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Author Topic: Fighter Kites for the Inexperienced  (Read 1827 times)
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Vernstein
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« on: March 13, 2013, 07:21 AM »

I want to add a Fighter Kite to my ever growing collection.  Into the Wind Kites has some nice ones. Looking at a Hata. But I am not sure which one would be the best to learn.  I have only seen one once and it looks like a diamond kite on an energy drink. Kind of arnery  Cheesy A   Any Suggestions?  Don't want anything more than 30 or $40.00 price range.  Amazing what can be done using just one line.
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Texanpilot
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 07:27 AM »

As fighter kites go, the Hata is pretty docile. 
I got mine when I was around12 years old (which was way back now). I think it's a good starter model.
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Steady winds, y'all.
thief
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 07:55 AM »

You can search around online and find paper ones in the states for quite affordable prices...they will get you going and you have no worries about destroying them! be wary though as you might be getting them without a bridle....that will take about 4 minutes to add one on though....

you can find some fun shaped fighters like the HQ Photon or a Longbottom Pipa (or his underwear kites too)....

From ITW I would look at the Flick as a good one.....at the top end of your range but still worth it...

from the GWTW forum hosts there are a few options from ITW http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=70
That Hata colorwheel is quite big as fighters go so that will be slower and easier to learn to fly....


Gomberg has a good writeup on learning to fly them: http://www.gombergkites.com/howfight.html
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
thief
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 08:01 AM »

btw: where are you located?  there might be people near you that would let you put hands on one first.
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
Allen Carter
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 11:14 AM »

With fighters, smaller is generally better once you get the hang of it. Many "starter" fighters are pretty big and slow, as are many traditional Asian kites found here in the US. 

I enjoy slow fighters more now than when I was starting. I found a more responsive kite to be easier to learn on. Not a hot rod comp level kite, or one with training wheels, but something in between.

The Hoopty is ideal. I've had two of them since the late '90s and they are very durable, very easy to fly, but responsive enough that you won't get bored after a few hours.

One of the charms of fighters is their simplicity. They are easy to make out of all kinds of materials. Commercial fighters like the Hoopty are nearly indestructible but once you start making your own from cellophane or wrapping paper and bamboo for a buck or two apiece you won't be bothered by tears and cracks or complete destruction after a good days flying.

The BEST fighter site:

http://fighterkitecentral.com/

More good fighter geek info:

http://www.nafka.net/
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 11:25 AM by Allen Carter » Logged

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tonycarl60
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 02:22 PM »

I'm very happy with my Into the Wind Hatta, it's a beginners fighter and a hands off slk when you fly with the included tail which uses Velcro to attach, very durable. I replaced the wood vertical spar with a lighter carbon one so it flies in hardly any wind Smiley There's a bunch of Bruce Lambert videos on YouTube about making and tuning fighter kites........
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Vernstein
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 04:09 AM »

btw: where are you located?  there might be people near you that would let you put hands on one first.

I am located in York, PA.  I read also about a specific type of  line that should be used.  I can't remember what it was. Can you tell me why?
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 10:47 AM »

Fighter line needs to be lightweight, as the kites have very little pull and get slowed down by heavy line. Light weight means thin, and thin means ouch in many cases. Some line is less abrasive than others. Heavy thread, like carpet thread is used by some. Very fine Spectra fishing line is also popular. Lightweight cotton line is great 'cause it's esy to break with your hands. Fighter line piles up on the ground as you fly and can often get tangled. Being able to just break the line ad tie a new knot is very handy.

Here's Bruce's video on the subject:

Fighter kite flying line


This video seems to be stopping after 30-50 seconds, but you can fast forward through all 7 minutes. Maybe a temporary YouTube glitch
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 10:53 AM by Allen Carter » Logged

Allen, AKA kitehead
madhabitz
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 11:42 AM »

I don't know how these guys manage with such thin line. I am such a klutz that I would end up tangled in it within seconds. I work with a couple of guys whose eyes light up when I mention kites. One is from India and one from Afganistan - both grew up making and flying these things, having huge contests where whole villages would get into the act. They each have recipes for the glue/paste they used to coat the line with ground glass. It's absolutely fascinating to listen to them.

It seems to me that Into the Wind has line and other supplies for fighter kites. I keep thinking linen or kevlar. Allen's carpet thread idea has me intrigued.
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"I haven't failed. I've just found ten-thousand ways that won't work."   -Thomas Edison
Wayner
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 11:56 AM »

I don't know how these guys manage with such thin line. I am such a klutz that I would end up tangled in it within seconds. I work with a couple of guys whose eyes light up when I mention kites. One is from India and one from Afganistan - both grew up making and flying these things, having huge contests where whole villages would get into the act. They each have recipes for the glue/paste they used to coat the line with ground glass. It's absolutely fascinating to listen to them.

It seems to me that Into the Wind has line and other supplies for fighter kites. I keep thinking linen or kevlar. Allen's carpet thread idea has me intrigued.

Moving around alway help me keel the line untangled.

I've meet a dozen kite fliers from India and Pakistan. To a man they all claimed to be the best in thier village.  Cheesy
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 12:41 PM »

I don't know how these guys manage with such thin line. I am such a klutz that I would end up tangled in it within seconds.

I haven't found the weight of the line to be so much of a issue with tangling as the coating. The more wax the line has the stickier it gets. Commercial waxed fighter linen found in kite stores on hoops is good heavy line but has way too much wax on it. Some threads are fairly sticky too. The wax helps with handling/grip though.

Fighter flying has a big component of line management in the skill set. With larger Asian fighters there are sometimes two people in a team. One tends the line. They tend to use pretty long lines, though. By comparison, North American style fighters are generally flown on much shorter line.

The idea of a "line pile" works well. Loose line that is laid on top of itself in a pile only tangles if moved, like someone stepping on the pile, or if the other end of the line is pulled through the pile. As long as the line is pulled off the pile from the top, no problem. I normally use my right hand for kite control and left hand for line control, with the line pile to my left. If I'm not paying attention I can end up piling line too close and having to move right to avoid getting a foot in the pile and ending up with a pile stretched over a distance. The is no good in competition as you can't move out of the ring to avoid your line pile.  Smiley

On the subject of line tangles, I'm so used to flying barefoot that I don't think about the fact that shoes and sandals (like Tevas) can have myriad ways of snagging line. Having line from the middle of your pile stuck on the Velcro on your sandal can create problems.  Roll Eyes
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 12:59 PM »


Moving around alway help me keel the line untangled.

Moving around just adds more layers of line around my feet. Grin

Quote
I've meet a dozen kite fliers from India and Pakistan. To a man they all claimed to be the best in thier village.  Cheesy

Hah! That's funny - both of the guys I know said the very same thing. heh...
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"I haven't failed. I've just found ten-thousand ways that won't work."   -Thomas Edison
Allen Carter
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 01:19 PM »

Nancy, I think we'll be flying fighters at the next Ripon.

I recently made a fighter pile and realized I had like 20. They need to be flown.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 02:28 PM »

Nancy, I think we'll be flying fighters at the next Ripon.

I recently made a fighter pile and realized I had like 20. They need to be flown.
Excellent!!!
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madhabitz
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 04:07 PM »

I have nothing but admiration for Fighter fliers who can fly off of the reel.
I usually end up with massive line tangles around weeds and nearly always get a snag when I need to give slack to get out of a dive.

It's comforting to know I am not alone. Wink
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"I haven't failed. I've just found ten-thousand ways that won't work."   -Thomas Edison
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