As to my current kiting distractions, the attached picture shows three canard kites I have recently built. The top one is my version of Leong Ceewan's great Plutz kite design. The one on the lower left is a larger version (4-foot wing span) with my preferences for sail shape and a front sail (black in color), which can be removed. And as they say on the old Monty Python show "Time for something completely different," the one on the lower right is my sweep forward canard I call the Arrow. All three glide great. The sweep forward canard kite is a work in progress regarding framing stiffness on the canard wing, which I hope to have resolved when the wind becomes more reasonable.
As an update to my efforts in designing and building Canard Single Line Kites, I came across an excellent Excel Program developed by Daniel Prosser. Dan developed the program for model airplanes, but it is applicable to our hobby.
The following provides the link to download the program:https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_TPx1W-lkmSTE1ueEpJWW1XRUE
For those of you who do not have the latest version of Excel, the following provides the link to download the program that will work in Excel 2003:https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_TPx1W-lkmScUp0MjhXT3kwdVE
The following provides the link to download the User Guide for the program:https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_TPx1W-lkmSZy1NVjBMczhLOFE
The following provides the link to download the program, where my Arrow Canard Kite was entered in the various input fields so that you can see how the program works with a canard kite:https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_TPx1W-lkmSYmhvWWpHQTItWjQ
The following links provide the link to download pictures of my Arrow Canard Kite, so that you can see the actual kite I used in the program:
- Arrow Canard Bottom (Line) View: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_TPx1W-lkmSejN0OVFOYW5XRTg
- Arrow Canard Top View: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_TPx1W-lkmSd1ZLU3lOd1dVTWM
- Arrow Canard Side View: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_TPx1W-lkmSNlJEWGN4eHFEeUk
Since I last discussed this kite, it now has a light hollow carbon tube center spine and spreaders (1/8" OD) and a custom reinforced center joiner. To connect the spreaders, I had to modify a stock 1/8" yellow center joiner that has 20 degrees of angle, so that it would be strong enough for each spreader to angle forward 10 degrees, while allowing each spreader to bend up towards the tips of the main sail. With a stock 1/8" yellow center joiner, the preexisting center hole was filled with solid carbon rod that was glued in place. The joiner was then rotated 90 degrees, where an 1/8" hole was drilled to accept the center spine through the "V". Two strips of rectangular carbon were glued (thick crazy glue) to each side of the "V". At the ends of the carbon, light line was wrapped and then coated with glue (thin crazy glue). The finished joiner was then painted black because the yellow portion of the reinforced joiner does not go with my sail colors.
There are several battens to assist the sails in keeping their shape. There is a 0.05" OD solid carbon center batten in the Canard Sail (Front) as a center spine, which keeps this sail from billowing along the center. There is also a mid-point line connecting this sail batten to the frame center spine to keep the center part of the sail straight, which you can see in the side view picture. In the Main Sail at the tips, there are two 0.03" solid carbon battens that are curved to keep the tips parallel to the main body of the sail. Due to the neat angle cut in the Main Sail, I had to add two 0.03" solid carbon battens in the seams of blue/black and white/red panels. Since I like to make my kites with straight stiches, the battens slide right in from a small hole I made just in front of the trailing edge seam. All of the white connecting lines and bridle line are made from 80 lb. spectra line left over from making my stunt kite lines. I use spectra because it does not stretch and there is a bit of tension on most of the connecting lines.
The kite is a blast to fly, and flies like a blend of a Plutz-3/Zero-G and a fighter kite because it spins on a dime. Since I love to tinker, I am experimenting with various locations for the center of gravity, by adding different 1" inch increment lengths of 0.196" carbon tubes over the center spine at the nose.