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David Hampton

Winged double box pulling to the left

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Hey everyone,

I have the box kite below, and it's pulling badly to the left and almost tipping over on it's side. It has a three line bridle that I noticed was a bit off-center, so I shortened the right bridle line to make them even. This didn't seem to have any effect, so I shortened it even further and the kite still just wants to tip over on it's left side and fly sideways. It's so bad I can see the line going to the kite being pushed by the wind into an arc. Can anyone help me out?

Thanks!

David

13064931331.jpg

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Not a SLK guy myself, but there does look to be a lot of "mess" above the line connection point! Make sure everything is unwrapped and "neutral" before connecting a line!!

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I alike don't know too much...but with the walas I learned , if the rods are held in the kite by the material and not via end caps,knocks,etc.. your threading or material at that point may be failing causing it to pull to that side.

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Sorry cut myself short.... Effectively , changing the dimension of that side of the kite. From your picture...I would check the main center rod that is bowed on each side.

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Let's assume everything is put together right, and the bridle legs are even... if you try to fly certain SLKs in too high a wind, they will roll to one side or another and try to fly sideways. This is also true in dirty wind. I saw this happening to the pros at Wildwood last weekend, and even tried to help a guy with a Foil that was HUGE. (20'-30' square, 100'+ tails) It was doing the same thing, and was not cool when it dive-bombed me. Those big boy kites are life-and-death situations when they go out of control !

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A little late is my reply. Hope you get the chance to read it. Move the point where the flying line attaches to the bridle up towards the top of the kite in 1/2" increments for a kite this size. This will decrease the angle of attack and should help stabilize it.

When moving the point left or right to stabilize it, move the attachment point towards the direction the kite wants to turn. In other words, shorten the left side bridle, not the right. Shortening the right side of the bridle will make it want to turn left even more.

The left and right side lengths of the bridle line don't have to be equal, they only need to put the attachment point at the aerodynamic center of the sail, not the "true" center.

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My Wala (when flown as a regular SLK) tends to lean to the right, with or with out tails (?), but there's no way to adjust left or right on that thing, since the bridle is all centered. Maybe I'll try moving the attachment point forward, and see how that goes......... :cat_shy:

But back to the David's double box problem - as Rob mentioned, sometimes in stronger winds, big kites, and even standard sized Deltas, will go into a death dive, to one side, or the other. As the wind strengthens, the kite continues it's forward flight, as designed, which in most cases, takes it "up". However, when it runs out of line, and it can't pull any more slack out of that line, and the wind is still driving it forward, it's going to continue to fly in that forward direction, "up", BUT, if it can't go "up", it's going to either fold and break, or it's going to turn to one side or the other, and begin that death dive, usually pretty quickly. At this point, if the wind doesn't slack off, or if you don't give it a lot more line, it will continue that death dive, all the way to the ground, and unfortunately, also into the ocean, if you happen to be flying in an off-shore breeze (blowing out) Sheesh! :ani_wallbash:

Bad thing about SLK's, if you let out all of your line, and you run into this situation, you're pretty much screwed........only option then, is to grab the line, and run as fast as possible towards the kite, and hopefully, that will render enough slack line, to allow the kite to regain stability, and head back up. Assuming you get it back under control, it's probably then time to think about getting it down.

So, unless you have been flying under these high wind conditions, it's no doubt a bridle problem, or the kite is simply way off balance (?), for some reason. Try hanging it upside down, from the line attachment point, inside of your house (where there is no air moving). It should then be quite obvious, if the kite is heavier on one side than the other.

Oh, and when you are flying, make sure to check for birds landing on the kite. I've actually had them to land on the kite, as well as on the line going to the kite, and I'm talking about up 300' to 400', maybe more. :ani_giveup:

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If it only goes sideways with a heavy wind, consider the possibility of spars that are not equally strong from one side to the other. A kite that flies well in light wind may begin to fold up in stronger wind more on one side than the other. Check if your spars bend equally under load. Or, swap them from one side of the kite to the other (or reverse the spreader).

Similarly, if the fabric is not oriented exactly the same on one side of the kite vs the other, the fabric might stretch more on one side of the kite. (This would be a tough one to fix.) If the kite is asymmetrically colored, the fabrics may have slightly different stretch characteristics. (Another tough fix.)

Spar pockets which are not precisely located might also be worth looking at.

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Had a gentleman come to me to "fix" his kite from doing the same kind of thing. It was a 16' Delta, but pulling to one side. when I took it out to fly it, I found one of the spars was split leagnth wise and gave very little support. I replaced the spar with a new one and now if flys great. Sometimes you have to look close at them to see that they have split. Good luck,

Please let us know when you get if fixed and what you found out. We may all learn something.

Enjoy the Sky

Dean

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