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Can you get more powerfull with your LEI?

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Mr Jo Macdonald
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Postby Mr Jo Macdonald » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:12 pm

Henry's observations on the fact that the leading edge of a LEI creates turbulence got me thinking, (dangerous pastime).
Has anyone tried changing the shape of the leading edge?
In windsurfing a wave sail is a lot less powerfull than a racing sail with cambers because the second is more of a permanent aerodynamic wing shape.
So instead of a round sausage leading edge wouldn't an oval leading edge or a leading edge that tapered towards the trailing edge of the kite create less turbulence and more power, or am I just talkin shite again?

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Postby Hernan » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:37 pm

In fact both things have been tried. (JOJO have a semidoublesurface LEI. I also read about a company making a multitube LE for getting the oval shape. This was 2 years ago and I never saw the COM product.
I think (not so dangerous) that kites are slow flying devices so the round LE dont bother so much. As the wind gets stronger the kites gets smaller and the LE too.
In windsurfing, cambered sails are more rigid and have more TOP end. Not nesessary good low end. IN fact, a sail or kite for low end power needs deep profile, good for low end power but draggier ar higher speeds.
What do you have seeing at the windsurfing sail evolution? First, especialization (wave, freestyle, race), in the race aspect of the sport you find very big and superstable sails with huge wind range, the efficient profile makes this sails perform well at high wind and board speeds.
Perhaps kites are going two ways: lower aspect with good low end for the average rider and super rigid high aspect kites to be used at high wind speeds for the kite size. These will be the super hang time competition kites. Today we have both categories in some way. I think the gap will going to be wider, you will have too chose between a "freestyle kite" or a "hangtime kite" (superstable, high AR, Big, EXPENSIVE, light, fragile, not for me kite).


Postby Guest » Fri Sep 06, 2002 2:04 pm

Don Montague experimented with creating a oval LE. Aerodynamically it's much better but it is also much weaker. The round shape withstands much more pressure.

Double skin kites has also been tried, where a second skin starts at the bottome of the le and follows the struts to create the optimal wing shape. This does work and might be seen in the future but also there it needs a lot of work to come up with a solution to make it stronger.

So far the foil kites are the ones with the best aerodynamic shape.



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