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Hi,

You may know that I regularly have to fly in low winds here in inland NC, and as such am always on the lookout for low wind options. I decided to try to make an SUL out of a Rev II, and here's what I found out.

Regularly, I'm unable to fly my Rev II in less than 6-8 mph. I didn't take wind readings when I was trying to fly, but that's what I believe the wind was. Now, with my modifications, I'm able to fly it in 2.5-3 mph winds. It "flies" in 2.5 mph, but it likes 3 mph better. And when the winds are up to 4-5 mph, it flies great! I flew it briefly in 8 mph winds with no problems. Took the wind readings with a fairly accurate wind meter.

Here's what I did...

I made no changes to the bridle or the sail; only replaced the frame. I replaced the 2-piece leading edge with a 3-piece. The center was a Rev I SUL (2-wrap) spar, 36" long. This spar has ferrules in each end. Then I put two Sky Shark P100 spars (each 19" long) outboard from it. I replaced the vertical spars with Sky Shark 2P spars 24" long. The vertical spars were smaller in diameter than the caps, but they stayed in well enough (remember, the wind is light!). And the P100's fit nicely over the Rev I SUL spar ferrules.

I flew this combination on 75' 75# blueline with "standard" Rev handles. The lines seemed a little heavy, so my friend Marty loaned me a set of 40' 50# lines. Wow! When the wind was up to 4-5 mph, my reflexes took a real workout. :sq-upsidedown:

Just for comparison, I put my 1.5SUL on the 75' 75# lines with the extended handles and went back and forth between the two kite combinations. The 1.5SUL clearly flew with lower wind, and some more precision. Or maybe it was just that my reflexes were too slow for the Rev II. :P It seemed to me that the 1.5SUL flew better in about 1-1.5 mph lower winds than the Rev 2. But it may just be my inexperience.

Bottom line, I believe that you can satisfactorily make an SUL out of a Rev II and get lower wind performance. What remains to be seen is if the leading edge will hold up since the ferrules are now right at the vertical spar connector. I don't know if that's a plus or a minus, but that's about where the 3 pieces were connected.

If someone has had other experience, it would be good to hear about it. But now it appears that I have another alternative for my low winds. :unsure:

Doug

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For the last couple years I have often used hybrid frames, combining various rods to achieve the best results... Especially since I find the vented Revs have better reverse flight, but generally require higher winds. Here are a couple combinations:

Vented Rev I

  • 4-wrap center leading edge spar
  • 3-wrap outer leading edge spars
  • 2-wrap verticals

Standard Rev I

  • 3-wrap center leading edge spar
  • 2-wrap outer leading edge spars
  • 2-wrap verticals

And so on...

This has worked with great success for me, understanding that the center takes most of the stress, the outer leading edge rods the second most, and the verticals generally deal with the least stress.

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I did something similar with my Rev 2. I used a 3-piece LE with three equal-sized P100 spars, and also used P100 for the downspars. This made a significant improvement in low winds.

However, I think the P100 is one size too small for the center. At one point the kite stalled and fell out of the sky from about 20 feet up, and the center P100 snapped in half.

You can save a significant amount of weight by simply replacing the downspars. I'm currently using P100 downspars and a stock Rev 2 LE on the Rev 2 I made myself, and it works fine. The P100s are sturdy enough I think for normal winds too, since there's not much pressure on a Rev 2 sail.

Another thing to think about when you go to a 3-piece LE is that you add a ferrule, which is adding more weight and more rotational mass - since the ferrules are farther away from the center of the kite. It's probably not a big deal. But, if you get to the point where you're counting grams, it may matter to you.

Also, if your ferrules are right at the downspars as you say, you might consider using solid ferrules if you aren't already. Experiment and see.

Jason

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Okay...I've got a silly question...why would you want to fly a kite designed for high winds (the Rev II) in a low wind condition???? :wacko: There are many revs which will fly quite nicely in both conditions...the Blast for example...just curious!

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For the last couple years I have often used hybrid frames, combining various rods to achieve the best results... Especially since I find the vented Revs have better reverse flight, but generally require higher winds.

Whoomp, there it is. :wacko:

For quad line precision, I prefer a vented Rev (any size) over a standard - even if I could somehow choose to have the best winds for either one.

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hehehe Aiyana, Why?----because they can. ;)

An alternative?. a SUL Rev II. I've got one. Fly's beautiful inside with practice and in a stack.. to kewl... and I still don't have the time on it, so I'm not good on it at all.... yet. But one day look out. I still feel it's going to give me alot of style. Speed and ease. :wub:

Good lord, those that know me know my hybrids look more like...

a 3 wrap on one side, a 2 on the other. :D What ever is within reach..

Same length of spars, bundgee and lines are of more importance to me. :wacko:

Bb Penny~ thinking soft sand is a dirty word

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Never enough :wub:

Never enough :D

Can't get enough low wind quads! Have my 1.5SUL, Blast, Rev I with SUL spars, NPW5. Now my Rev II SUL! ;)

Still have the potential of the Skydancer with SUL spars or the Super Blast. Old man bones may not be able to stand the SB. But you never can tell...

Want more SUL's like Aiyana wants more in her Rev 2 stack. :wacko:

Later, Doug

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Just an update on the Rev II with the SUL(?) frame. The reason I used the Rev I SUL center spar on the leading edge was because I already had it. I have a set of SUL spars for my Rev I, so this was getting me part way there.

But the update.....

Yesterday I was out with winds 3-6 mph with [very rare] gusts up to 11 or 12. I tried several of my quads. The NPW5 flew quite well (it was really its first time out), then my Shockwave, the Blast, and then the Rev II. The Shockwave didn't fly very well. I could get it up when the winds were up around 5-6, but it faded when the wind dropped. Pretty much the same for the Blast, although I could keep it up longer than the Shockwave. The Rev II was really difficult to get up until I changed the spars to the SUL frame... :(

The Rev II SUL was really a lot of fun to fly. I was using my 75' 75# lines. When the wind dropped, it still flew. When the wind picked up, it flew even better. But the update I wanted to give was that the frame appears to be pretty sturdy. I did a full-speed dive-stop several times when the wind was up at its max of about 11-12 mph, and it held up fine. I didn't crash it at all :devil: , so I don't know how fragile it really is. BTW, I hope I don't have to find out if it's fragile that way. The important piece of this is that not only does it give the II a low wind capability, it appears that you don't have to put it away like the 1.5SUL when the wind gets above 8 mph. :unsure:

Anyway, thought y'all might like an update.....

Doug

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