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Author Topic: Bell's new kite Aerobe (designed by Albert Chen)  (Read 19647 times)
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thief
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« Reply #60 on: October 07, 2009, 12:07 PM »

flying the bugger:
interesting...i read a few times that in no/sul wind you need to keep constant tension on the line or the kite flips out...and sure enough it does....seems that there is a bit of weight in the dihedral and the nose that is forward of the balance point and that causes any slackline time for the kite to just plummet....
The issue of weight and balance point (CoG) is interesting. Any kite that can glide will have a tendency to do that in lulls. For the Aerobe to be a "perfect" glider, I suspect it would need MORE weight in the nose, since it now tends to dive and stall and dive and stall, unless you apply a little line tension to hold the nose down a smidge. A little nose weight would probably do the same thing -- though the extreme curve/bow in the spine would also tend to make a kite dive and stall.
I would love to see what you can learn by adding weight Norm! go for it!

when i am referring to gliding i am meaning untensioned/unattended glide something that i doubt that the Aerobe can do in its present stock state...
the reason that i say that it is too nose heavy is because if you release the tension on the line what happens the nose drops suddenly....adding more weight will not help that out in my view....
i bet you can even do yoyos with this kite with a bit of tail on the wingtips!!!!should roll right up easily enough!!!getting it to unroll is a different matter....
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« Reply #61 on: October 07, 2009, 12:51 PM »

re: the stock tension...  I'm not sure if there actually *is* one.  When I assembled mine for the first time, I unhooked the tail cap and de-tensioned the spine as others had suggested here (made a quick attempt at assembling it as-is, and decided to take the safer route).  After putting it all together, I don't think it would have been physically possible to assemble the kite with the 'stock' tension.  The nose piece sat a good inch forward from the leading edges, there wasn't enough room in the leading edge pockets for the spars to bend that much and there was absolutely no way they'd fit together.  I would have had to rip the fabric to get it assembled.  And then, when re-tensioning the spine, even though it was pulled tight, it was *still* noticeably less tensioned than when the kit came out of the bag.

I wouldn't really be shocked if the 'stock' tension was basically just a random assembly thing more than an intentional factory setting.
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normofthenorth
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« Reply #62 on: October 07, 2009, 07:23 PM »

There's almost no limit to how "tense" and curved you can make it if you assemble it the way the "manual" says, i.e., tensioning the spine while the leading edges are OUT of the nose (that makes it EASY!), then inserting them, then the spreaders.

And thief, I'm sticking to my guns on the light vs. heavy nose thing. Ever had a glider that flies like the Aerobe with no line tension? The solution is either to add nose weight, subtract tail weight, or add "down" elevator. This sure seems the same to me.
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thief
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« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2009, 06:36 AM »

And thief, I'm sticking to my guns on the light vs. heavy nose thing. Ever had a glider that flies like the Aerobe with no line tension? The solution is either to add nose weight, subtract tail weight, or add "down" elevator. This sure seems the same to me.

yep i have two kites that glide that way....the Jeff Howard glider i have and my Skate does....both of these kites have bigger/more square area sails....

i could be completely wrong but the way that i picture it in my mind is like a see saw....adding weight to one end gets it to drop...the opposite side goes up...so for a glide you need an almost horizontal flight....so you need something to counteract the non weighted side from going upwards....in the case of the Skate the sail has a big enough area to not let the back of the kite to go upwards.... (something where you can slide a paint stirring stick over the edge of a table and put a sheet of newspaper over the table end of the stick...then hit the stick sharply and the stick will break since the square area of the newspaper is holding down the stick.... http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000077)....
so by adding more weight to the nose will cause that end of the seesaw to drop out of the horizontal position it needs to glide...the square area of the Aerobe sail is not sufficient to get it to flatten out for a glide...also with the swept back wing and keel that will reduce the flat square area of the sail needed for that glide...

seriously Norm: go for it!!! i would love to see how it all works....all of the above stuff is in my mind...does not mean that it is correct or not (hell i am a biologist not an aeronautical engineer!)
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tonycarl60
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« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2009, 02:12 PM »

I taped a quarter to the nose of my Aerobe and it seems to slow down the see-sawing stall and it has a better glide. I also use a 6 foot wand made out of 1/4 inch rev rods I had kicking around to which I taped a fishing pole type eye that I made out of a piece of coat hanger (you can also use a light fishing rod). I find the wand makes it a lot easier to fly the Aerobe without doing a lot of running around in low/no wind conditions. When the Aerobe is gliding it's now an glider/airplane and when it comes to airplane balance, slightly nose heavy is good for stability, tail heavy is bad unless you're doing tricks.  The balance or where the center of gravity is will determine how stable a wing is no matter what the size is.     
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« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2009, 02:15 PM »

re: the stock tension...  I'm not sure if there actually *is* one.  When I assembled mine for the first time, I unhooked the tail cap and de-tensioned the spine as others had suggested here (made a quick attempt at assembling it as-is, and decided to take the safer route).  After putting it all together, I don't think it would have been physically possible to assemble the kite with the 'stock' tension.  The nose piece sat a good inch forward from the leading edges, there wasn't enough room in the leading edge pockets for the spars to bend that much and there was absolutely no way they'd fit together.  I would have had to rip the fabric to get it assembled.  And then, when re-tensioning the spine, even though it was pulled tight, it was *still* noticeably less tensioned than when the kit came out of the bag.

I wouldn't really be shocked if the 'stock' tension was basically just a random assembly thing more than an intentional factory setting.

You do not need to detension the spine to put it together or take it apart! Just bend the spine  some. Stick the end in your belly button, pull down to bend the spine, they go right in or out. 30 seconds max!
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« Reply #66 on: October 08, 2009, 08:55 PM »

You don't need to add nose weight or tail weight. You need to tune the sail shape for optimal glide. Loosen the spine tension so the spine is flatter (less curved) in order to smooth out the glide action to your flying preference.

If there is too much tension on the spine, there is too much "nose-up elevator." The increased curve of the spine makes the tail higher relative to nose. This pushes the tail down and nose up as air speed increases. The tail flops back up relative to the nose as air speed decreases. This instability starts the see-saw action as the glide speed slows and line tension changes (changing speed).

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Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
thief
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« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2009, 04:21 AM »


You do not need to detension the spine to put it together or take it apart! Just bend the spine  some. Stick the end in your belly button, pull down to bend the spine, they go right in or out. 30 seconds max!

But.
but..
what if it gets stuck?Huh?
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thief
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« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2009, 04:29 AM »

Lylenc: good thinking! 
had nto thought about the curvature too much and how it is involved in all of this....although i should have....i think that the Aerobe is designed to have a sizable curve in its spine so if you try to flatten it out a lot then it just will not be the same kite at all.....hmm..interesting!!!
out of the 50 or so Aerobes that sold -so darn fast- lets get some testing going on!!!!
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lylenc
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« Reply #69 on: October 09, 2009, 06:49 AM »

Spine curvature sets the angle of attack, similar to adjusting the nose angle by bridle change on a dual line kite. Adding the tail would add drag, and probably curvature if hooked to the spine, for a higher angle of attack and lower ride in the wind window.

It's the same as dual line flying's relative hand postions to control the attitude of the nose, aka to turn left or right. Even hands make the kite fly in the direction the nose is pointing. Aerobe curvature sets the direction the nose wants to fly for a set of wind conditions. If gliding indoor or low wind conditions is your goal, you need the curvature set flatter for level flight when there is minimal or no flying line tension.

PS: Adding flying line tension (pulling) curves the spine and makes the nose fly up until you lighten or stop your pull. If the spine is pre-tensioned too much, the spine will not un-flex enough to fly level when you stop pulling. Too much spine tension is like trying to fly a dual line kite straight with your hands offset - it ain't going to happen easily. 

Another way to think of curvature is dual line kite's standoff positioning. Change the standoff settings and you have different flight characteristics. Change the Aerobe curvature and you have different flight characteristics. Thus, you need to adjust according to your preferences and wind conditions.

Just One More:

Glider: Less curve

Single Line Kite: More curve
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 07:43 AM by lylenc » Logged

Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
normofthenorth
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« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2009, 10:16 PM »

So I'd like to have somebody stick a ruler or a tape-measure into the deepest part of the spine curve on a "stock" Aerobe, and sight straight from the nose to the tail, and read the ruler at that point.

I haven't done it to my kite yet, but I'm guessing I'm around 6" "depth", and I think that's on the high side. RSVP.
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Norm in Toronto
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« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2009, 04:54 PM »

About 42 1/4" nose-tail and about 4" deep.

The see-sawing is just too much for me in 0 wind.

I loved it with the 2-point tail in 1-3 mph wind today.
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normofthenorth
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« Reply #72 on: October 21, 2009, 01:26 PM »

Thanks, Dano. I forget now what I measured mine at! But I think about 3/4 of the spine-bend I've got is built into the sail. So it will never be a flat-spined Focus-Kites Skate or Daryl Yeh's Zen Glider, even with no tension on the spine.
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« Reply #73 on: October 25, 2009, 12:37 PM »

I have two Aerobes. One glides better than the other, but both ended up with the same setting after I fiddled with them for best glide. If I hold the nose on the table and spine laying on the table, the tail end of the fabric is 8" off the table top.

One line seems to kink up worse than the other one, too. I flew them one after the other several times today and haven't figured out the differences between the two. The first one has a replacement spine that has a slightly larger diameter than the original. Maybe purple glides better than gold.  Smiley
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Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
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