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Author Topic: What makes a strata delta kite pitch?  (Read 1738 times)
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Scarecrow
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« on: March 02, 2010, 11:35 AM »

I have owned a Premier Kites strata delta for some time now and I haven't flown it much due to what I consider to be a rather annoying flight characteristic. It's a very pretty kite in the air having a Barbara Meyer quilted design, but when it climbs it begins to pitch, sort of a bucking motion, creating a jerking action on the line rather than exerting a steady pull as it climbs towards its zenith. Wind speed doesn't seem to be a factor. It performs similarly in lower and higher winds.

I have several different styles and sizes of delta and conyne kites, but this is the only one that does this. It's also the only one that I have which has dual keels. Could that possibly have something to do with this behavior? The tow points are fixed, so I don't think I can do much there. Perhaps a change in the bridle?

Any suggestions on improving this kite's performance would be appreciated.

Ed
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kiten00b
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 11:46 AM »

do you have a pic of it in flight?
have you moved the leading edge spars down to the end of the wing tips?
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mikenchico
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2010, 12:05 PM »

Yeah need a little more info, next time you fly it watch it closely.

Purely a guess here but is the spreader flexing back real far? I'm not familiar with the kite but is there any center support for the spreader you may be missing? A tie maybe or some have a smaller keel type flap on the back of the sail the spreader should go through. I'm guessing the spreader is flexing too much allowing the sail to billow excessively which takes the pressure off allowing the sail to spread out again then repeating. If there is no center support you may be exceeding the wind speed for the spreader & design, going to a stiffer spreader or adding some support at the center may help.

OK I see it's a Delta Conyne type, you may try tying the spreader to the two keel spars, it doesn't need to be tight since most delta's need to allow the spreader to sit off from the back of the kite, you're just looking to restrict it's movement so it can't go too far. Experiment a bit with some flying line, try it tight to the keels up too a 6 inch or so loop to allow the spreader some movement, if it helps you can then work out something permenant.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 12:18 PM by mikenchico » Logged

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Scarecrow
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 08:46 AM »

Thanks for the responses, guys. I had an opportunity to take this kite out yesterday in 10 mph winds. I made sure that the leading edge spars were all the way down in the wing tips and the spreader was inserted through the fabric sleeve sewn on the top of the sail. Flight performance was still the same as I'd described above.

But your comments concerning the flexibility of the spreader got me to thinking and I may have found the reason for this behavior. This kite has two spines, each located on top of the sail positioned directly above the two keels, and they are quite flexible. They are only secured at the nose and tail of the kite and there is no sleeve, loop or ties to route them through to restrict their side-to-side movement. So I'm going to try to come up with a method of preventing excessive flex in these spars or perhaps just replacing them with stiffer ones.

I'll let you know the outcome.
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indigo_wolf
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 12:12 PM »

They are only secured at the nose and tail of the kite and there is no sleeve, loop or ties to route them through to restrict their side-to-side movement. So I'm going to try to come up with a method of preventing excessive flex in these spars or perhaps just replacing them with stiffer ones.

I'll let you know the outcome.


That's just really strange. 

On the plus side, it probably wouldn't be that hard to do some lash points similar to how the spars are constrained on the back of the Premier Roks.

ATB,
sam
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Scarecrow
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 09:52 AM »

I affixed a couple of ties, one each in the center of each of the two spines, similar to Sam's suggestion above. This has helped somewhat, but not totally eliminated the pitching motion. The leading edge spars are also quite flexible and flap noticeably during the pitching / bucking movements.

I think this kite just needs stiffer spars all around. A fun little project, if I ever have time to get around to it. Maybe I'll start by reviewing Dan Leigh's design parameters.

Ed
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