GWTW Forum
October 01, 2014, 03:48 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Forum Info Login Register Chat  
Welcome to the GWTW Forum.
Guests (non-registered users) can view the forum but are unable to post.  If you don't have anything to say then why would you bother to register?
One of the most popular sections of the GWTW Forum has long been the Swap Meet.  A great place to sell old, seldom flown kites or to get great deals on used (gently flown) kites.  Only registered users can see the Swap Meet section, let alone wheel and deal.  1000's (literally) of kites have changed hands thanks to the Swap Meet.
There are several more benefits to being a registered user, but you'll have to join our little community to find out all the "secrets".
Questions or concerns? Contact Steve ... just drop an email to: forum.gwtwkites@gmail.com

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Black Mamba VV  (Read 1458 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« on: May 01, 2014, 09:39 AM »

Warning!

This thread contains graphic descriptions and images of invasive surgical procedures performed on an unsuspecting Blue Moon Mamba sport kite.  These procedures are experimental in nature and not approved by the AKA, AMA, AOPA, FDA, FDIC, NSA, or The Onion. These organizations, and most people for that matter, really don't care.

Those however that consider flying the Mamba to be a spiritual event may experience revulsion and other discomforts (*) from these activities and are encouraged to leave this thread immediately.

(*) may include nausea, vomiting, migraines, or worse?

You have been warned!

==================

With those formalities out of the way, we'll post the details tomorrow sometime after lunch assuming this thread is not locked, forum account suspended, or some unfortunate accident occurs...
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 11:49 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
Tmadz
Trade Count: (+4)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 446


Location: Middle of an Illinois cornfield

« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 10:34 AM »

nausea, vomiting, migraines?
Logged
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2014, 11:50 AM »

Could include...

nausea, vomiting, migraines?
Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
Gardner
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 130

Location:

« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 05:26 PM »

Why all the moaning, groaning, wailing, and gnashing of teeth?  I have a Black Mamba VV, made by Master KMac. 
Logged
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 04:22 AM »

No gnashing here.  Have enjoyed modding and tinkering with sport kites for over ten years now and building complete kites for the last several.

Some folks get a bit excited with some of my work done on designer kites, especially Ken's, so I took a different approach reporting this effort.  Wink

Master Ken suggested I post these ideas to the forum to share.

Good you have a Mamba vent.  Nice kite!  There's quite a few Mamba standards out there, not nearly as many venteds. Not many with the latest mods either.

Am almost done with the project and will post pics later.  The vented configuration I use is a modification of Ken's and better suited for the conditions I normally fly.

Cheers,
Steve

Why all the moaning, groaning, wailing, and gnashing of teeth?  I have a Black Mamba VV, made by Master KMac. 

« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 04:26 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 06:40 PM »

A little background discussion ...

Generally, the perfect vented is a kite that flies just like a standard in winds 15-30mph, with even sane sail pressure, minimal speed buildup, no frame shudder or distortions, and tricks available with little additional effort. AFAIK, this kite does not exist.

I doubt fliers agree completely on what makes a good vented kite. Traditional ballet kites allow routines to be flown in high wind fly or die situations.  Tricks Party fliers want to throw down trick combos in high winds with minimal sprinting to slack the lines.  Recreational fliers want to carve the sky and throw an axle or two whatever the weekend wind conditions.

Because wind pressure increases with the wind speed squared (V**2), it is unrealistic to think one kite will fly well in all winds.  Indeed many of us have SULs, ULs, and Stds just to cover winds 2-18 mph.  Why would we think one kite should fly well and do everything in winds 15-30?  It won't.

There are some things we can do to extend our Stds in higher winds: heavier lines, wah pads, screens, raise the tow point to dump wind, lower the tow point to control speed, move the standoffs towards the tips to increase drag, add a 100' tube tail.  None of these are overly effective as the winds increase and our Stds are overloaded.

If we want to continue flying kites in higher winds we will have to reduce the sail area to reduce the buildup in sail pressure. Bigger sails generally generate bigger pressures with wind speed.

One way to cope is a smaller kite.  The Psycho, Minigem, Micron and Alien are quite effective in bigger winds. These don't fly like our favorite Std though even if they are fun.  Fighter kites anyone?

The other way to reduce sail area is vents.

Perhaps one of the best vented kite is the Rev with it's flat sail and infinitely adjustable angle of attack.  Quads are different animals that dualies and even Revs have multiple venting configurations: half vent, full vent, screen door.

Some sport kites will handle a bit more wind than others.  One could write a dissertation on wind loading as affected by sail area, angle of attack, aspect ratio, mid chord span, leading edge sweep, sail depth, tip washout, etc.

Let's keep it simple for this discussion.  When our favorite Std dualie is feeling overloaded, starting to shudder, threatening to explode, and no longer fun to fly; it's time to think about a vented kite or a favorite beer.

Let's talk about the Mamba...
Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
dragonfish
Trade Count: (0)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 39


Location: California

« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 10:20 PM »

I must say, you are very good at creating suspense.  Still waiting...and curious.  Smiley
Logged
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 06:27 AM »

Vents are not all *that* exciting but they can save the day in bigger winds.  Let's continue...

I must say, you are very good at creating suspense.  Still waiting...and curious.  Smiley

Ken designed and released the Mamba at the turn of the century (love that phrase) in Spring 2000 just around the time I had stopped building model airplanes, gotten married, took a new job, and acquired an untreatable feverish affliction - sport kites. 

In the market for my first serious kite, I was just about sold on the I2K.  Who wouldn't want the only kite you'll ever need?  Stumbling across this forum and asking all the typical newbie questions, Mr Hall suggested the Mamba instead. Ah those subtle twists of fate...

By most accounts, the Mamba is one of the best ballet kites ever made.  Ken built close to a thousand of them before retiring.  Mambas have won national competitions, have flown internationally, and are still flown by kites teams today almost fifteen years later.  Indeed at a recent kite festival in Indiana a couple weeks ago two teams were flying Mambas and they looked as good as ever.

Those two teams though faced a dilemma as the winds were brisk in the mid teens.  Fly the Standards at the higher end of their wind range or fly Venteds and risk being underpowered if the winds lull?  Ends up one team flew standards and one team flew venteds.  Both survived and it got me thinking about the Mamba again as I was flying a variable vented Exile off on the side which was just perfect in those conditions.

There have been two valid criticisms concerning the Mamba:
- There are trickier kites available.  Yes but they don't fly like the Mamba!
- The wind efficient Mamba sail loads quickly as the winds increase. Yes but there is the vented.

Once hooked on the Std Mamba a UL and a Vented followed to complete the set. As a sport flier in inland winds it's common to have erratic wind days where the standard is overpowered at times yet the vented is a bit too vented when the winds lull. I wanted a std Mamba with some venting for those in between wind days.  Ken did not build that kite.  My lovely wife did have a sewing machine and I wondered...

When the kid's soccer games are over this afternoon I'll post pics of some of the experiments and the final result.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 05:28 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2014, 04:56 AM »

Here is Ken's original Mamba vent.




The inner vent is screened and always open. The outer vent has a dual walled screen "pocket" with Velcro closure and a Mylar insert to open and close the vent opening.  This gives two staged venting, some or a lot.  Pretty clever and just fine for competition ballet when combined with the Std.  The original had a P300 frame.  Later versions used newer Nitro LEs.

So why mess with a good thing?

One of the best things about Ken's kites is their excellent wind efficiency.  BMKs are known for flying well in lower wind ranges.  That same wind efficiency though loads the sail quickly when the winds pick up.  With typical inland variable winds I wanted a Std with some venting for more blustery days. As screening, velcro, and mylar are heavier than sail fabric I wanted to reduce the weight of the vents which affected the kite handling when the winds lulled.  Sounds like a half vent is in order.

So I took a Std Mamba and started experimenting.  Tried a number of vent configurations and cover ideas over the years.  Some worked, some not so well.  Learned a lot in those days, most importantly that vent size and location can greatly impact the handling and tricking ability of a kite.

In talking over the issues with Ken at a kite festival he suggested a vent cover that would open the vent in stages yet still be light. Hmm.  More tinkering and a year or so later settled on a smaller version of Ken's original vent opening with a sail fabric and Velcro cover that would roll open in stages. Something like this:




With vent covers:




The vent covers roll open in three stages:













Each opening increment adds a few MPH to the upper wind range.  With the vents fully open the kite flies well up to 20mph or so.  Is this revolutionary? Not really but sometimes the simple things work best.  Does this replace Ken's full vent. No, but it does fill a niche and comes close to meeting the original design goals.

These vents coupled with Ken's Black Mamba mods work well together.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 06:14 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2014, 06:36 AM »

Interesting to note that as most of Ken's kites share a similiar sail geometry, these vents work on his other kites as well.  I've done variable vented versions of the Mamba, Mantis, Mongoose, and Exile. Vent location is important and varies a bit with each kite.  The vents do not always align with the panel layout but fly well. 

Did I mention the Exile is my all around favorite kite?  I'm particularly pleased with this version:




After the workshop, Ken gave permission to build a personal copy of the Exile. Always liked the race flag layout.  Sometimes though I see a picnic tablecloth with this one  Roll Eyes
Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
indigo_wolf
Trade Count: (+10)
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1186


Location: North of Washington, DC (USA)

« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 08:06 AM »

Sometimes though I see a picnic tablecloth with this one  Roll Eyes


Or..... Scenes From An Italian Restaurant   Wink

   
Billy Joel - Scenes From An Italian Restaurant Lyrics [on screen]


ATB,
Sam
Logged
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2014, 10:24 AM »

Ha!  That works. Smiley A little Billy Joel (I have that album), good pasta, a little Chianti...

Sometimes though I see a picnic tablecloth with this one  Roll Eyes

Or..... Scenes From An Italian Restaurant   Wink
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 10:26 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 12:39 PM »

Non Expert disclaimer:

Forum veterans already know this but it bears repeating:

I am not a guru expert nor the fount of knowledge all things kiting.  That is not the intent of my posts.

I do have some academic background, a history of modeling experience with things that fly, am fairly good at building things, and can throw a trick or two with a kite.

Most importantly I'm enthusiastic, persistent, and like to seriously tinker with my hobbies. Design, building, and flying are equally enjoyable. It's an ongoing project to observe things that work and see if there are ways to adapt and reapply those ideas with the goal of finding incremental improvements.

On a good day the failure to success ratio may be as low as 10:1.  If I do find something that works, I like to share it and hope it improves someones kiting experience or sparks another good idea. That is the spirit of these posts.

A relevant quote from blogger Seth Gordin says "Ideas donít get smaller when theyíre shared, they get bigger." Itís absolutely fine to use these ideas - just promise to make them better and report back.

I'm also not the foremost Blue Moon expert and fan boy.  Ken is the expert and heck I don't even have custom BMK license plates or face tattoos!  DougC, debbieH, BobM, SKB etc, etc where are you folks these days??  I'd like to think I'm a member of the club though Smiley

Speaking of being a fan of great custom builders, JonT deserves special mention as someone who builds great kites and understands the plight of inland wind flyers.  You can't buy Ken's kites anymore but you can get a Skyburner and I've been stealthily acquiring a cache of Jon's latest designs.  There are other great builders out there for sure...

Now if could fly my kites as well as they will fly *that* would be an amazing success indeed...
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 07:06 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
DMF
Trade Count: (+1)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 133


Location: Dartmouth, NS

« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 02:55 PM »

Nice looking Mamba!   I now have to work on getting my hands on an exile!
Logged
stapp59
Trade Count: (+5)
***
Online Online

Posts: 406


Location: Northern Indiana

WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 04:11 PM »

You have some nice kites with your Monsters.  The Exile will not out trick the Monster but it will out fly it, if you understand.  My bag (car trunk actually) has room for both but if I had to pick just one, the Exile - easy choice.

Nice looking Mamba!   I now have to work on getting my hands on an exile!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 03:42 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
http://picasaweb.google.com/stapp59

Fly so it looks like you meant it
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


items purchased through the links below help support the forum

Cal Custom

Our forum is made possible by the good folks whose ads appear below and by the members of our community (PayPal donation button at bottom)
In case you missed it each ad is linked to the sponsors web site.  So please, take a moment and visit our sponsors sites as this forum wouldn't be possible with out them.
Interested in running an ad for your business or kiting event?  Contact Steve at advertise.gwtwkites@gmail.com for a quote.

kmacFab
kmacFab

Kite Classifieds Ad
Kite Classifieds

A Wind Of Change
A Wind Of Change

Kitebookie
Kitebookie.com

Untitled Document

Untitled Document
Untitled Document

Untitled Document
Untitled Document


Untitled Document
DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB

Support the GWTW Forum

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.8 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!