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Author Topic: Fulcrum Early review  (Read 2443 times)
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Posts: 106

Location: Pleasanton, CA

« on: January 02, 2019, 07:42 PM »

Not a review by any mean, but I had more flying time since last time and why not. The video is from last month.

Coming from decades of Rev flying, I still remember my neon blue and yellow Rev one, the smell unfolding it and the hours spent (untangling the lines the firs times) and watching the accompanying video about how to fly the thing. Years later I was competing with them, (until 1998 maybe?) I had a full set of Rev 1.5, stopped for a decade, the virus came back last September, I saw what Carl Robertshaw came up with and could not wait to fly the weird thing.

The kite comes in a nice bag, with a separate pocket for the 4 standoffs and a Velcro strap to keep the kite rolled up.

Assembly can be tricky the first times, I did it in my backyard several times,  Carl video is very clear. Make sure that the bridle stays untangled, but you can also untie the bridle, that is attached to the central spar via a knot, like any dual line kite and solve the tangle.

The first time pushing the spars wonít be easy. A little lubrification will help to connect the outside wing fittings to the spar, make sure you push the carbon fiber all the way inside the connector. I usually fly few minutes and check the kite to see if the end of the spar is not all in and bending the fitting. I saw a pic of one pushing thought the rubber and then the sail.

Once assembled the kite lays upside down ready to go.

It flies differently from a Rev, of course. Itís 3D deep sail offers much more of a stable flight especially at low speeds the kite seems glued to the sky. lol of this is from memory since I donít have a Rev or other quad to compare with. Looking forward to that.

People loves watching it spin, itís pretty big too,  more like. Rev1, but they really enjoy when after spinning and flying gracefully and slow, you dramatically fly up, stop, and rush down for a dive, just like a rev. The difference I that the Fulcrum, otherwise very quiet, literally roars like a jet at speed surprising everyone.

Has a very ample wind range, I was able to fly the std in around 5mph, and up to maybe 12, I do have an UL spare but I havenít tried it yet.

All Rev manouvers are there, beside the side slide that only works with the Fulcrum inverted, the shape of the sail preventing that with the kite right side up. The kite feels very smooth in every direction, but you have to be careful about one important thing, itís not that uncommon to loose track of the up side the Fulcrum doesnít have an obvious shape like the Rev and I  more than once pulled the brakes, thinking the kite was pointing up, to see it go down and slam the ground if I couldnít  recover fast enough. This happens especially when spinning fast on the center, but I blame my attention, and the black and white color pattern partially for this mishap, which Iím sure will become less frequent with more flying.

The kite flies straight up and down in a very balanced way, and stops dead when you want it to in a very dramatic way, the roar helps this effect too.

Spins on the center or on either wingtip are also very round, assuming your lines are equalized and the wind is stable, slow itís a very precise kite. At speed, having quite a bit of mass and therefore momentum it needs more pilot fine control.

I barely explored the fade and turtle, both amazing. If you step forward having the kite down on the ground, it will roll on its back, like a dual line would do and actually take off in that position! Control is tricky since all your 4 lines will be slack, you can kind of control the kite sideways attitude like you would do in a dual. Then flick your wrist up and regain normal flight. I didnít try this much, hitting the ground or loosing control seems easy, Iíll try on a beach or tall grass when Iíll have a chance. Or in the air when I have more space. Weather has been mild so far an the small Berkeley field is full o people, dogs, kids, moms trying to launch kites against wind, domes, rc planes...a guy has a beautiful RC glider that hand-launches and flies for minutes in spirals jus to catch it back in zero wind, as I watch holding my WW.  

The quality of build is very high. The fittings are feeling all he pressure of the central spar and itís imperative that you push the frame all the way in, or it will bend the wingtip fittings and might perforate. Iím sure they will came out with a more rigid piece or Iíll just change them frequently. You only assemble the central spine and the 4 standoffs, which are 3 and 4 mil. Bigger ones go on the wings. Smaller in the center. But Iím sure you all saw CR assembly video. Solid kite, very light even in standard, moans and pops in low wind, and roars as you pull it in more than 5mph.

All in all Iím very happy about the whole deal. I sold my Rev 1.5 set to get it, with the UL spine too, after flying Revs for decades I was curious about something new and the Fulcrum fits the role perfectly. I still havenít explored much of its capabilities, another very interesting thing are spins with your arms very offset, say the right all back and the left all extended, to make the kite spin in a cone shaped curve, because of the 3D shape. I gets really fast. I remember the rev Suoersonic Iím not misaken could do the same.

And of course the flic-flac, fade and who knows what that S shaped wing promises. I had it since November. I need more time.

More detailed review in the future.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 08:41 AM by PaoloM » Logged

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