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Author Topic: And yet another project!  (Read 745 times)
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Location: Seattle, WA

« on: June 18, 2013, 08:36 PM »

I'll preface this story with a little background... before the close of the Aerostar kite cave, I sought out and acquired a Sano SSL... which I found here on the forum for a generous price.  That being said, I have never been fond of the color scheme of the kite I acquired.  The point of finding it was really to appreciate the design, quality/construction and adaptable nature of the Sano (does it get any better than shape shifter standoffs?).  Of course the Sano SSL I obtained has all of these traits, but I admit without hesitation that it has been traded around and has appeared in the "ugly kite" contest... pictured here one row down, second from the left (yellow, red, and green in its glory) Picture linked from Master Chilise's original thread.

It was always my hope to eventually have a custom SSL+ made in my choice of colors.  As I have been flying my current Sano quite a bit recently, I have recently been mourning the close of the kite cave and along with it the opportunity to get my personal choice of colors.  C'est la vie.

Then a couple of weeks ago, as chance may have it, I received a surprise email from Paul Shirey (who is alive and well).  The contents of this email was an opportunity for me to obtain the remaining stock of carbon that he had left from his kite cave... as I understand it the last of the Aerostar spar supply.  What I will say is that he provided this opportunity and the generosity he has expressed throughout the interaction has left me stunned.  As I was pleased to be acquiring some high end spars for a "you couldn't beat this in a thousand years" price, I took a chance and expressed my desire to have a custom Sano SSL+ and with a prompt reply, Paul stated that he would clean up and send the CAD files for the Sano to my email.  A day or so later, along with confirmation of spars being shipped, was a file in my email box that amazed me.  Not just any CAD files for a kite.  Detailed layouts for panels, Airbrake design, Applique Templates and color template layouts.  (And before the messages come flooding in, I will state right now that I consider this a tremendous gift and in no way am I willing to (or have permission) to share these plans. Paul has however stated that he wouldn't mind if I shared the progress of this build with the kiting community, as I have for other projects in the past (and currently for that matter!).  So, without further wait, here is the color scheme I have chosen for my personal Sano SSL+.  Also note, that in order to preserve the attention to detail and authenticity of the design, I will be building this kite as close to original spec as possible.  Right down to the stitch dimensions, fabric layers, bridle materials, shrink wrap connector stops, triangle standoff reinforcement... and ironically the build will be completed with spars and leading edge material that I acquired from Paul in the first place (oh, did I mention I've been hoarding a small stash of mylar covered taffeta/dacron for the leading edges?).  If you can't tell, I have a huge grin on my face. 

« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 08:38 PM by sugarbaker » Logged
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Location: Las Vegas, NV

« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 08:46 PM »

Paul Shirey is the most meticulous kite builder I know of.

His attention to detail in all aspects of the build is/was 2nd to none.

You have been given a gift (and earned it).

That's a very dark color scheme for such a light kite.
But then, it is to be your kite.

Looking forward to your build. You may want to send progress
shots to Paul for his blessing/suggestions.

Paul always had a trick or two in his builds we mere mortals could
never dream of.

I can see that grin on your face all the way from Las Vegas.  Grin

John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 09:45 PM »

I miss making trips to the cave. Paul's build percision is awesome and I saw him do amazing things flying kites.
Paul if you read this drop me an email or call, would love to catchup.
Can't wait to see the pics of the build!

Sine Metu!
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Location: Seattle, WA

« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 09:57 PM »

I know it is quite dark, but I have an affinity to black, grey, purple... And frankly I have K. McNeill to blame for that.  I would say that the majority of my favorite builds have had a darker complexion. (There are always exceptions though). 

I will absolutely keep Paul informed on progress... and I'm happy to say he has already approved of my color choice. 

Also, I'm in complete agreement when discussing how meticulous he is with his kite building.  The plans themselves leave no question unanswered.  My ability to replicate the level of detail is already hindered by the fact that I will be cutting my own templates... Opposed to Paul who had them cut on a water jet based on the original CAD files.  That being said, I will employee all the technique I have developed and the care required to do the kite justice.  (At least I hope!)

Stay tuned!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 10:16 PM by sugarbaker » Logged
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Location: Barendrecht, Nederland

« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 07:50 AM »

I have seen alot of threads on these kites. Few videos.

Build quality is top. Supposedly they fly.

Certainly far from my cup of tea kite-wise as far as I can tell. IMHO waaaaay too old school for my tastes.

I guess the shape shifting has limited real practical value?

If it becomes a different kite when you shift the is a change in wind range considered valid?

You could just say it is "two mediocre old school (albeit precisely built) kites in one".

Congrats on getting the secret plans.

If you had gotten the Machine plans, agents would already be on their way.


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 08:26 AM »

Being old school puts it right up my alley!  My repertoire of tricks is limited, and I'm drawn more to precision/clarity of inputs than some of the fast tricking kites.  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my transformer, fearless, hydra, and so on... But  have equal affinity to my muse, jinx, mongoose, and b'zar, and especially my Sixth Sense which is quite capable of the old school tricks I know (actually improving my ability due to the enjoyment factor).  The sano can do everything I know and does it better than many of my other kite, but I understand if not everyone is drawn to it.

With the shape shifters, I played around with the setting when I first got the kite, but really don't change them now that I found the spot I like... Even with wind differences. 

I've never flown, or even been in the presence of a Machine.  That being said, if plans stumbled into my lap I wouldn't be upset.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 06:02 PM by sugarbaker » Logged
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Location: Northern Indiana

« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2013, 04:56 PM »

Good show on acquiring the Sano plans Sugarbaker and the SSL+ will make a nice addition to your UL.  The Sano and Exile are my two favorite kites and I had the good fortune of building a Sano "kit" sail from Paul. It was framed as an SSL+ as well with P100/3pt frame.

I agree that the SS variable standoffs in addition to the bridle are very useful in tuning a kite for conditions.  Like you, once the bridle and standoffs are adjusted for the sweet spot wind range, they are seldom moved from there.

There are several sail/frame combinations possible each with its own characteristics and wind sweet spot:

ZeroAir SUL@6.0 oz, 2PT SSZ@6.8 oz, P90/3pt SSL@8.0 oz, P100/3PT SSL+@9.0 oz, P200/5pt SS@9.8 oz, and a variable vent that tips the scale at 11.2 oz and flies like a heavy standard with the vents closed.

As far as being trick capable, the Sano is most limited by the pilot  Wink  I do agree some higher aspect ratio designs roll up faster than the Sano but do not handle inland winds as well as the Sano.  The Sano also has a tighter spin radius than most N* type designs.

The unsolicited opinions of a non expert with no Sano experience are worth less than the price paid.

Have fun!

Steve in Indiana
My kites:
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