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Author Topic: fighters....  (Read 2620 times)
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thief
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« on: December 14, 2010, 04:23 PM »

Well, for my birthday a friend offered me a gift that i could not refuse!
An aerostar stryke, Joe Ludwig Roo 2, roll of waxed line and a curtis bias winder....

So...now i have to learn to fly them!!!!!!!!
I am going to pull out my books and read what i can....but is there anything that y'all can offer as advice to me?   I am competent with active single line kites - just not this small and fast ones!!!!!!

r
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 05:40 PM »

All this time around kites and you've never flown a fighter???     Huh

The pull and slack will be familiar from maneuvering other SLKs. Launching from your hand is probably the trickiest basic skill to learn. Get someone to help you launch at first. Its also helpful to have someone recover (shag kites) for you as you'll be spending a lot of time in the walk of contemplation or dragging the kite across the grass as you reel it in.

Those are both very durable by fighter standards. I beat up my Roo and it was just fine. I'd start with the Stryke, it's larger so probably slower.

Have your helper stand at least 20' away. Best way to launch without risk to the kite is with the helpers hand behind the kite. Essentially, the kite is wind pasted and you fly it off the hand rather than out of someone's grasp. If you dont have a helper, paste the kite to the back of a folding chair. You gotta have good ground wind for this.

Be prepared for line cuts on your lead finger. Try to keep the line outbid the joint and over the space in between the joints or your fingertip. Back in the days when people wrote on paper most of us had some callous in that area.

I've seen people fly off a spool, but it always is a drag for me. I play out a bunch of line into a very loose pile to my left. I sometimes eve take half a step away from the pile. My right hand flys the kite and my left hand tends the line. Just don't walk around with the line in your hand and the pile will not become a tangle. When winding up, remember that the spool is connected to the bottom of the pile. Sometimes best to repile the line "face down" before winding up.
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thief
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 06:54 PM »

i know...its amazing isn't it??? i flew a oversize Buka indoors that indoor flying guru Pauly Berard made but i am guessing that indoor flying is a little different!!!

I am familiar with them...i sold bunches of them....but never owned one (I am not considering the Windfire designs Photon Fighter in this since i just popped tails on it and up it goes)....

i have watched people fly them out around 400-500 feet away....is there a good reason for that? do some kites respond better to more line out? as opposed to short lines ~45-80'Huh
I already know that it is going to be a learning issue for me...the active single line kites are great on ~20-40' or so......and to go longer..with a smaller kite....good thing i just got new upgraded glasses!!!!!

the line control is going to be interesting.....

now if only it was not 23 degrees outside....i know that the kites can handle that..but can i???
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tonycarl60
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 10:57 PM »

I made a launch pad out of a piece of cardboard and a cut up wire clothes hanger that I stick into the ground at an angle and lean the kite against it.

 Like any kite, the longer the line the bigger the window. Fighters can be real responsive and will get you out of trouble as fast as you get in. Long line for high winds, short (40ft) in less wind works for me. 
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 11:06 PM by tonycarl60 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 07:01 AM »

you have the perfect fighter kite box in your store
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mikenchico
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 07:54 AM »

If that line you got is the waxed linen finger cuts shouldn't be too much of a problem although the Stryke is pretty large and might nip you. I personally do prefer the waxed linen, a bit larger diameter and stiff so ground tangles don't become an issue and the diameter along with the beeswax gives a pretty sure grip. Not so good for that 200' out flying though, more for US short line style. Longer lines on fighters are the same as with duals, they give a larger window and slow the kite, give yourself some room to start, 50' + if you have help launching.

As far as flying, just do it, those two shouldn't be too fast. To save a few ground darts as you begin put a few feet of Crepe paper on as a tail to slow the spin down even further, once you're confident rip half of it off, a few more flights then remove it all. It won't take long at all to get the feel I'm sure.

It won't take long to get the hand launch down, 1-2' of line out, let the kite spin on the end of the line, when pointed up a quick pull and overhead then release, the kite should take out 10-15' of line, spin to pointed up & hit it again & release it'll take another 20', once more and your golden. We all lawn dart during this process.

That Aerostar looks like the leading edge spar might be a bit short, the nose doesn't appear to be as tight as the others I've seen, might slow it down even further when your starting out though.

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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 08:19 AM »

Sounds like you need THE WOODMAN.
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 08:57 AM »

For reading grab Bruce Lambert's papers on tuning then head over to Kite Plan Base and grab the NAFKA Book. If you can't find them drop me a PM and I'll email them.

Drop by your hardware store and pickup some plumber's putty, a nickel sized piece on the nose will slow the spin. If the kites don't fly an acceptably straight line in your conditions go down a size on the bow rod or the same size in fiberglass, it doesn't hurt to have a lighter bow in the box for low wind days.

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

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thief
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 09:28 AM »

Rob-thank you forgot about Woody that walking wealth of information!!! (actually quite serious there)

There was a ball of blue tak for weight already...

Dang..i think i gotta try this now..soon!!!!!!

Thanks guys!
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 10:08 AM »

I learned to fly fighters when I was 13. Picked it up again 20+ years later.

Very "pure" kite flying.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 10:17 AM »

how about Prophecy flying?
 
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 12:28 PM »

That beast is about as far from Fighter flying as you can get on two lines.  Cheesy

I must admit, these days I fly the Proph a lot more than the fighters.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 06:29 PM »

My $.02 (which is about all I have to give on fighters), is to make sure that the left-right bridle adjustment is spot-on. 
When I got my Roo 2, I wasn't as picky as the kite was, and ended up with some really twisted line. Embarrassed  It seems as if 1/32" made a significant difference. 
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2010, 08:23 AM »

I've found it possible to fly 2-stringers in gloves, but I've never made gloves work with fighters. You're reeling in and out hand-over hand, and it's too easy to grab at nothing by accident, or to fail to let go, etc.

Tuning is important. If you can't stay out of trouble at first, you should lower the tow-point to give yourself more reaction time. Or some weight on the nose, or a small tail. It shouldn't take long before you're enjoying the full reaction-time of those kites. It's a great kit you got!

When the little connector knot on the Stryke's sliding tension adjustment is tied in the right place (and Paul once told me that getting it right is by far the hardest part of making the Stryke!), you should have a pretty big range of spine-bend available, all with a reasonably taut sail. (That's because the adjustment spreads the cross-bow at the same time as it bends the spine.) I don't know how that knot would ever get out of adjustment, but big wrinkles in the sail do suggest that. Probably better to live with it at least for now, esp. based on Paul's report.

The key to the L-R adjustment is that "straight should be straight". A well-tuned sweet-flying fighter should fly straight as an arrow when the line tension is "on". If the L-R adjustment is off, it will consistently curve, say to your right = "clockwise". So when you're trying to fly a ground pass from L to R, it will tend to dip down, and it will rise up when you're going from R to L. If BOTH of those things happen, you need to tweak the L-R adjustment a hair to your left. Many good fliers don't even untie the Larkshead hitch, they just "strain" or "stretch" it a bit in the desired direction!

If the kite seems to want to SPIN in one direction more than the other, it's PROBABLY an asymmetry in your inputs. A tracking fighter reacts to slack by turning up, toward "12:00", and giving it continued slack will usually produce a spin in the same direction. E.g., fly from L to R, then throw some slack, and the kite should spin counter-clockwise. Mirror image, it should spin clockwise. Unless something is major messed up, that's NOT usually a tuning problem, so don't tune the L-R adjustment to even out the spins!

I also own those two great kites, though not the gorgeous reel. When you're ready for your next kite, I'd STRONGLY recommend either of "Gumby's" (Carl Anderson's) designs, the "E-Z" or the "Gumby". Plans are at Bruce Lambert's excellent fighterkitecentral.com . And Carl recently offered to make new ones for a very reasonable price, too. They are GORGEOUS fliers. 'Nuff said.

Finally, fighterkitecentral.com has been struggling, and Bruce is thinking of handing it on or even dropping it. It's a great resource for a great kind of kite flying -- but I sure don't want the job!!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 08:25 AM by normofthenorth » Logged

Norm in Toronto
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2010, 11:55 AM »

... I've never made gloves work with fighters. You're reeling in and out hand-over hand, and it's too easy to grab at nothing by accident, or to fail to let go, etc...
Couldn't imagine flying in gloves, you need much more feel on the line, a little bandage or sports tape on your finger maybe if you are getting cut, I never have been in my limited flying.

Finally, fighterkitecentral.com has been struggling, and Bruce is thinking of handing it on or even dropping it. It's a great resource for a great kind of kite flying -- but I sure don't want the job!!

Hate to think that might disappear even though I don't visit often, it is invaluable when you are looking for fighter info. Bruce has done a fantastic job with the site, bringing people together and sharing his knowledge.

(hehehe, my spell checker wants to correct your screen name to nymphomania  Cheesy)
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"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

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