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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: Ken Bour on June 03, 2012, 06:17 AM



Title: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 03, 2012, 06:17 AM
I purchased this Skynasaur kite (see pic) in Ocean City, MD in the mid-1980's although we haven't been able to pinpoint an exact year. Although I can still connect the two pieces, the long spreader (or spar) split when we flew it last week in Duck, NC. I would like to find a replacement part, so that the kite can continue flying, but the maker appears to be out of business. It looks complicated and I don't know its dimensions other than the kite wing length measures 90" from tip-to-tip. I uploaded a few images including a tag that was attached to the carrying bag that I never removed. Notice that the tag says "Trooper," but I cannot find any information on Skynasaur kites with that type - only "Tracer."

Secondly, I would appreciate any feedback on the quality of this kite. Evidently, I paid $130 over 25 years ago, but I don't know if that would place it in the beginner, intermediate, or advanced category. I presume that the shop salesperson wouldn't have sold me a kite above my total newbie status at the time.

Lastly, given that I own this kite and assuming I can find a new main spreader, I would appreciate a recommendation on a second kite. From recollection, I don't believe that this Skynasaur "Trooper" will fly in winds lower than 6-8 MPH, so would it make sense to add an UL and, if so, which are your favs? Even though I have owned a stunt kite for two decades, I have very few hours in the air and am still a beginner when it comes to anything but basic movements.

Any other thoughts you have will be appreciated. I am seriously thinking about spending more time with stunt kites now that the bug has re-bitten me.

Thanks, Ken

P.S. I noticed that there may be a kite club in the Washington, DC area, but the website looks out-of-date. If any members happen upon this post, I would like to know if it is still active and how to become involved.

(http://db.tt/A4qWOYAo) (http://db.tt/GlvK6DUW)(http://db.tt/4PkjMBzL) (http://db.tt/FK0TH1kP)

Note: Edited 6/27/2012 to replace attachments with image links


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 03, 2012, 07:36 AM
Update: I took apart the main spreader (see image). The two pieces measure 32" and 30" respectively. When assembled, the total length is 60". I stuck one of the whisker holders (proper name?) into the crack to illustrate the spar damage.

Also, I just noticed that one of the rubbery spar holders is starting to tear/split, so that piece needs to be replaced.

Ken

(http://db.tt/TtKJXOyT)

Note: Edited 6/27/2012 to replace attachment with image link


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: chilese on June 03, 2012, 08:48 AM
Hi Ken,

Most modern spars come stock at 32.5 inches or 40 inches.

I'm guessing your 32 inch spar is also a 30 inch spar with a 2" exposed ferrule glued into it?

You can buy pultruded spars from any good kite store, including our sponsor
(ad upper right).

For the kite to maintain it's balance, you'll probably want to get a spar with the same
weight. If you could weigh the spar without the ferrule and ratio the weight up by
a factor of (32.5/30 = 1.08), you can order a replacement spar by weight. Then,
use a fine tooth saw and tape to cut the new spars to the proper length. Most people
would leave one of the new spars at full length and only cut one spar. This would
shift the balance a little as the ferrule would be moved up or down depending on
which spar you decided to cut. I would cut the upper leading edge spar, gluing the
ferrule to it. That way, any future replacement of a cracked LLE (lower leading edge)
would involve no cutting. Normally, the LLE is the one that breaks.

For the kite to maintain its original fittings, you will need to order a spar with an OD
approximately the same as the ones you are replacing.

Do you have a micrometer or calipers to measure the diameter of the bad spars?

Also, you should replace both side leading edges to maintain weight balance left/right.

The rubbery spar holders are now called "leading edge connectors" and can be ordered
also. You should probably replace all 4 of those and you might as well replace the
center-T fitting as well.

Whiskers are now called standoffs.
And the whisker holders are standoff connectors these days.
Fortunately, kites are still called kites.  :)

I believe the Skynasaur kites were made by Mike Simmons. I own a few Tracers and
have seen the Trancer.

Tracers:
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-PqP4T1NHTfk/S1m6AMwcrNI/AAAAAAAAAgc/x09BguhC35A/s800/169%2520Tracers%2520Darren%2520Darren.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/chilesej/2009Kites#5429575338359041234)



Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: rncembal on June 03, 2012, 11:41 AM
Mike sold the production rights to Skynasuar which later became Mile High Kites. Once Mike sold the rights he ceased producing any kite so they would have been made in the Colorado facility.I have to find my old goodwinds kite bible that will have all the specs.
 Rob


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 03, 2012, 01:38 PM
Thank you very much chilese, skb, and rncembal. While it appears as though the kite is "fixable," the process seems to require more customizing knowledge and skill than I currently possess.

Do you think anyone might want to buy this 1985ish Skynauer Trooper AS IS for an exceptionally fair price? The kite doesn't owe me anything and, if it could go to a new owner who is willing to fix it, perhaps that would be my best option.

My preference, at this point, would be to purchase a new (or used) modern kite and, perhaps, get both STD and UL models so that I am ready for any wind condition that arises.

I recognize that it is a common newbie question to ask, "What kite should I buy," but I would still appreciate any recommendations. Researching this question on GWTW, I glean that the following models seem to be among the most popular: Widow Maker, Talon, and Deep Space. Should I be looking at any others?

Thanks, Ken

P.S.  Today being the first Sunday of the month, I rode my motorcycle to the Washington Monument and met a couple of friendly W.O.W. members, including a gentleman named Richard who was expertly flying a dual-line kite and was extraordinarily helpful! Clearly, the club is still active.


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: ko on June 03, 2012, 02:05 PM
Hello. I do not have any idea what your kite is worth .As for what kite to buy? Fly and get advice from your new friends. there is nothing like local knowledge and I do not know a kite jockey that wont share and give more advice than you will ever need!LOL anyway welcome back
regards Kurt


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: chilese on June 03, 2012, 04:49 PM
The Trooper would probably cost about $40 in parts to fix.
  (The 4 LE spars would be around $32 for P-series replacements)

Shipping would be $5-$10 to anyone in the states who bought it.

The market for used, older kites is very small. Not a lot of us
collectors. There are very few desired older models.

You might get up to $50 (maybe) as is. That's just my guess.
_______________________________

As far as modern kites for you to purchase......

Your list is excellent, although the Talon and Deep Space are tailored
more for people who want kites that are top end tricksters.

For your first jump into modern kites, the best advice is always try
before you buy. Find some kiters in your area and fly as many different
newer kites as you can.

My suggestion would be to get a proven design that flies very well and,
by default, will be fairly tricky.

Although these 2 suggestions have been around for years, they are
well balanced, forgiving kites. I own models of them both. They can
be had in at least standard and UL models. They come in several colors.
Click on the small photo to see a larger picture.

   Widow Maker by Skyburner (made in USA) (standard, UL)
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0otLOZxeE1o/S19agM5azXI/AAAAAAAACsQ/kLGzlriM4E8/s144/95245%2520Widow%2520Maker%2520Red%2520fixed.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/chilesej/2007Kites#5431159184896478578)
   Quantum Pro by Prism (made in USA)(standard, UL, vented, SUL)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6oJpUUdjrxg/S2IPcZSzW4I/AAAAAAAAFjM/gyStQ5mcF2Q/s144/5805%2520Quantum%2520Pro.jpg) (https://picasaweb.google.com/chilesej/2005Kites#5431921081062742914)


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 04, 2012, 06:16 AM
Thanks, chilese, for the excellent info and advice.

I am sold on the SkyBurner WidowMaker and now just need to make the purchase-this week!

Given that the Skynasaur Trooper has little or no collector value, I think I will offer it up free to any local W.O.W. member who would like to repair it whether for self or as a donation to a worthy cause. That way, no expense to ship. If I get no takers, I'll just toss it. As I stated above, that kite doesn't owe me anything... :)

Ken


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: rncembal on June 04, 2012, 08:58 AM
I didn't read that you were in Duck . There is a local shop (not the big one) That can help get it flying and it will be a great kite to have to teach others with when you don't want to risk you more expensive pieces. You will smile after dealing with them
Rob


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 04, 2012, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the tip, Rob, but I was only in Duck, N.C. last week for vacation. I live in Northern VA about 25 miles outside of Washington, D.C.

Ken


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: rncembal on June 04, 2012, 12:04 PM
According to the Goodwinds  old kite book Trooper LE  spine and spreader  all 2100 Protruded standoffs .098 fiberglass . but it does not list any dimensions


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: mikenchico on June 05, 2012, 01:13 AM
Pultruded Carbon .2100's run $5 each (http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=121), I would get 2 to replace both spreaders to keep the balance. A replacement ferrule (http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=118) is .90  cents, if you can't or don't want to fight yours off. APA-A's (http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=95) are .95 cents each, again I would do both sides. Worth considering the investment to keep it around.

It was a Mid range kite in its day.



Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ca Ike on June 05, 2012, 01:41 AM
Talk to Steve here and he can get you set up with what you need and even cut the spars for you.  Mike is right the troop was a more intermediate kite.  You can get it fixed up for around $20 ish and it would be worth having around for a true old school fly from time to time.  IF someone has it Kitelines magazing vol 11 had a mention of the trooper but i don't remember if it had the specs or not.


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: mikenchico on June 05, 2012, 07:58 AM
Vol 11 issue 1 - no spar measurements just basic materials. Carbon tubes, 1 piece leadind edge, vinyl connectors, 1 oz nylon sail, end caps used for the standoff to spreader connectors (and they slip so you should replace those too with APA's). The review found the kite to be nearly as competent as its bigger sibling the Tracer which was winning many comps at the time.

An experiment with low aspect ratios and deep sails (11" at an 86" wingspan) with a wide nose piece to increase lift that worked very well for the tricks common at that time. A first step toward the polyvent kites of today, you still see the influence of Mike Simmons Tracer/Trooper in todays designs.




Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 05, 2012, 08:21 AM
Thanks, Ca Ike and mikenchico, for the extra effort in locating information on this particular kite. The fact that it had carbon tubes makes sense given the "CARB" designation on the inventory tag that I uploaded.

If the W.O.W. club declines my offer of a freebie, perhaps I will ask if someone in this forum (maybe Steve?) would be willing to fix 'er up.

Hoping to purchase my Skyburner WidowMaker today!

Ken


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ca Ike on June 06, 2012, 03:34 AM
I'm sure if you ask Steve he can tell you if he would fix it and what it would cost for him to do a "tune up" and replace whats needed.  Might even be easier for him to match it all up if you were to ship the kite to him for repair.

Now if your really wanting to give it another home and no one here wants to by it you might get ahold of these people  http://www.drachen.org/ (http://www.drachen.org/) and see if they would like it for their collection.  IT may not be a big historical kite but its still a part of kite history.  I had a lot of fun with skynasaurs untill I got ahold of my first prism and they are still fun kites to fly.


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 13, 2012, 11:26 AM
I just wanted to follow-up and report that, after a couple of PMs to confirm measurements, Steve (GWTW Kites) agreed to make me a custom lower spreader (.22" pultruded carbon tubes, new connectors, etc.) for the Skynasaur Trooper and, for a very reasonable $22, it is now done and on its way to me. If all goes well, I may be flying it this weekend while I wait for my new custom WidowMaker (see http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=7646.0 (http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=7646.0)). 

I do have one more question for the experts (please don't hold me to that promise) based on a new uploaded picture, which I sent to Steve as well. Can you identify and explain what's happening at the kite's tail section? There are two lines (lower bridle legs?) that come from the spine, connect to the lower spreader, and are held in place by what I am calling "stoppers." I haven't seen any other stunt kites with this configuration and just wondered what you can tell me about it.

Thanks, Ken

(http://db.tt/Y5IjEFN8)

Note: Edited 6/27/2012 to replace attachment with image link


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: thief on June 13, 2012, 12:03 PM
umm..yeah...you are missing the center T......
the lower spreader should be going through a hard connector that will hold it against the spine...those short legs of the bridle will help to hold the lower spreaders into the center T...it is an old skool designed bridle....not a bad thing....just old skool.


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 13, 2012, 01:57 PM
umm..yeah...you are missing the center T......
the lower spreader should be going through a hard connector that will hold it against the spine...those short legs of the bridle will help to hold the lower spreaders into the center T...it is an old skool designed bridle....not a bad thing....just old skool.
SKB, are you certain about that? While I do see that configuration on other stunt kites, this one is not a "Tracer," but a "Trooper." I am pretty sure that there was never any T that intersected with the spine as you describe, which is what caused me to post my question.  In this case, there is just a line that comes from the spine with two "legs" that connect to the spreader around those stoppers. When the spreader is connected to the leading edges, those "legs" are more or less taut. Hmmm...

Ken


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ca Ike on June 13, 2012, 02:03 PM
SKB is right your missing the center T.  The trooper is just a cheaper version of the tracer so essentially they are the same kite.  That hole in the sail a bit up from the tail end is where the T is supposed to be.  ON closer look at the pic the T might be there just notpoking out of the hole where its supposed to be


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 13, 2012, 03:05 PM
My apologies to Thief and SKB and thanks to Ca Ike whose tip about a piece not "poking out of the hole" suggested to me that I unpack it and take a closer look. DOH-there it was hiding from me! :-[ It had been so long since we last flew the kite, with that piece tucked behind the sail cloth, I missed it completely. It's small wonder we cracked the bottom spreader with all the tension we put on it flying in high winds at the beach!

Another brilliant example of this forum's value...thanks muchissimo, guys! :-*

I uploaded two images of the kite now properly assembled (hopefully :-\).

Ken

(http://db.tt/Md99ka9C)(http://db.tt/zlvuTueI)

Note: Edited 6/27/2012 to replace attachments with image links


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: thief on June 13, 2012, 03:12 PM
My apologies to SKB and thanks to Ca Ike whose tip about a piece not "poking out of the hole" suggested to me that I unpack it and take a closer look. DOH-there it was hiding from me! :-[ It had been so long since we last flew the kite, with that piece tucked behind the sail cloth, I missed it completely. It's small wonder we cracked the bottom spreader with all the tension we put on it flying in high winds at the beach!

Another brilliant example of this forum's value...thanks muchissimo, guys! :-*

I uploaded two images of the kite now properly assembled (hopefully :-\).

Ken

ahhh...much better....


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ca Ike on June 13, 2012, 03:17 PM
Nice kite.  HAve fun with it.


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 13, 2012, 04:28 PM
For those of you who have flown Skynasaur kites (Tracers and/or Troopers) what minimum wind conditions should I be looking for...? I know that it will fly in brisk winds (assuming proper assembly), but how light can it go given a newbie's skills?

Also, are there any "tricks" that are out of bounds considering its design?

Thanks,

Ken

P.S. I just knew I would have more questions about this kite!  ;D


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 14, 2012, 02:49 PM
The new lower spreader arrived from Steve today and everything seems to have been measured/cut perfectly! Still, I have two issues/questions:

  • In replacing the lower leading edge connectors (L and R), I had a devil of a time trying to tie that bridle knot around the connector with only a loop in the line. I took it off without having to cut anything, so I know it can be retied. Even with existing models to follow on the upper spreader, I still couldn't figure out the pattern. I guess I'm spatially challenged when it comes to reverse engineering knots! :-[  Somehow, after fiddling with them for awhile, I lucked into a functional solution, but they are butt ugly. If someone has a simple instruction on how to do it properly, I would love to retie them neatly.
  • On the tail side of each connector, there is a vinyl piece (1/4") that I assume is supposed to be a stopper to keep the connector from slipping down the rod and bunching into the sail cloth. Unfortunately, those pieces had to come off so that I could install the replacement connectors. I found that, with a little twisting force, I could slide them off the rod. Once I put everything back in place, I noticed that those stoppers, if that's what they are, are quite loose and are certainly not going to prevent the connectors from sliding. Should they now be glued in place? Also, I gather that those pieces never slide up-only down?

Thanks again, Ken


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ca Ike on June 14, 2012, 04:31 PM
MOst of those bridles were simply larks headed onto the spars with the LE fitting in between the loops.  SO there would be half the larks head above the fitting, cross over the fitting on the pilot side and the other half below.  Use a good GEl type CA glue to reset the stops.


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ken Bour on June 14, 2012, 08:19 PM
Ca Ike:

I wish I could say that I understood your knot instructions; but, sadly, it's all greek to me. On a positive note, I do appreciate the advice to fasten the stoppers with CA glue (Steve kindly advised me that it was, essentially, super glue). I'll take care of that tomorrow and, hopefully, before the weekend is over, I'll have an opportunity to fly the Skynasaur Trooper.

Ken


Title: Re: Help-Skynasaur circa 1985
Post by: Ca Ike on June 14, 2012, 09:13 PM
Mabey this will help.  These are pics of a katana I had.  Notice how the bridle is on both sides of the fitting?  THose are just larks head knots with the fitting in between the loops of the knot. Easiest way I found to redo those is to larks head the bridle to the spar loosely, pull one loop off without losing the twist, put the fitting on then replace the loop and slide the whole thing in place.  Its usually best to do it at the ferule end of the rod and you can slide the rod into the LLE through the cut out.  IF you changing to APA fittings the loops are usually big enough that you can just slide half the knot over the fitting when its in place.

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6138/5929285360_defae63e03.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ca_ike/5929285360/)
Photo0248 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ca_ike/5929285360/#) by Ca Ike (http://www.flickr.com/people/ca_ike/), on Flickr

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6025/5929285384_d593187ae2.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ca_ike/5929285384/)
Photo0247 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ca_ike/5929285384/#) by Ca Ike (http://www.flickr.com/people/ca_ike/), on Flickr