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Author Topic: Super SUL's...your imagination or real???  (Read 17416 times)
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RonG
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« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2009, 08:54 PM »

Except when your not flying in perfect winds. A smooth Flying kite paints a way nicer picture and makes better use of all the canvas.
I don't agree.  In fact, in my experience it's exactly the opposite.  You take a super-efficient, "smooth flier", and drive it through the middle of the window in crappy wind (bumpy, holes, turbulent), and watch it get buffeted all over the place.  The less-efficient (and in this context, usually louder) kites we're talking about tend to handle those conditions much better.

FWIW, I've spent a lot less time flying in "perfect" winds than flying in crap.  Mostly competing in crap wind, actually.  I'll take a deep-sailed, loud, "inefficient" kite in those conditions any day of the week.

YMMV of course.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 09:06 PM by RonG » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2009, 04:51 AM »

For me, the efficiency vs. inefficiency issue is dependent on what kind of crappy winds we are talking about.

If there is some wind such that there is turbulence, bumpiness, etc., then what Ron says about an inefficient kite is spot on. Detensioning leach lines, loosening the sail tensioner, etc. can be useful ways to even out the flight of the kite. Of course, there are kites out there which have a certain flexible ineffiency built in, which is all the better.

But if we are talking about the wafting to non-existent kind of crappy wind (which is what I'm usually trying to fly in), then I'm  going for an efficient SUL. In those condition, there isn't any bumpiness or turbulence, because there isn't enough wind to create bumpiness or turbulence. Usually the battle is simply to get enough air in the sail to keep the kite aloft, and if that's the case, I'm digging out kites like the Desire UL, Shiva UL, Breeze, etc.
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Winged V
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2009, 06:34 AM »

Inefficient kites look funny with their butts hangin low and beggin for more air.

Rick
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DWayne
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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2009, 06:56 AM »

Stable, efficient dual line kites are as boring as SLK's.


jmo
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chilese
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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2009, 07:29 AM »

You either haven't flown the 61/49 and/or fighters

or

you meant the deltas and other stable SLKs and overlooked a group of SLKs which are both efficient and unstable under specific, pilot induced, conditions.
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RonG
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2009, 07:53 AM »

But if we are talking about the wafting to non-existent kind of crappy wind (which is what I'm usually trying to fly in), then I'm  going for an efficient SUL. In those condition, there isn't any bumpiness or turbulence, because there isn't enough wind to create bumpiness or turbulence. Usually the battle is simply to get enough air in the sail to keep the kite aloft, and if that's the case, I'm digging out kites like the Desire UL, Shiva UL, Breeze, etc.

Fair point.  My UL does have a leach line that keeps the sail quiet, and standoff spacing that reduces the keel area and hence the drag, both of which make the sail more efficient.  But I'd still argue that trying to make a sail ultra-efficient is not going to make for a very exciting ride, even in light winds.
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DWayne
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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2009, 09:06 AM »

You either haven't flown the 61/49 and/or fighters

or

you meant the deltas and other stable SLKs and overlooked a group of SLKs which are both efficient and unstable under specific, pilot induced, conditions.

I've never flown a 61/49. But they look kind of interesting.


Denny
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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2009, 03:48 PM »

To return to the point that started this thread:

I am starting this thread in reaction to the 'claims' made regarding the 'super' SUL Fearless in another thread. 

I would love to read some real information about these SUL/sSUL kites, rather than 'it flies in the lightest of winds' or other relatively meaningless statements.  Not very many of us have flown together, so what this means to each of us is likely very different.  And I have heard this statement so many times  Roll Eyes.


obi

In the old GWTW forum a few years back there was a discussion about this issue, and at that time I threw out the idea of devising an objective test to determine the lower end of a kite's wind range: The basic needs would be (1) a gym, warehouse or other large indoor space and (2) a sled or vehicle whose speed was controllable and measurable.  If you attached a sequence of kites to fixed anchor points on the sled, you would have a way of making some interesting comparisons between kites relative to each other.  If kite A is able to remain aloft when the sled is moving at 1 mph whereas kite B needs the sled to move at 3.5 mph to stay aloft, that would say something substantive (moreso IMO than manufacturer claims or anecdotal evidence).

I even went so far as to mention this to some middle school science teachers at my school--the teachers were enthusiastic, though no students took them up on the project for their science olympiad. Maybe I'll raise this project again to them when school reconvenes in the fall.

BTW I have no copyright on this idea: if someone else out there wants to mention it to some enterprising students looking for a science fair project or wants to take it on themselves, I for one would be interested in the results.

Robbie (rboerth in the old GWTW forum)

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tpatter
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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2009, 11:08 PM »

It would be interesting, but just staying aloft is only part of the picture. 

It you also want it to trick, then its a different test.  I have several kites that fly in almost nothing at all, but you can't flick-flack, rollup, or multi-lazy them.  So, many of us want the best trickster (all modern tricks) with the least amount of compromise (low wind performance).
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6 kite tom
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« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2009, 01:31 AM »

Thanks for bringing us back around, Robot.  Smiley

And TPatter, you hit the nail on the head.  The Ghost gives me 'no pump/no walk' flying at the lowest wind range, given the kites I have owned.  The closest competitor was the SD SUL, but I let that kite go because it really didn't go much lower than the 3PT light I have still. 

I am also right there with you...we're not talking about flying, I am asking about trick flying. 

I noticed that the Fearless S of Sherrel is NOT a tattoo, which sorta blows this part of the theory out of the water.  Clearly the tattoo SUL is NOT the kite that saved the world.  One rumor squashed.  Although I think most serious pilots knew that a few seams were not going to make the critical difference there. 

obi 
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« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2009, 06:42 AM »

When I get to the field and there is little to no wind I pull out the SULs and still Trick,granted no rollups, and multi lazies and such but axles, fades,slides,no help pinwheels,360s,540s,900s,pinned in the air stalls,snap stalls etc.

If you have never flown a full sized 7 or 8' 3.4, 3.7 ounce true SUL kite and learned to perfect the tricks these kites are capable of I would say your missing out on a really cool facet of kite flying!

We are not only flying circles here folks!

ps winds are sweet and I am headed to the field to fly my Akuji Comp and Widow Maker today.
Rick

Rick




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« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2009, 06:48 AM »

Discussions of "how low can you go?" with sport kites always seem to gravitate around two points of tension/contradiction:

(1) On the one hand, we seem to want some type of "real information" (as obi puts it) about low wind capabilities of kites, but then this desire for "real information" crashes against the unquantifiable subjective evaluations of a kite's trick worthiness at low winds. We could, I think, come up with a test that would give us some "real information" about whether Kite A or Kite B can fly in lower wind, but when you add the question "But can it do the tricks I want it to?", you have moved into a realm that is at odds with the desire for some type of actual objective information.

(2) The second tension is one having to do with design: To keep a kite aloft requires that you keep some air pressure (through wind and/or pilot movement) in the sail, whereas most tricks require the trick to stall (i.e. removing air pressure from sail). So, from a design perspective, a designer of a SUL kite is really faced with a very complex problem. In terms of my own kite bag, I've generally found that it is the kites that have a more limited repertoire of flat spin tricks which tend to fare better in low wind conditions than some of the more radical and "rotationally friendly" trick kites. That said, I'd love to try out the Ghost, and Will Sturdy has been designing some low-wind kites which are admirable both from their trickability and their low wind capabilities.
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« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2009, 07:05 AM »


Actually one way I try to do to assess the flyability + trickability of an SUL in very low wind conditions is what I like to call the "3 pump" approach. Middle of window, pump the kite once and walk back to maintain forward drive and pressure, repeat 2 more times. 2 pumps would be better though...

If I can reach the top of the window without too much effort in this way theoretically I should be able to regain the same amount of ground by flying down when walking forward. As long as you are willing to move a little you should be able to fly almost the potential full window and squeeze in some tricks for a modern day pitchy SUL. JL's in these kind of wind need back pedalling though.

Another interesting thing I seemed to observe is that backspins can be a ground gainer. In light wind, continuous backspins will for some reason still allow you to gain a bit of ground. If the kite doesn't fall in elevation too much when backspinning and backspin cascades are a doodle, you can potentially gain a lot of ground without twisting your lines this way.

Cometes, insanes etc on the other hand are definite "ground losers" in light wind, back peddling furiously would be needed.

-Darryl
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« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2009, 10:05 AM »

Clearly the tattoo SUL is NOT the kite that saved the world.  One rumor squashed.  Although I think most serious pilots knew that a few seams were not going to make the critical difference there. 

Not sure about that!  Smiley  The Fearless SUL is (for me) by far the best low wind trickster that I've ever flown. 

It would be interesting to see how it flys compared to the ghost, but I can't imagine it getting any better, maybe just different.  I can tell from the vids I've seen that they both like a deep turtle, multi-lazys, risers, and rollups.

The FL SUL can (very easily) do both backspins and multi-lazys in zero wind and maintain and gain altitude.  So, in the worse case wind conditions, you've always got that. 

I used to fly indoor kites outside when it got that low, but I no longer bother - the FL SUL is just much more fun in that same wind.

Of course, try before you buy, but when you do, I'm sure that you will!  Smiley

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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2009, 11:19 AM »


Modern SUL kites, that I've flown, tend to have more mass, then kites of the past such as the Vapor or the Pro Dancer SUL. After Team Cutting Edge got their Quantum Pro SUL's, somebody asked Jerry Cannon, his thoughts. Jerry said that the QPro SUL needed, a strong 2mph to be able to fly. When the winds were lighter, the team flew Vapors.

Jay

Jay,
TCE never flew the Vapors in competition..............they flew a couple demos and then decided to never do it again, as they were not 'Team' kites. The Pro Suls are
not super tricky (easily) and they get their forward drive by setting the tow points very high, negating the pitchy tricks completely.

Jim
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