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Leaf blower to inflate kite

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powerpersonified
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Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby powerpersonified » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:19 pm

I've been using a leaf blower to winterize some plumbing and got to thinking about inflating kites with the thing. You can get an 18volt makita for $100 and it pushes some serious air. It would be pretty easy to fab up with a rubber coupling, reducer and some clamps. It maybe a silly idea, bt if it works.... the only thing I don't know is if it can push enough pressure. Anybody tried it?

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davesails7
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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby davesails7 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:43 pm

Haha I love it! You'll definitely get some looks at the kite beach.

I use a battery powered coleman air matress inflaor, but they don't last all that long in the sandy environment. It doesn't get the kite all the way inflated, but it gets you 90% of the way there. You just have to hand pump a few times and you're good to go.

powerpersonified
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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby powerpersonified » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:02 pm

I really think thing might get it up to 9psi. You'd be going from 3" outlet to a little pump hose. I think that would up the presure. It ain't even that big either

powerpersonified
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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby powerpersonified » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:07 pm

Before someone acuses me of pimping makita products you should know I am not affiliated with them in any way. I just really likethier equipment

http://m.grainger.com/search/ProductSea ... item=5WFV2

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stringy
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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby stringy » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:48 pm

I have seen this guy bring his gas powered leaf blower to the beach to put air in his battens of his PL kite. wind is so light and wind shadowed at the launch area that is the only way he can fill it before launching. dogs do not prefer the sound of the leaf blower BTW.
never thought it would be used for inflating a kite. At first I might think it could damage the bladder with the force going in, but not sure if it would or not. also the fittings would need to be very secure because they will probably want to separate from the pressure built from the blower. good luck

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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby TheRussian » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:51 pm

Interesting, but after using my 75cc 4-stroke leaf blower over the weekend, it's not a thought that had occurred to me!

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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby airsurfer » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:07 am

this topic blows but let us know if it works :)

I still prefer big self inflating kites in the really light stuff.

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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby jimovo » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:45 am

powerpersonified wrote:I really think thing might get it up to 9psi. You'd be going from 3" outlet to a little pump hose. I think that would up the presure. It ain't even that big either
I think you will find that you will struggle to get anywhere near 1 psi... I have looked into using a leaf blower to make a small 1 person 'hover board'. Your average leaf blower would struggle to lift a 200pound person on a 3ft disc in this application. A 3ft disc is ~1018in2 so 200lb/1018in2 gives you
approx 0.2psi (zero point two psi)...

A 3" outlet has a cross sectional area of just over 7in2. Stick your hand over the end and try and block off the flow and estimate the force required to hold your hand in place (in pounds). Divide this force by 7 to get approximate psi. You will find that it is surprisingly easy to do this. Leaf blowers are made to shift a high volume of air at speed. This does not require any great pressure to achieve. Reducing the outlet from 3" to the size of a pump hose does absolutely nothing to increase the pressure achievable by the system - all it does is make it harder for the engine doing the work to move a given volume of air in a given time (i.e. it introduces a restriction to the flow of air).

Sorry, this is never going to be a good idea...

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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby greenmachine » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:54 am

Don't most leaf blowers blow exhaust fumes through the nozzle? Why would you put that into a kite?

I always thought the few minutes of pumping were a nice warm up though...

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davesails7
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Re: Leaf blower to inflate kite

Postby davesails7 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:34 am

greenmachine wrote:Don't most leaf blowers blow exhaust fumes through the nozzle? Why would you put that into a kite?

I always thought the few minutes of pumping were a nice warm up though...
It's battery powered, no fumes.
jimovo wrote: Leaf blowers are made to shift a high volume of air at speed.
I guess it's just a bigger version of the coleman air matress pump. You'll still need to pump up the last bit by hand after the leaf blower gets most of the volume finished off.

There are some surprisingly cheap battery powered leaf blowers available in the $50 range. Don't know how durable they would be at the beach though.


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