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Author Topic: Eagle kite from Bangood  (Read 3245 times)
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« on: September 13, 2014, 06:43 AM »

Dear forummembers,

Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Jan, I'm from the Netherlands and I've been flying kites for the better part of my life, and have been building them for some 40 years.
So, being new to this forum, I'm actually an old member...

When my kids were young, we used to go kite flying on weekend, visit festivals and build kites during the week.
I've sew/glued together parafoils, delta's, sled, a Hewitt flexkite, a Ed Grauwel parashute (in 1 m and 5 m) the ripstop kites survived, most plastic ones got brittle over time and had to be rebuilt.
When the kids were strong enough to handle a two line stunter, I also made a few of those, flying in formation is a good exercise when the wind is strong...

Then my son discovered RC (competition) boating, dragged me into it and for the next 15 years flying kites tapered off to just the vacations.

Last year we quit racing in competition, which freed up some free time, I got my kites out more often and discovered all possible sites online, something that wasn't there when I started out.

Possibilities, possibilities...

From my RC boating, I saw several Chinese kite suppliers, knowing the (lack of) workmanship on the boathulls I purchased from them, I ordered a few kites from Banggood.
A small bat kite and an Eagle.

This seller uses the same pictures as the Banggood site:

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Upon arrival, the central spar of the eagle was broken during transport, so that one had to be replaced, no biggy, as I still had spare carbon, both solid and tube.
To cut the cost of production, all spars were attached to the fabric with these solid plastic pockets, using a hollow rivet, which works on smaller kites, but not on a 180 cm (70") span.

When I assembled the kite indoors, the fabric started to tear under the tension.
I took out the rivets and use a piece of Dacron to make some pocket which were sewed on, much better.
I also added stoppers (pieces of silicont tubin CA'd in place) on the wing spars to keep the fabric from tearing under the tension of the spreaders on the wings and central spar.

A short testflight reveiled the kite had been sewn together 'slightly' asymmetrical, it pulled to the right and the only thing it would do without adding a tail, was spiral to the ground.

I contacted Banggood, showing pictures of the assymetry, the 'upgrades' I made and I pointed out that what they were selling was a too cheap knock-off, with design features removed to lower the costs even more, poorly assembled etc, etc.
Having contact with Banggood is usually very smooth and they immediately took the kite from the site and offered me a 40% discount on my next 'quality' kite purchase.
I accepted the discount and ordered a couple of more (different) kites, knowing fully I had some work behing the sewing machine coming.

Back to the eagle.
I took the wings off the central section and put it back together as symetrical as possible, without redoing all the sewing.

I took the small batkite and the eagle out yesterday and to my surprise, the small batkite just required a small tail to keep flying, while the wind was a bit too strong 4Bft) for the thin tubing of the eagle, which was blown out of shape and wouldn't fly properly.

As I live in a country where it's windy more often than not, I 'need' kites that will fly in all kind of weather without crashing or falling apart.

When I google for 'eagle kite' I find several kites that look exactly like the one I have, but with an extra spar in every wing on which there's an extra triange for the bridle, or with the spreader under the kite in stead of behind the sail...
Odd, these seem to be the ones that do fly 'out of the bag'.

Question: if I add additional lines to the bridle, to keep the eagle from folding too much by incorporating lines from the end of the spreaders to the kiteline, about 1,5 m in front of the kite, would this allow me to fly it in higher wind?

I added two pictures, one with the eagle listing to the right severely (prior to the subsequent crash) The red line is where the tail should point if the kite was flying level:

And one showing the eagle deforming in too much wind, with the extra lines I proposed:

Regards, Jan.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 08:37 PM by JimB » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2014, 08:36 AM »

I had a similar experience with a Bat kite, most likely from the same factory.
It had potential as an active, semi glider style kite, but the workmanship and material choices were very poor. I modified if with a few upgrades, but think I'll just make a new one out of quality materials and pin their Bat kite to the wall.

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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2014, 12:26 PM »

When you start to factor in the amount of time it takes for you to repair it you could almost go and build something your self

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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 01:45 AM »

Hi DD,

You're right, and, I could use ripstop nylon as a better material...

But that would mean I have to dig up all my kite making materials from the loft, where it ended up after we moved to this smaller house from our previous one, where I had a huge table in the attic to make kites on.

It our present house, I'll end up on the living room table, which will, over time, cause some friction with SWMBO...

For the time being I'll be satisfied with taking apart and fixing Chinese assembled kites.

But my question was about extra lines to keep the kite from deforming (and crashing) in winds above it's design limits.

I'll add the lines and head out to the field to go testing.
I'll let you know how things went.

Regards, Jan.

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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 09:21 AM »

I just returned from a nice afternoon of testing and flying the Batkite, the Eagle with additional lines in the bridle and my 4,5 m Hewitt Flexkite (because it had been stored for years).

It took some adjusting, but the Eagle flew better with the wings supported by the bridle, the wind was a bit too strong, so I had to take drastic measures to keep the kite straight:

The picture is a bit blurry, as this bridle made the kite shake up and down quite severely, I thought it would shake itself to pieces, but all was still in one piece.
My camera could not focus properly on the shaking kite.

As bit less zoom gave a better picture:

Later, I replaced the cone for a streamer which made the kite very lively, swaying from side to side, still shaking though.

The Batkite is gradually flying itself to pieces, as the fabric starts to frail at the traling edges, you can just see it in the picture:

The Hewitt Flexkite flew as it has been doing since I made it some 25 years ago; it needs a lot of drag to keep it from flying over it's zenith, topple forward and crash in a spectacular way, spiraling down, making a mess of the bridle and the tail...
The field I used is surrounded by ditches, so I kept the line length within the size of the field, to avoid a wet kite in case of a crash.

As I was flying near a road, I couldn't risk having any crashes, as this might have taken out one of the many cyclists passing by...

A bit closer:

The Flexkite is showing it's age and needs a bit of corrective drag in the form of a streamer on one wingtip.
As the wind picked up a bit, the kite deforms too much and starts to pull to one side and comes down gently.

Regards, Jan.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 09:00 AM by pompebled » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 11:10 PM »

Got the 173 cm eagle for < $5 from Aliexpress. The first arrived broken. One rod crushed, and the sail was missing the holder for the vertical rod. But there was a large hole where it supposedly went.

Agreed a partial refund, so I could keep it for $2, and seller sent me a new one. This one arrived in good condition. Was out flying it yesterday in light winds, < 3m/s. And it flew very nicely, and would work fine in far see wind. But my 7 y.o. son would not listen, he kept jerking it to make it flap its wings, and in less than 5 minutes one of the rods were broken. Luckily I have one of those from the first kite.

Will create a bridle from where the horizontal bars connects, and see if limiting the wing movement will keep me happy. I also ordered another one for spares, even though price is over $5 now. It is a nice very low wind kite that flies nicely.
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