There are regular kite rigging mistakes such as crossed lines, front to back and side to side that send the kite flying at high speed out of control at launch. There are lots of accidents and a few in the KSI including some very serious ones. Proper preflighting will almost always avoid these problems but we are humans and humans make mistakes. So what to do? Make it harder to make rigging mistakes. Dwight described a line "polarity" system of sorts that is used on North kites.
Tonight, I put together and photographed one possible system. The example shown uses a Wipika Airblast but a similar system could be adapted to most four line inflatable kites. The key is to restrict the ways in which the kite can be rigged up to ideally one way, the correct way. Color coded line systems have been out for a long time unfortunately if a rider is in a hurry or distracted color coding won't work if it isn't noticed or checked properly. The system shown below has never been tested and it should be. Then again the components are in use frequently. So, give it a try, improve on the concept and share your ideas with us.
The leading edge connections are both the same but use heavier line as a memory que to attach "heavier line to heavier line." If the rider detaches the adaptor lines and loops accidently, the whole polarity effort flys into the trash. Going to sleaved and sewn adaptor lines and loops, that in effect would be permanently attached would be more fail safe.
The two leading edge attachments are identical. The reason for this is that it doesn't matter if you mix the two leading edge lines up with one another. It is important to use heavier line, I used 1/8 " nylon to help avoid rigging errors. The rule is to rig heavy line with heavy line. You leave the short section of nylon line permanently attached to your kite line when in storage.
Here are the components of this leading edge connections. They are very simplistic as shown. The loop is secured with a simple overhand knot although a figure eight knot could be a better choice.
The is a view of the left trailing edge assembled. The red pigtail extension is provided with Airblast kites. As Peter noted while I was writing this, these type pigtails may be prone to early failure. I have had some fail myself within 6 months and figured I was tardy with changing all this stuff out not less frequently than every 3 months. An obvious solution is to just fabricate your own out of 1/8 " line or Q Line as described in the next sentence and shown in the last photograph. Thanks Peter! A duplicate could be easily fabricated from a section of line making a loop with a figure eight knot and stopper knots tied at regular intervals. Many kites benefit from having longer trailing edge lines than leading edge lines. You need to understand which approach is better for your kite and prepare your "fixed kite line polarity adaptors" accordingly. Airblasts come standard with the trailing edge pulley. The system shown ignores the presence of the pulleys and the lines could just as easily be attached to the white nylon strap to which the pulley is connected.
Here are the components of the left trailing edge. To aid in making this system more fool proof this approach relies on using substantially different line diameters for leading to trailing edge lines. In this case thinner, Q line is used. Again as Peter noted, Q line can be a bit hard on softer connecting lines, particularly small diameter ones. So you would be well served to make your own pigtail extension as described above.
A view of the left trailing edge line setup.
A view of the components of the trailing edge, left side.
The is a view of two homemade trailing edge pigtail extensions and two factory supplied ones. They are quite easy to make.
So this is one suggested setup. There has to be dozens of other ones possible and many no doubt better. So have at it, make your own and tell us how it works out. One thing is for sure, the longer all of us continue to use the existing color coded systems the more avoidable, serious incidents, accidents and injuries will result. We all still need to carefully preflight out gear. The fixed line polarity concept is only a simplifying aid.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-11-21 19:40 ]</font>
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-11-26 04:24 ]</font>