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Author Topic: Steel Air - Teaser  (Read 990 times)
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sugarbaker
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« on: February 04, 2019, 04:15 PM »

Some of you may know (or know of) Jonathan Filippi.  He and Mario Di Biase have been working together to create a number of kites over the last few years that you may have seen...these include Iridium, Lockdown, Lilith and a few others.  Most of their kites were not released to the public domain.  Jonathan, who designed the Steel series of kites was kind enough to send me the plans for the Steel Air; a scaled version of the full size Steel that will collapse down to just over 70cm in order to fit in a more compact space (my interest was to pack it for flying).  Here is a quick photo of the kite in progres. I intend to finish the kite by the end of the week for an upcoming trip to Hawaii.  I will post more photos of the completed kite, my thoughts on the build process and a review of it's flying characteristics.  (keeping in mind that despite years of building, my skills in the piloting department are lacking).   

« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 06:53 PM by sugarbaker » Logged
sugarbaker
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 02:41 PM »

Framed up the Steel Air.  Still needs a bridle, tail ballast and yo-stoppers.  Should be ready to go before my trip though!

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reddobie
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 02:51 PM »

Nice.
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temoniprince
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 06:53 AM »

Very nice!
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inewham
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 08:12 AM »

Great combination of colours  Cool
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coogee
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 11:09 AM »

Love the sail layout and colour choice

Mike
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2019, 05:05 PM »

So, it is the time to report back.  I have been back from Hawaii for a couple of weeks now, and I have been contemplating this review for a while. First and foremost, I think I should emphasize that my skill set leans heavily toward "builder" of kites rather than a flyer.  While I do love to fly my kites, my talent comes in the creation side of the spectrum.

With that said, I can tell you what a wonderful design the Steel Air is; what a joy it was to build the relatively complex sail pattern.  The kite is clearly thought out and the plans were detailed to the finest point. 

The Steel Air's frame is made up of a combination of Skyshark sticks: 3pt lower spreaders, p100/p2x leading edge, p200 spine and a 5mm pultruded upper spreader.  The spine is in two pieces, allowing the kite to fold slightly shorter than a typical full size sport kite for easier packing.  (I had no trouble transporting the kite with my carry-on belongings when flying).

My original inclination was that the Steel Air would be grouped in with other SUL kites, as the sticks are fairly light and the leading edge is composed of spinnaker, rather than the dacron of most UL and Standard designs.  Now having flown the kite a handful of times, I am amazed to find that the Steel Air does indeed perform in minimal wind, but was no slouch on breezier days.  The mass of the P2x lower leading edge and the P200 spine keep rotations fluid and consistent as the wind picks up, but I was still able to keep the kite in the air during lulls (not a small trick given my historically terrible ability to fly SULs in their intended wind range).  Half axels, and fade based tricks came pretty easily and were predictable.  I need to make a couple of small adjustments to the bridle in order to get the kite to fall into a backflip a little easier (I attribute this to be my rush to finish the kite, not the design). The Steel Air is responsive, and would be a trick monster in more capable hands.  Precision figures are possible, as I was able to get snappy corners without an unpredictable over rotation as some freestyle kites exhibit. 

In all, I am very pleased with Jonathan's kites (past and present) and have been complimented every time I am out with the Steel Air on the sail design.  It is unique among my current collection and I look forward to getting some more time flying it now that I am back in California.







« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 02:32 PM by sugarbaker » Logged
coogee
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 03:09 AM »

Are the plans available as an OSTK?

Mike
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 08:24 AM »

Right now, the plans are not open source.  Jonathan Filippi (designer) is on Facebook and has asked that I direct any inquiries regarding the plans to him.
 
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thief
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 09:27 AM »

dead photo links

I am going to guess that you moved the images in your google photos folders? killed the links to the images.....
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
sugarbaker
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 05:22 PM »

strange... when I "Open in new tab" they come up fine.  I'll see if I can get an updated path.
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thief
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 04:54 AM »

strange... when I "Open in new tab" they come up fine.  I'll see if I can get an updated path.
Of course you can because they are in your google photos account. is the folder that they are in public?
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
sugarbaker
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2019, 03:07 AM »

Ah ha! Didnít realize I was linking to a private folder.  Iíll move them tomorrow and repost (again Roll Eyes
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thief
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 04:58 AM »

linking became harder when picasa evolved into google photos..... Tongue blech
and..well..I do not like to miss your pictures!!!
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
sugarbaker
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2019, 06:44 PM »

Thanks for the heads up on the links.  I think we are squared away now!  Smiley
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