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Author Topic: Looking at design  (Read 1896 times)
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« on: March 17, 2014, 10:48 AM »

I've expressed in past comments how much I like the Exile and recently how the Monster makes a nice compliment as a similarly sized 7.5' kite but with different characteristics. I've asked myself why that is. The pic below shows the two sail panels roughly lined up and overlayed on each other. To me some things are pretty striking.

- overall sail outlines and proportions are similar with subtle differences.
- leading edge on the Monster is swept more forward
- trailing edge profile gives more mid span chord on the Exile.
- lower spreader is moved up on the Monster.
- standoffs spacing are different but centered at the same location and outer standoffs on both kites are longer than the inner standoff.
- Yo-yo stoppers and upper spreaders are at the same locations on the leading edges.

Lest anyone flame me for suggesting designers are stealing from each other; I'm not, so don't. 

What I am suggesting is that the laws of physics and aerodynamics are fairly constant and we are asking our kites to do similar things so we should expect a fair amount of overlap between designs and that's what we see.

In this case you have different respected designers in different parts of the world with different backgrounds, different design philosophies, looking for different flight characteristics in their designs. They both look like 'modern' sport kites. Are they radically different from each other? Not really. Indeed if you overlay multiple sail profiles, one can start to pick out 'families' of design.

While much is known about today's designs, there is still room for refinement. It is the unique combination of sail profile, framing, standoff geometry, bridle geometry, balance, materials, workmanship, and aesthetics that makes a kite what it is. A well designed kite takes a lot of work and trial and error to produce. I've heard the pilot plays a role as well.

I'm not really going anywhere with this, just observations.  It does give me some ideas and things to try...
Allen Carter
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 11:41 AM »

That's a nice visualization of the subtleties of sail shape between two designs. The LE tells the tale there. While I haven't flown a Monster, I could anticipate some of the differences and similarities looking at the two outlines.

Of course the big stack of layouts shows more what you'd expect comparing kite types. The wingtips really tell a story.The inclusion of the Sano lends a bit of old skool to the mix, while keeping within the realm of relevance.

Comparing sails is always interesting. A few years ago I flew a prototype Skyburner Ocius and was intrigued by how much of my enjoyment carried over from my main kite at the time, a decidedly old school '98 HQ Midi. What was it about these kite that had a common thread? Laying one sail on top of another, along with comparing framed up shapes and measurements was very interesting. So many similarities. Just little refinements from a decade of kite development. A few big mechanical things like dual standoffs and a change in weight distribution, but it really showed evolution of a type of kite, from two very different kitebuilders from opposite sides of the Atlantic.

Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 12:00 PM »

Another great example is the Nirvana compared with an Opium. The 2 sails are really very similar but the way they fly is quite different so its informative to see how a small shift in standoff position, moving the centre-T 1/2" and a fraction off the lower spreaders made such a difference.

A little design evolution that led to a revolution in kite design.

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