Power Kite Forum

My next nasa wing

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ssayre - 4-10-2016 at 07:14 AM

Randy, I finally finished making another set of handles. Today is looking like a randy 1.5 single keel day with gusts in the 40's. I'm headed out now. Hopefully conditions are what they say. It's been awhile since I've flown that one.

Randy - 4-20-2016 at 03:55 PM

Sean - did that big wind day pan out? Have been out at OBX and looking forward to JIBE. Used a 1.3 M at OBX with my longboard - it was epic windy.

Finished a ripstop version of the Maeko. Light winds but it flies great. What's amazing is how it can "hover" then take off just like that. Wind window does seem better than a my 1.2 M NPW 9b, but the NPW's do pull quite a bit better. Still, a bigger version would probably be pretty powerful.

soliver - 4-20-2016 at 06:41 PM

Randy that is REALLY cool... Can't wait to see it at JIBE!.. Gimme a test run please :D

Randy - 4-21-2016 at 09:37 AM

For sure Spencer - can't wait till it gets started.

Randy - 7-26-2016 at 02:36 PM

I finally finished this video showing the development process of the kite I worked on with Bill R. of 2e5.com over the fall and winter. The goal was to design a single skin kite without using any bridles or spars that would be fairly simple to build and have some usefulness for traction purposes. Sorry if this is too long, but it was a long project - and there is not much wind this time of year so probably most of us have some time on our hands that would be better spent on kite sports.

ssayre - 7-26-2016 at 04:40 PM

That's fantastic Randy! Looks like a great kite and good on a bar as well. Really looking forward to flying it next time your up my way.

Randy - 7-27-2016 at 10:17 AM

Thanks Sean. I'll bring the kites next time I'm in Indy - would love to get together again. Maybe over the Holidays.

Randy - 8-21-2016 at 06:00 PM

Well - nothing like a NPW, but what the heck, I'll post this anyway - my first inflatable. Finally got it to fly today. This is a sort of interesting design - it has an airfoil shape, but doesn't use ribs - rather internal lines are used to put a shape into it. Couldn't get it to fly until I used a "pony tail." It does have a lot of pull for its size (1.5m) I am thinking of somehow incorporating the internal line concept into a 2 line foil kite. As usual - since I was not too sure if this thing would ever fly I used the cheap blue tarp construction. Perhaps a proper yellow one next? (PS - couldn't resist poking a little fun at my friend trying to fly a LEI.)

Randy - 9-7-2016 at 09:39 AM

Well, another "Not a NASA" but it is my first foil kite, and this seems like as good of a place as any to post it. (Perhaps foils and other kites should have their own thread - I'll leave that up to others.)

This is a called a Sceptre 1.8, a fairly simple design. The 1.8 M refers to the wingspan in meters. Its area is only .9 Sq. M. It is not a very high performing kite based on my initial flights and comments from another builder. I wanted to take a crack at foils and this seemed like the easiest place to start. I haven't had a lot of wind to fly it in, but it does seem to fly pretty well in gusts. I may change to a cross bridle to see if I can make the canopy a bit more rigid in turns. Building foil this small is a bit of a sewing challenge because the profiles get pretty small. There is a plan for a bigger version (2.0 Sq. M) but not sure if I will build it. The use of black fabric for the ribs may be a bit odd, but I was running out of material.

ssayre - 9-7-2016 at 02:34 PM

Great work Randy. I really enjoy following your kite making projects. This is 2 line? I'd like to see it on longer lines. That might smooth out things a bit.

Just noticed the pac man as well. It has an appealing shape to it. It gives you the opportunity to sew up some cool tails now.

Randy - 9-7-2016 at 02:54 PM

Thanks Sean. The Sceptre is a 2 line. I usually use short lines for taking video so it shows up better, but I do plan to use longer lines. The kite is actually pretty stable. When I was shooting the close ups I just put the straps around the stake I had in the ground and it held still enough to get some closeups. I will say though that foils are pretty tough to build as compared to an NPW.

The Pacman was made from tarp since I really wasn't too sure if the thing would fly at all, or that I could build it successfully. It is a pretty strange build because it uses lines instead ribs inside the kite to put a foil shape into it. I like that idea and may try making my own design with that. Once I got the right tail on it, and had some wind it actually flew pretty well. That tail was just thrown together since other tails I had didn't work (including a 30 foot long tube tail.) I liked the way the mouth seems to open and close like the real Pacman. I might build a proper yellow version one of these days. I plan to change the tail to look like a bunch of dots (maybe balls made of foam or something.)

Randy - 11-2-2016 at 11:55 AM

After posting a few "not a NASA" it was about time for me to post a real one. Here is my latest (and biggest ever) 4.2 M NPW-5P. I was fairly surprised I actually got to fly today with almost no wind. I made it with light weight texlon fabric. Note - no power lines were actually touched in the making of this photo.

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Randy - 11-2-2016 at 12:11 PM

While I am at it, here are a few photos from yesterday at my favorite lakeside parking lot. This was my 3.2 NPW.

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Windstruck - 11-2-2016 at 04:35 PM


ssayre - 11-2-2016 at 05:03 PM

Hell yeah randy. Those look super cool. Nice work. Thanks for the nudge. I need to get a i out there. We have had spectacular wind that I haven't been utilizing lately.

skimtwashington - 11-2-2016 at 06:10 PM

good job and nice colors on kite.

Randy - 11-3-2016 at 04:07 AM

Thanks guys!

Randy - 11-3-2016 at 03:14 PM

A bit more wind today. Not a lot but enough to get some runs in for an hour or so.

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Randy - 11-26-2016 at 07:10 PM

My latest - a Single Keel NPW, but it has two ram air scoops on leading edge to prevent nose collapse. I feel like it flies better than the traditional SK, and approaches some of the twin keel models. Time will tell how it does. It looks like a nasty bug......2.3 Sq. meter - has a lot of pull and flies very nicely. I'll probably try it with my ATB next.

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Randy - 1-8-2017 at 06:28 PM

And now for something a bit different. Not a NASA, but things have been slow around here anyway. My current project - a 2.0 M closed cell foil. Wingspan is 2.99 M. Some 84 panels, ribs, etc, about 60 bridles, but I lost count. Flies well, but may need a little more tuning. Won't get to see how it will do on the water for a few months now. Already thinking of building a bigger model.

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kitemaker4 - 12-15-2017 at 10:43 AM

It has been a while but I made up an npw9 3.5 with lines and handles last week. Here is a picture of the kite.

IMGP1221 by kitemaker42002, on Flickr

Susan (npw goddess)

Randy - 12-15-2017 at 12:15 PM

Good to see you are back! Nice colors.

Here is my latest project - 3.0 M gkite prototype plan I modified. It is a 7 cell single skin foil. Rather than making a wrap around leading edge (akin to a closed cell foil) I left the leading edge open. This makes the sewing far easier, and Peter Lynn seemed to suggest in his newsletter a while ago, the wrap around may not add all that much performance. It seems to fly quite well, with minimal bridle adjustments. Based on today's small but windy sample, it flies as well or better than my best NPW's. Once all the templates are made it is really easier to build than a NPW. Still might do some more bridle tweaking. Here is a photo prior to installing the bridles. I'm working on a video.


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Randy - 12-15-2017 at 04:42 PM

Here's my videos.

kitemaker4 - 12-27-2017 at 04:50 PM

I am working on a depower nasa wing. I am about to start to bridle the kite. Not sure when I will be able to fly it with the weather being so bad. I will keep everyone informed on my progress.

Susan (npw goddess)

Randy - 12-27-2017 at 08:21 PM

That would be great. Anxious to see what you have.

kitemaker4 - 12-28-2017 at 08:22 AM

I just saw the extended weather report. I thought that it was cold now. Next week even colder. It looks like it will be several weeks before I can take the kite out to check out how it flies.

Susan (npw goddess)

Randy - 1-8-2018 at 04:39 PM

I built another 3.0 m g-kite, but this time using 3/4 oz fabric (instead of Dollar Tree Prototarp). Certainly helps if get flying in less wind. Otherwise seems about the same. Have some tweaking to do. This video was yesterday in some pretty light winds. I like this design - trying to figure out what to do next, though I'm probably going to try it with my buggy before deciding. It requires a sensitive touch on the brake lines, so I might try a z-bridle.

soliver - 1-8-2018 at 05:08 PM

Very cool Randy... looks like it flies like any other foil yea?

Randy - 1-8-2018 at 05:20 PM

Not as fast as most foils, but has a lot of pull and I think a pretty good window. We'll see how it works with a buggy soon I hope.

Randy - 1-29-2018 at 06:50 AM

My latest g-kite project. Full wrap-around LE this time. I'm wanting to see if the wrap-around is worth the extra effort (and it does make it all more complicated, esp. the plastic line reinforcements in the LE.)

Sewing done - onto bridling.

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Ed Cline - 1-29-2018 at 07:46 AM

That's a beauty Randy, funny I was fixing my 4m last night ( I hit a parked tractor trailor ) and wondered if stiffeners in the LE would widen the window any? Now I'm going to find out. Thanks in advance for the review. Ps it really was just a small tractor trailer.
Ugh, grease. :embarrased:

Randy - 1-29-2018 at 08:50 AM

Thanks Ed. Ian (BigE123) used to swear by nose stiffeners made with lawn trimmer line in his NPWs which is what I used this time. He also used trimmer line I think in his single skin foils as well.

Randy - 1-30-2018 at 09:01 AM

It flew "right out of the box", though I tweaked the bridles a bit which seemed to help the window a lot. Flew in very light wind initially so that's good. It flies quite differently from the earlier version (w/o the full leading edge.) This one flies much like a foil kite - brake pressure not needed, while the other versions required constant brake pressure like an NPW. I flew it briefly on a 2 line bar (something I could never get right on the other versions.) So it is promising so far. Her are a few pics - video will be forthcoming. Really want to see how these do with my buggy.

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Randy - 2-3-2018 at 03:41 PM

Got my chance to use the g-kite yesterday with my buggy. Works well on a bar. I added a 3rd line for safety and reverse launch. Ground was pretty wet yesterday so I did a bit of sliding around.....

Randy - 2-13-2018 at 03:09 PM

My sewing machine has been busy - esp. because there has been a lot of rain lately and not that much wind. So I modified the g-kite design again. This time I kept the same panel shapes but replaced the 6 full ribs with 13 partial ribs. My reasoning was that on the g-kite, it appeared to lose its window as the wind increased because the leading edge flattened out. However, it seemed also to me that the panels already had a continuation of the airfoil shape from the partial rib to the trailing edge built in so, just like in an NPW - the bridles could provide shaping. (Plus, I saw other kites done that way.) The bridles ended up (after accounting for the amount the rib was providing) the same, except I replaced the 2 brake lines with a single line brake for bar flying. Unlike the original g-kite plan, which required no brake pressure, this version must have constant brake pressure, which the 3rd line brake/safety provides.

This one flew pretty much right out of the box. I have some tweaks to do, mainly I was guessing at the brake lines so I need to get those adjusted a little.

I was pleasantly surprised that it seems to fly better than the g-kite in terms of speed and window size. Though it it possible the wind changed when I went to the g-kite. I figured my usual buggy spot was going to be way too muddy so I went to my lake spot and landboarding. Rode for about an hour and a half so I ended up pretty happy today.

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jeffnyc - 2-13-2018 at 03:50 PM

Cool Randy! Did you modify the ribs on an existing kite, or did you sew a whole new one?

Randy - 2-13-2018 at 04:13 PM

Thanks. I sewed a whole new one. My thought was that sewing would be a lot easier with only the partial ribs, though the leading edge is by far the hardest part of the sewing and I added 7 more ribs. On the other hand, it takes a long time to prepare the full ribs - they have to be hemmed and you have 2 or 3 bridle attachments to sew into place. Of course they also have to be sewn into the wing. So ultimately, I think this kite is probably easier to build.

kitemaker4 - 3-23-2018 at 07:15 PM

My latest kite. It is a npw9 7.6 meter in blue and yellow. Here is a picture.

IMGP1286 by kitemaker42002, on Flickr

Susan (npw goddess)

Randy - 3-23-2018 at 07:33 PM

Beautiful work as always! How is the depower NPW coming?

kitemaker4 - 3-23-2018 at 07:49 PM

Slow. I need to finish it. Not much left to do on it.

Susan (npw goddess)

Randy - 2-6-2019 at 08:06 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Randy  
I built another 3.0 m g-kite, but this time using 3/4 oz fabric (instead of Dollar Tree Prototarp). Certainly helps if get flying in less wind. Otherwise seems about the same. Have some tweaking to do. This video was yesterday in some pretty light winds. I like this design - trying to figure out what to do next, though I'm probably going to try it with my buggy before deciding. It requires a sensitive touch on the brake lines, so I might try a z-bridle.

If anyone remembers this kite, I have modified it. It was a basic single skin, but I didn't do a wrap around leading edge. It flew well enough but simply wasn't good enough to use with my buggy - a bit too twitchy, and not enough window. I added the wrap around leading edge in some subsequent projects and they flew better. Lately, I've been interested in seeing how spars improve kite performance so I added a spar to the leading edge of this g-kite. It seems to fly much better and despite the added weight of the spar it seems this kite takes very little wind to fly. The LE will still collapse but not nearly as often as it did before. Here are some pictures from today. I shot some video but it was too cloudy to see it that well. So I'll post that later. I think the only thing left is to try it with the buggy.

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Randy - 2-6-2019 at 08:12 PM

Here is what it looked like before the spar. You can see how the spar eliminates the bulge between the ribs, giving a smoother shape (and I presume less drag and more lift.)

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