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Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

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lovethepirk
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Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby lovethepirk » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:51 pm

Haven't blown up my 16m NRG recently due to hydrofoiling, but had two holes blow out near the wingtip. Patched them and yesterday the other wingtip blew out same location. There are old patches from the previous owner there as well.

What is the proper way to tuck the bladder into the wingtip. I like to blow up the bladder a little and let it orient itself, then push the air out, then you have to work hard to get the entire bladder "flush' with the part that is folding back in.

I'm thinking maybe I need to fold over the bladder vs trying to stuff it back in. Whatever I am doing is not working nor did it work for the previous owner. The bladder is a good looking bladder replacement from Airtime and my other replacements from them work fine. I also have never had this issue on my 14m NRG which I've replaced the LE bladder flawlessly, but it was a long time ago. Maybe I got lucky with how I stuffed the wingtips in I guess. Thanks...

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby dylan* » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:28 pm

Curious as well. This is the most common place I get bladder blowouts even on new kites that I haven't messed with the bladder. I fixed one of my kites this week and someone else's kite 2 weeks ago with this same issue.

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby jeromeL » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:33 pm

Whenever i replaced mine I rolled the bladder slack and tucked it in the Velcro pocket at the end. I remember hearing that's the way to do it.
I think when you inflate the rolled bladder slack expands to size but there is still some slack which stays rolled and just doesn't get inflated.
Im guessing if it's tucked in a mess it can tear... just roll it neatly and let it inflate slowly to size.

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby CaptainArgh » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:38 pm

When you reinsert the LE bladder, you should have a good amount of extra bladder material at the tips. Don't roll it. When I've had to get in there for a repair, I fold up the bladder tips like an accordion so it can expand as needed.

If you have to remove the entire bladder for some reason, it'll stretch around the inside wingtip corners (if you have them). And when you inflate the bladder for the first time it'll pull back from the tips of the kite as it fills the void in the corners. Years ago I got a few blow-outs in my Fuel wing tips because I was rolling the end of the bladder instead of an accordion fold (which you loosely stuff back into the wing tips). So, if you have a corner anywhere in your LE, you may want to reach in there and pull it back into the void to make sure there is slack there as well.

But yeah, what's happening is the wing tips have pulled back for some reason. They are expanding to fill the space with a bubble which blows out. Bubble may have been happily filling the void for many years until the thinned material failed on you.

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby dejavu » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:24 am

I had a couple of similar issues. I deducted that it was either the way I inflated the kite or packed it away. When inflating make sure that the bladders fill without creases or folds. Roll the kite right out and slowly fill. When packing away make sure the air is removed from the bladders when rolling/packing up so that you don't have air in tips and when folded up as it puts pressure on the bladder. My thoughts.... Hope this may assist.

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby badgb21 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:49 pm

This:

Couple of other points;
A twist in the bladder, which often occurs near the wing tip, is the classic cause of this (same issue if the bladder is stuffed-in and traps itself and not allowed to fill the LE correctly).
Make sure the bladder is inserted with no twists and secured to the wing tip - usually by the fold to anchor the Velcro. - Some kites have a zip and an anchor loop inside.
This will stop the bladder creeping away from the wing tip in general use - as per dejavu's point.
I mark what I think should be the 'inside' of the bladder with a sharpie and check this is the right way after pulling bladder through - This helps, but not if you've put a 360 deg twist in it! which would be very careless!
The first inflate after install is really important and should be done very carefully, with regular stopping and shaking/gentle manipulation of the LE to ensure the bladder is sitting correctly.
If you feel any kind of void in LE during this first pump, consider stopping as the bladder may over-stretch to fill it. You may need to remove bladder and try again.

Good luck with your repair.
I find doing them when I have plenty of time and someone to feed the bladder in as I pull really helps.

CaptainArgh wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:38 pm
When you reinsert the LE bladder, you should have a good amount of extra bladder material at the tips. Don't roll it. When I've had to get in there for a repair, I fold up the bladder tips like an accordion so it can expand as needed.

If you have to remove the entire bladder for some reason, it'll stretch around the inside wingtip corners (if you have them). And when you inflate the bladder for the first time it'll pull back from the tips of the kite as it fills the void in the corners. Years ago I got a few blow-outs in my Fuel wing tips because I was rolling the end of the bladder instead of an accordion fold (which you loosely stuff back into the wing tips). So, if you have a corner anywhere in your LE, you may want to reach in there and pull it back into the void to make sure there is slack there as well.

But yeah, what's happening is the wing tips have pulled back for some reason. They are expanding to fill the space with a bubble which blows out. Bubble may have been happily filling the void for many years until the thinned material failed on you.

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby edt » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:46 pm

If the bladder has no twists and is attached to the wingtip you are fine. If you allow the end of the bladder to flop around inside you get will get a hole because eventually the bladder won't seat all the way to the end and it will blow out.

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This is the most common reason for wingtip bladder failures. You must make sure that the bladder is attached to the end of the wingtip and not just loose inside the leading edge.

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby jeromeL » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:30 pm

one thing missing which I did is let the bladder stick out on each end and very gently inflate the bladder so it somewhat expend slightly, deflate then do the roll up, fold or Accordion which looks pretty neat solution, the point is that bladder is longer than LE so you need to tuck it in so it expands to size without tearing.
Then I did a bunch of small inflate / deflate iteration.

Then I had nightmare for a while that there was twist in bladder because I could see some small crease and would be afraid it would blow out but after 1 year it didn't break ;)

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Re: Leading Edge Bladder tips blowing out

Postby cglazier » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:37 pm

edt wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:46 pm
You must make sure that the bladder is attached to the end of the wingtip and not just loose inside the leading edge.
Correct.
We see a lot of wing tip bladder blow out failures and it is almost ALWAYS because somebody has failed to reattach the bladder tip properly by folding it in with the fabric at the tip.

:wink: CG


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