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Author Topic: removing top spreader  (Read 2992 times)
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kite_pilot
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« on: May 24, 2014, 01:32 AM »

hi guys,
just wandering what the advantages/disadvantages of removing the top spreader are please ?

also noticed that these days most sport kites only have 2 lower stand off's each side instead of 3 like all the old prism kites used to come with,why is that ?

thanks in advance! Wink
cheers
glen
« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 03:29 AM by kite_pilot » Logged

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Hadge
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2014, 05:23 AM »

Removing the top spreader ( often in conjuction with removing any tail weight) can help a kite fly a little better at the very low end of it's wind range.  The downside is the frame loses some of it's rigidity and if you do crash there is a greater danger of breaking something - usually the bottom spreaders.
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adx1592
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 06:05 AM »

On kites with a shorter US you also can risk some tunneling changing that isn't held stable with the US.

For standoffs, its just a matter of the shape/contour of the trailing edge. Back in the 90s etc kites had more standoffs that held the trailing edge away from the LS in a bit more of a uniformed manner. The SOs were also considerably shorter. Now if you look at more modern kites the shape of the TE has changed considerably. Usually 1 or 2 standoffs closer together. Put kites on their belly and compare shapes of the TE. The change is drastic.

As time went on improvements came about and most kites now have this configuration. It changes flight characteristics considerably.
For a good example on these compare a Tram TE or an Elixir, to something like a L1 BlackPearl.
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 06:14 AM »

In an effort to expand wind range, I've replaced some of my 6mm pultruded carbon Upper Spreaders with p100... and compensated with removing some of the tail weight.  I like this compromise.  Keep in mind that I am not a fancy flyer... as in I can pull of some freestyle trick, but combinations still elude me for the most part. 

Also note, that strictly from a design aspect, that some kites rely on the US to pull the leading edges toward the spine (creating an "s" shaped LE).  By removing the US, it would alter this LE shape and directly effect the shape of the sail when it forms a foil (as there would be less slack towards the nose of the kite, the foil would be more shallow, and wider).

Take time to experiment...
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Captainbob
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2014, 08:01 AM »

Removing the top spreader ( often in conjuction with removing any tail weight) can help a kite fly a little better at the very low end of it's wind range.  The downside is the frame loses some of it's rigidity and if you do crash there is a greater danger of breaking something - usually the bottom spreaders.

Is the improved low wind capability due to the reduced weight because the spreader is not used, or is it due to a change in the shape of the sail? 
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2014, 08:26 AM »

A little of both. The weight reduction helps but the more flexible leading edge can give a bit more billow to the sail. It doesn't work with all kites, generally used when you only have a 'standard' with you and the wind drops right away.
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ko
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2014, 09:53 AM »

It's an IGOTTAFLY desperation move
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Hadge
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2014, 11:02 AM »

It's an IGOTTAFLY desperation move

 Cheesy   Exactly right!
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2014, 12:07 PM »

It can really change both flight and trick behavior, so it's not a really great thing. Try it on a specific kite and see what it does.
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stapp59
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2014, 12:19 PM »

Yes a little less weight by removing the top spreader and only in the very lowest winds.  The loss in frame rigidity allows the upper leading edges to pull towards each other which usually does not improve the drive or sail lift.

If the kite will tolerate it, a little longer upper spreader will do more to improve lift than removing it.  I almost never remove the spreader anymore.

Removing the top spreader ( often in conjuction with removing any tail weight) can help a kite fly a little better at the very low end of it's wind range.  The downside is the frame loses some of it's rigidity and if you do crash there is a greater danger of breaking something - usually the bottom spreaders.
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DD
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2014, 07:30 PM »

I have also left the spreader in and wrapped the bridle around it
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kite_pilot
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 01:28 AM »

g,day fella's,
thanks for your info/answers r.e spreaders!
much appreciated!
cheers
glen
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