So why rehash an old design like the Psycho?
Kevin said it well - nothing is perfect and improvements are made by tweaking and testing different ideas. Plus I have the thing, can build kites now, and would like to see what I've learned over the years. There are a number of very good designs no longer in production that should not be forgotten.
After construction, I installed an adjustable bridle set to the factory measurements. The bridle has all three legs independently adjustable and the pigtail convertible between a three point and turbo configuration. Prism started that idea I think
. There are pictures of the bridle on Picasa. Into the car trunk waiting for some wind.
The Psycho flight characteristics are well known. The kite needs a steady 5 mph or so to stay in the air, is a lot of fun in 8+, and gets zippy in higher winds. The kite has oversteer, spins tight and stalls easily, axels and flips quickly with little hand movement, and requires steady attention or you'll find it on the ground. I quickly remembered why I did not get along well with this kite before.
After verifying the expected stock (shock) behavior, I started tuning the bridle more to my liking. It turns out the bridle is as much responsible for the Psycho's characteristics as is the high aspect ratio.
The factory bridle settings:
When I was done after the first session, the bridle legs measured:
I have never moved a bridle so far on a kite before. Almost two inches is a lot and will destroy the tuning of many kites. The Psycho however is more predictable at these settings. With the tow points moved out I can actually stand there and fly figures. Forget crisp square corners with this kite; it is the Psycho after all. Hand movements for tricks now resemble something closer to what I'm used to.
The turbo bridle published in "psycho therapy" also move the tow points out to help tame the kite. After the first session I overlayed the turbo bridle on top of the three point and noted the tow points are even further out towards the leading edge with the turbo.
Turbo bridle from Psycho Therapy:
Uphaul 11-13.5" (variable)
Inhaul 23.25" (inhaul seems too long)
I decided to work more with the three point and moved the tow points all the way out towards the LE. The measurements are now:
With these settings the oversteer is completely gone and the kite is quite controllable and predictable! The kite still spins around the lower leading edge fitting but but does not stall when spinning. Other hand motions are typical as one would expect. Axels can be done more slowly.
The P200/5PT frame works well, seems plenty stiff, and there was no bending or tip shudder during gusts. The taut sail and tight leech line also perform well and the kite is silent with an occasional light buzzing in big gusts. The kite is surprisingly smooth in bumpy winds and I estimate the workable wind range around 5-20. The Psycho does fine on 50' lines which is nice for small fields.
I have yet to try more than a few tricks but the kite seems quite capable. I don't see any need for the trick line. I will fly the kite at these settings for a while before changing anything else and expect a small tweak on the uphaul to tune the AoA.
For those that decry an alternate bridle as tantamount to a lobotomy of the poor Psycho, rest assured the kite is quite tolerant of bridle changes. You can tune the level of neurotic behavior that best suits your personality - sane to psycho. I call my current settings "delusions of competence".
Also well documented, the Psycho will do ABT (all the basic tricks), rolls up with a wrist flip, and does not like to sit in a back flip for very long. I'm going to punch additional holes in the trailing edge and play with the standoff position. Maybe add a second standoff and make it look like a little Nirvana. Oui?
Lastly I want to try stoppers and 5-10 grams of weight.
Whatever the final results, I'm already happy with the project. I can faithfully reproduce a classic kite, have learned some things, and now actually like the thing. If you have a Psycho gathering dust, you may want to pull it out and give an alternate bridle a try.
For the those actively following this thread (2-3 at last count), I'll post updates as testing continues. Feel free to share your own Psycho experiences (kite related please).