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Author Topic: FW Laima  (Read 5938 times)
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thief
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« on: March 08, 2011, 05:29 PM »


Well...i got my Laima yesterday...as fast as i could broke it open and started to take some pictures.....
sort of a bit smaller than i had imagined...definitely lighter framed than i had thought it would be....some funky FW-specific end cap dealios on the front and back LE rods - one of mine has already slipped and the wing is not as tight as it used to be...

oh yeah a chunk of brass as a weight? on the line pigtail?Huh?
Nice icky sail....the bungee at the nose is held tight instead of by a knot but by a ziptie.......
There are really two spreaders....one set (pair) that goes from the spine to the LEs and then there is another one that crosses behind the spine (on the front of the kite) below the center T and then curves forward to connectors on the spreaders....


first flight was this morning in gusty 4-5mph of wind at 21 degrees...ugh..welcome to the wintery North Shore!

This kite likes to climb....it just went right up.....the more wind that came along the further back the wings bent...and that creates a deeply V'd keel keeping it pretty steady on.....did pretty well...a bit better than i had expected it to....trying to get it to do any sort of 3d/active flying was not realy successful at this time....(first time flying it and COLD fingers - i was just happy to get out!)....

Then got home and into the backyard where there was no wind...maybe a gust to 2mph....and i started to play...

this is more of a kite than a glider....
then there is that weight.....take the darn thing off....why would they make a kite that is designed for active flight and then put that weight there...all it did was whip around and get caught up on the spreader...........FRUSTRATING......took it off and the kite behaved better since the pendulum was now missing....
then...then the kite began to get more fun....a combo of the weight gone and me getting used to the kite and its quirks (there are some) and it was smoother....

flat turns....yeah...sort of hard to do that when there is so much of a keel on it....you sort of have to slowly coax the nose around and then give a quick tug to finish the turn...and then straight up and over it goes......
launching in a nose away position? do not bother....there is not much spine curvature to get this to pop up backwards or for it to spine on its belly to launch nose up....it would launch okay from a wing-towards-me position with a sharp tug to get that distant wing tip around...

i am looking forward to getting this indoors now for some real no-wind flying....

I can see this kite doing very well flown on a telescoping banner pole indoors on a shorter amount of line....some of the quirky turns would be limited there and you would still get a cool flight going on...

I would put this on the par with the bird'x/Aerobe-Wala/Karl Longbottom Pterodactyl/LCVS McBird...a fun kite for flying in very little wind outside that is goin to be quite durable and good fun.



Overall i like it...i was was a little disheartened when i first opened it up but the flight won me over....I like the colors but think that a little less busy skin would have been nicer....it is a good addition to someone looking for a xUL single line kite that is a little funkier than a delta shaped kite....and with the special preorder deal that steve is offering now you might want to grab one!
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Stevo
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 06:58 PM »

Well, might as well throw my two cents in here.  Personally, I think Rob is being a bit harsh on this kite.  I've had mine for a bit now, and have flown it in 0-3 mph winds mostly, and I love the flight.  In fact I've defintely clicked more with the Laima than some of the other XUL's that Rob listed.  I found the flat spins very nice and controllable.  One thing that I really like about this kite though, is that it felt slow in my hands, and that included the spins, if I didn't give them enough room and time, they weren't going to happen.  But I learned.

As for construction, I don't have any issue with the fittings, it's not the most elegant, but I've seen this done on countless kites before.  One thing Rob didn't mention that I really like is that the two really skinny rods (one that gives the bow up front, and one that spreads the tail in the back) are both designed to never come off the kite.  I know I'm prone to losing these, so I appreciate that thought, they just fold in and roll up with the rest of the sail.

All that said, one place I completely agree is the weight...I just don't get it, and I'm glad to here I'm not the only one.  Remember when I said I liked the slow and graceful movements of the kite, well throw this on and watch those all go away.  The only thing I'll give them on this, is that it does help throw the kite a bit further...but what's the point if it just crashes when it gets out there.  Yeah, take it off and you'll enjoy this kite much more.

Okay, there's my counterpoint.  Buy this kite and you'll enjoy those windless days a little bit more Smiley

Stevo
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Kitelife
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 02:49 AM »

Picked one up at KTAI last month and have really enjoyed it for urban, parking lot flying near my home... Me three, it flies way better without the weight... With, I found the kite to be less controllable and a bit heavy, without, it glided quite well provided there was just a little inertia (like throwing the weight of the nose where you want to go).

I really like the sail pattern, the overlapping curves appeal to my eye. Smiley

What I didn't see mentioned here is the custom made plastic fittings which protect all the "sticking out" bits of the kite that might normally encounter quite a bit of abrasion... Nice touch.
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 03:22 PM »

The mailman brought the package today and I was outside in less than five minutes....(Front yard and line shorter than 30ft.)

First off.....This is a fun little bugger.....a lot more sensitive than the Walas and not as forgiving of my ham-fisted technique, however it is a gas and it takes nothing to get it aloft.

Didn't make any adjustment to the bridle as the field card said, nor did I adjust the di-hedral,  (it really wouldn't do much good because it is so loose on the spine that it really won't hold an adjustment anyway) and out of the box it was just great in the swirling winds in my fornt yard.  Sounds like a storm, but they never went over 1-1 1/2 mph.

And just so I don't have to report on the weight?  This bird didn't have one in the package anyway..........and I'm sure I wouldn't use it if it did.

It's gonna take me a little more practice than the Walas to get used to the difference, but I really like the way the wings bank in the corners.......You don't get any of that on the Aerobers, or if there is I, sure can't tell.

Thanks Steve!
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stringfly
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 08:37 AM »

Got my Laima over the weekend and got some time with it Sunday.  My bottom dihedral piece seemed to work well to adjust the dihedral of the wings......flatter for wider turns and more angle for tighter turns and more wind.  Did the early ones not have this adjustment ??

Stringfly <>++++

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thief
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 08:43 AM »

ha ha ha ha ha
yep..if you see the first & second picture in my first post you will see that the secondary spreader is a microcarbon rod that runs through a hole in the spine sleeve....
You will have a bit more adjustment!!!

Play around now Park and let us know what you find!!!!!!
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 01:21 PM »

Yes... I did notice that in your first pictures and thought they must have added this to later models.  Grin  Will be flying more this week and play with it some.  Now if Bell would only make a XL version like the XL Wala !!!!!

Stringfly <>++++
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 12:54 PM by stringfly » Logged
streamhawk
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 12:34 PM »

hey Park, Linda told me she had about six orders for the Laima including mine, seemed to be a hit, and the predominate color was purple (maybe I'll swap out for green). I plan on making a comparison test between my old Aerobe (wala), the XL I ordered, and the Laima...should be fun. Maybe a no wind day where weather factors are about equal.
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 01:03 PM »

Yes.... I really love the way it handles.  May have to get a few more. There is a sewed loop on the back side center which I guess would be so you could train them ?  Cat is getting more for sure.  We need to have flocks for Tulsa and Joplin.  May have to do a double size one  Grin Grin Grin

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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 01:09 PM »

Three of us had Laima's at the Lincoln City indoor kite fest last weekend.  It flies much better that the Wala XL I have.  The Laima's flatter spine means less continuous pressure is required on the line.  The Laima will not glide on its own like a Skate for example, but doesn't need to be dragged through the air near as much as the Wala XL.  I hope there's a Laima XL version on the horizon.

Dave
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tonycarl60
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 11:41 PM »

The Laima is a nice, stable light wind kite, but I guess I'm spoiled with my Horvath Hybrid 200 and 240 as far as glider kites go Smiley
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stringfly
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 06:19 AM »

I don't have much time yet on my Laima or my XL Wala but so far I would have to agree with Tony on the Hybrid 240 as one of the best glider kites. I got lots of almost dead air  early morning time at Seaside last year and was flying my Manta, Skate, Plutz and Hybrid.  I enjoyed the Hybrid more than the other's (need more time with the Plutz, it does glide great) and could do more with the Hybrid and always came back to it.  I just wish it wasn't so plain color wise.  I did see a Long Way Home flying but did not get to try it.  Now there is one I would like to try.  Smiley

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bigpappo1
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 09:46 AM »

Are the making two different versions of this kite?. Thief did you mod yours?, or did it come without the adjustable dihedral spreader slider. Mine has it and came without the weight. Verdict is still out on this one, first impression is just OK!.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 10:13 AM by bigpappo1 » Logged
thief
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2011, 05:07 PM »

my Laila came via KTAI. I am guessing that they changed the production run after the KTAI kites were made.
I actually like the simplicity of mine.
I am waiting to hear what that adjustment does.........
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2011, 08:08 PM »

thief
I did fly the kite for about an hour. Darn if I can find
a whole lot of differences in sliding either up or down.
The kite flew best at the half way point. Adjusting the bridle
does have an impact, so adjust for the wind. any movement
of your hands on the line has an effect on the kite. Super light
is what it wants. I'm starting to come around to liking this bird.
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