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Author Topic: May have discovered an awesome but simple bridle trick  (Read 4841 times)
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« on: September 30, 2009, 07:58 PM »

Must not have been here for awhile because I had to re-create my acount. Anyways, why do the best ideas always to come to me at the end of the season?

Anyways, I had this idea a year ago, but forgot about it. Finally tried it today after I found some elastic.

Anyways, those of us who fly inland have to deal with erratic winds. Even with a hyper stable kite like my 8' DC, it still goes through the typical Delta fall when the winds drop, then protests when the wind picks up and screams back to zenith with spars bending in protest. Rinse - repeat.

Ok, so on most SLKs, you can adjust the bridle to compensate for angle of attack for the wind range. More wind, slide bridle up. Less wind - slide bridle down. Problem is if you are dealing with variable winds, and you get the annoying problem as above. You need a constant wind for a specific bridle setting. Or, some kites like Roks tend to deform in the middle compensating for wind variances. Ideally you set the bridle for the highest AOL, but this may make the kite loop if the wind picks up. Or, just buy a big Delta or Rok with a lot of slop in the frame and watch it sit at 45 degrees - boring.

So anyways, on a whim I replaced the lower leg of my bridle with a loop of 1/4 elastic. The idea being when the wind picks up, the elastic stretches, and the AOL changes to compensate. After a bit of tweaking, it worked scary good. Kite stayed in the sky with nose perfectly forward and never flinched. Altitude changes when the wind lulled were reduced, and when the wind picked up the kite made a much more conservative climb to zenith. My DC behaved more Rok like with gusts, but had the benefit of 'delta hang' when the wind dropped.

J'ever notice when you reel in a big Delta too fast it tends to climb over your head and sometimes roll over? After my bridle mod I could reel my 8' DC in as fast as I wanted, and it locked at an angle of the sky and never climbed higher. This was obviously due to the elastic.

Thing is, I like to fly big, light wind kites at the highest AOL I can tweak them. But if the wind is variable or picks up it tends to push the kite down. I'm going to try this trick on my other kites, but wanted to pass it on for other inland flyers.
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 10:37 PM »

Very kewl. I suspect it's been invented a few times before, but this is the first time I think I've seen it spelled out for a SLK delta.

There's a brilliant engineer-type (Ed Alden) who applied similar self-tuning principles to every aspect of a fighter kite he called the "Vari-Fighter", maybe 15 years ago. The details may still be online. (If not, they're still on my computer.) Angle of Attack, maybe bow stiffness, maybe spine stiffness, all changed with changing wind strength. Years later (IIRC) he'd convinced himself that ultra-light weight and good basic design could do the job of all those hydramatic tweaks except maybe the AoA compensation. (Your "AOL" seems to be what I call "Angle of Attack"; Angle of Lean?)

Norm in Toronto
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 11:30 PM »

Ed's site is gone but his work & plans have been mirrored on the Kite Plan Base HERE

He did update it at the end that he himself had decided it all wasn't worth it. But Ed certainly worked on & documented many idea's that an experimenter like Blaster here might wish to experiment with & expand upon.


"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 12:21 AM »

I put a variable 2 stage elastic bridle on an I2K early in my experimental days. It had  different elastic deflection rates (lbs/in) at all 3 connection points.

It was very boingy, not trick friendly, but it did work. Showed it to Mark Reed. I had been flying for about a year. He was polite and didn't laugh.

I still think it's a good idea for a beginner kite though. Sort of like having an automatic transmission instead of a stick shift.

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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 01:12 AM »

You made quite the splash early on - (first post?) - on the old forum detailing your elastic bridle for the HI Team Godfather as I recall.  Huh Grin
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 03:37 PM »

I don't fly stunt kites, but I do fly 5meter traction kites. I can't see the elastic trick having a lot of benefits for my monster foils because of bridle complexity, but I do see some possible potential with dual line spared kites.

The big advantage though is with big SLKs because the historical trade-off is either high AoA (angle of attack) or wind range. Pick one, because you can't have both. A few years ago I had a 19' Premier Delta, and the biggest annoyance with that kite was it's narrow wind range and low AoA. Had I known this trick back then I could have dramatically improved how it flew because I could have been more aggresive about bridle settings. I currently have a big Gomberg Delta that I've modded to fly on superlight winds, but I never set the bridle has aggresive as I want because I have to be concerned about winds picking up. No more....

I'd also like to try this on classic kites like a big diamond because those always have problems in flaky winds without tales.
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