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I’ll get by with a little help from my friends


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@nigel, @Chook, @igeighty, @AdrianB plus you other stunt kite experts!  I recently took delivery of a Revolution Supersonic from Adrian.  It looks a really great kite in excellent condition. I’ve been flying various power kites now for over 25 years but this is my first stunt kite. Today I took it to my local oval for a trial flight. As per usual in Canberra, winds were gusty and not consistent but blowing probably between 5 and 12 knots.

I set up the kite but could only manage to launch it a few meters into the air before it either flopped forward floating to the ground or I managed to control it left or right in the wind window but could not turn it and it floated to the ground again. I seemed to have no positive control.  Despite google, I’m still not sure which side of the kite the vertical bars should be? I had them on the front of the kite. To be absolutely sure, I consider that this is the side facing me on launch. I changed them to the back of the kite and it seemed a little better but still no real control. Bridle is in good condition and lines are all the same length.  Is it my skill level, the wrong set up or just inconsistent wind? Appreciate any advice. Cheers to all.

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Gday Mate,

The vertical spars should be on the rear of the kite. a steady wind is much easier to learn.

you will find that you will need to be quite gentle on the control, with much smaller movement than a foil.

The rev responds best to small precise movements, and that will come with practice. I hope we can get to have a fly again soon.

Always keep it in the car, they do make a great carpark kite.

 

stick with it, :)

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Yes, the front of the kite has the logo printing on the left-hand side, and the internet tells me that the verticals go on the rear. To make that work, you'll need to twist the fittings up and over the leading edge, which seems a bit awkward, but apparently that's by design. You'll also notice that when the verticals are on the rear, the bridle extends out from the attachment points more clearly.

Re: the flying side of things, my experience with Revs in general is limited to a few 20 minute sessions over the years. Two thoughts though -- the Supersonic series is made for high winds, so try and get out in a stiff breeze, smoother the better because it's a sensitive kite. And second, as per all Revs and derivatives, push/pull hand motions that you'd typically use to fly a stunt kite -- and which work on a lot of power kites too -- don't really work on a Rev. Instead, keep the handles relatively stationary in the forward/backward directions, and instead steer turn by tilting and twisting the handles. Tilt together, and twist in opposing directions.

Other than that -- there's the Revolution forums (https://www.revkites.net/forum/), Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/revkites/), etc.

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The Shockwave and Supersonic kites are a lot more sensitive than the traditional Revs.  They react very quickly to small handle movements.  And because of the curl along the leading edge, they tend to glide forward by themselves.  Revolution claim this design feature was to allow you to launch the kite when it was lying face down on the ground.  You can just tug on the upper lines and the kite will catch the wind and flip to the upright, forward flight position.

If the handles that you use have "leaders" with multiple knots for line length adjustment, try shortening the lower lines (or lengthening the top lines) so that you have more control over the forward speed of the kite.  If the lower lines are too long, it takes a lot of wrist movement before the brake lines start coming into effect.  On a kite as sensitive as this, that can lead to a lot of over-correction. (Sort of like trying to straighten a sliding car on an icy road)

Hope this helps.  If not, keep asking questions 🙂

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Thanks @KaoS.  That gliding forward you mentioned is exactly what appeared to happen after I had launched it about 4m straight up. I could not turn the kite and it floated forward. There are not multiple knots on my leader lines but I’ll look at the possibility of adding some to adjust break line length.  Will try again when we get a stronger wind here. Thanks for the advice. I’ll get back to you all after my next flight. Cheers

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I've had a Rev for a few years. I reckon a coast trip would be the way to go. That constant sea breeze is going to make it much easier to learn. If you can get an 8-12 knot seabreeze that would be ideal. I don't use my Rev inland, for static flying I prefer a small quad line foil kite for the gusty conditions - I've got a 1.2m ozone.

For Canberra you might be OK in afternoon easterly - good time of year for those. I'd take a second person to help with relaunch if persisting in Canberra. If you break a spar Kitepower in Sydney had spares last time I needed one. Hard nose down landings when learning can crack them. As some of the others have said soft hands when flying are the way to go. You'll be flying it pretty much with just smokers fingers. 

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Think I've got one... or maybe a Shockwave, can't remember. They look similar...?

Harder to fly than the Rev 1.5 I've got, really needs some skill and decent wind. If it's your first Rev then ... good luck :D

As has been said, you don't fly them like two-line stunt kites, or even a 4-line power kite. You want to balance front and rear line tension, a bit of tension on the rear to actually make it fly. You can't just dump the rears like a power kite.

I can't hear what this guy is saying, but watch his hands...

 

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Thanks for everybody’s advice. Second attempt today on an oval in Canberra. Wind about 10 knots and sadly still a bit gusty but managed to launch, take straight up and land again. Still putting too much control in thinking it’s a power kite but managed to move it around a bit in the wind window. More practice required!

 

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What length are the handles?  Rev used to supply 11" long handles with all their kites.  Nowadays they supply 13" handles and the extra length makes a huge difference in kite control.

Some people even go as far as using 15" handles, but most people find the 13" ones give the best control - MUCH better than 11"

 

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