What do you think about this kite with it's horizontal additional wing between leading edge ?
WindWing - Will Harper
I just spoke with Will Harper, sales manager of WINDWING about their new
variable area kite, the D-MOD.Ã‚Â The prototype kite was on display at Surf
Expo last weekend (see below).
http://groups.msn.com/flkitesurfer/surf ... PhotoID=30
http://groups.msn.com/flkitesurfer/surf ... PhotoID=31
The D-MOD is a very recent innovation in kite design for kiteboarding
applications.Ã‚Â Will told me that the kite went from concept to prototype in
only TWO WEEKS!Ã‚Â The patent for this kite is pending.Ã‚Â The kite appears to
be a conventional four line inflatable kite with the addition of a
supplemental lifting section that is secured by zippers and Velcro beneath
the arc of the kite.Ã‚Â This panel significantly increases the lifting area to
facilitate low end performance.Ã‚Â With the panel removed, I understand that
it flies just like a conventional four line leading edge inflatable (LEI)
The D-MOD was designed by Bill Hanson who has extensive foil design and
production experience.Ã‚Â Bill has designed several foil kites for Slingshot
and has designed the snow and buggy traction and trainer kites currently
being sold by WINDWING.Ã‚Â I understand that the buggy kites have been very
well received.Ã‚Â WINDWING has been producing an unusual lifting wing for
skiing/snowboarding and windsurfing sails for years.
The prototype D-MOD kite shown at Surf Expo has a convertible flat area of
18 m to 12 m with projected areas of 14 m and 8 m respectively.Ã‚Â Two other
as of yet undisclosed sizes are contemplated for production as soon as March
2003.Ã‚Â The prototype has been flown on land but not over water as of yet.Ã‚Â I
understand that it launched readily and flew well. Further trials and tuning
are underway including selecting an appropriate angle of attack or trim
angle for the removable panel.
Aside from being the first variable area kiteboarding kite that I have
encountered it has another unusual feature.Ã‚Â The kite has a "beak" at the
leading edge that facilitates rolling from one side to the other when the
kite falls on the water.Ã‚Â Add to that the transverse stiffing provided by
the removable panel and the D-MOD and they believe that it should re-launch
far easier than other LEI kites on the market today.Ã‚Â The kite is intended
to be used by intermediate to advanced kiteboarders as opposed to new
riders.Ã‚Â Will felt that with the panel removed the kite should perform just
like a regular LEI kite.
Will indicated that they kite is to be flown with a conventional four line
bar with chicken loop.Ã‚Â I asked him about how the kite would be depowered
with a kite leash.Ã‚Â If the panel remains in place the kite will not fully
depower.Ã‚Â He indicated that if the kite is flown off of one line only, it
will not fly and will fall to the water.Ã‚Â They are still evaluating if the
kite will present excessive residual area for wind loading once the
depowering leash has been used.
Will passed on some observations about the reaction of some of the other
kite manufacturers.Ã‚Â He said that Naish representatives were amused by the
design.Ã‚Â He reported that Flexifoil was interested in the concept and asked
a number of questions.Ã‚Â Will said the Bruno Legaignoux of Takoon, at the
next booth, was very interested in the kite and took extensive notes and
sketched the kite on graph paper.Ã‚Â I expect to read about more developments
regarding the D-MOD kite in the future.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â For additional information
regarding WINDWING products you can contact Will Harper at
Finally, I asked Will about the recent major transitions in the North
American distribution system for Wipika.Ã‚Â Principals of WindMall are now
responsible for the distribution of Wipika and WINDWING products in that
territory.Ã‚Â He said that things have been going very well although it
happened quite recently.
Will said that during the first day of Surf Expo the reactions were mixed
and uncertain.Ã‚Â By the second day however confidence in the new distributor
was building and they acquired a number of new dealers. Will was quite
pleased with the experience at this Surf Expo.