end-caps.  You can test your glide easily by throwing the kite off of the lines, it should go away from you flat and far, like a successfully throw frisbee!  If it just wimps out a few yards away then you can alter it.

Restricting the end-caps' movement and/or just placing 'em flush will still allow for seven equal line lengths as the stack strings, as done by the REV masters Lee (Segwick) and Sam (Ritter), using 12 packs of Rev ones, flown for decades in all conditions. Dugard and Polansky, even Alden Miller don't have the spars sticking out, way above the leading edge, they use the 1.5 platform sized format for their stacks.

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I do double stitch the TE now but I had not looked at the Phoenix closely enough to note the LE treatment.. i'll take another look..

I am not a fan of the French Bridles.. Just a personal preference..  Also not a fan of magic sticks. They just don't alter the flying in a way that I can appreciate. Combining them IMO opinion takes some of the flow and personality from the sail...

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