Have flown Speed 3's and 4's for quite some time and I just throw them into the air, let the wing tips flap a bit and they sort themselves out no problem. Last year decided to try Sonic FR's for their upwind performance. The 18m was not too bad to launch in light wind but I found the 9 was a bit of a nightmare. Even launching it fully powered with additional human ballast it would sometimes fold the tips and refuse to open up. I then came across a used Speed 5 so decided to give that a go. When I checked the mixer I found that B and C had been shortened by about 2cm presumably increasing the angle of attack and giving the tips more stability. I also changed my launch technique. In a cross wind launch instead of launching the kite once I got it standing up with one wing anchored with sand I kept it in that position for a while until fully inflated then launched. I have not used the 9 since early last year but plan to give it another go using a setting similar to the Speed 5 I bought. I would be interested to know what mixer setting other owners are using on their Sonic FR's to make the launch more user friendly and whether they have any reduction in upwind performance.
Out of interest the last time I used the Sonic FR 9m was in light wind. When I arrived at the beach there was one other kiter launching a 21m Speed 3. It was a good opportunity to check low wind performance. I went out on an old standard Flysurfer Door and the 9m Sonic. In two tacks I was about 50 yards upwind of the other kiter. I was absolutely amazed so went back to the shore to try out my normal twin tip. I could just get going on it but could not make upwind so went back to the door.
If I could launch the Sonic in strong winds without having to have half the beach hanging off me then I would be more inclined to use it.
Last edited by overboard on Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
im not sure what a sonic FM is but i know what a sonic FR is. anyways please don't launch the kite with guys hanging off your harness thst just makes you look like a kook and gives peoole the wrong impression about these kites. Race foils are are awesone kites but you need a little practise to get things right. Practice launching a few times in lighter winds to get the hang of it. they all require your to grab the steering lines during launch to open up the tips. just a few shakes should do it. some preinflation helps also .racekites are not fun to launch at the top of their windrange due to the extreme lift but with good technique its not a problem. try to preinflate the kite alot before you launch in tht case and then launch 45 degrees to the wind. make sure the kite is depowered a little bit so when u letgo of the steering lines during launch the kite dosnt have too much power. i also like to stick my hands in the vents to make sure thyre open before every launch.. persistent tip tuck may be a sign of a bridle problem and will require some tuning.
Last edited by windrider1 on Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I've never heard of anyone tuning their mixer because of how the kite performed during launch and I wouldn't recommend it. I'd only make adjustments to fix in-flight handling characteristics.
With foil kites I've found that launching them from the edge of the wind window on an angle is safest in higher winds. You also need to pre-inflate the kite 80-90% of the way full before you try to launch or else you'll end up with closed off tips stuck in the bridle. Once you've properly pre-inflated, it should just be a matter of tensioning the downwind steering line until the wingtip lifts off the ground. From there, keep the kite vertical at the edge of the wind window with the bar backsheeted until it's fully inflated. Once the kite is g2g, you can send it to 12 o'clock and go riding. I've observed people struggling a lot more when they try to just throw a kite up and hope it will inflate and untangle in the sky overhead...keep it at the edge of the window sheeted in hard until it's ready to fly and things should go much more smoothly.
The first gen Sonic FRs are well known for wing tip collapse especially in the smaller sizes. Shortening BC will greatly help reduce that issue. I've been told you can shorten them both by 2cm. My 11m had this problem but my 18 didn't. The Sonic 2s don't seem to have this issue. At least mine doesn't.
Adventure Logs wrote:The first gen Sonic FRs are well known for wing tip collapse especially in the smaller sizes. Shortening BC will greatly help reduce that issue. I've been told you can shorten them both by 2cm. My 11m had this problem but my 18 didn't. The Sonic 2s don't seem to have this issue. At least mine doesn't.
Just to be clear, you mean in flight when using the kite. His post is asking "how do I tune my mixer to make it easier to launch my kite," which is a VERY different kind of discussion. Shortening B and C will have no impact on whether the kite launches properly.
Mossy 757 wrote:Just to be clear, you mean in flight when using the kite. His post is asking "how do I tune my mixer to make it easier to launch my kite," which is a VERY different kind of discussion. Shortening B and C will have no impact on whether the kite launches properly.
From my experience of prototype-testing with different bridle setups on the same canopy the setup that had the most stable tips also was the one that inflated the fastest with less hassle. Mostly because stable tips have the tendency to open up on their own instead of constant collapsing even when fully inflated.
Thanks for the tips guys. Mossy 757 has described exactly how I launch the Speed 5 kites having tried various methods. I shall look forward to using the Sonic FR a bit more this summer now I am confident that I am using the best launching technique. One of the beaches I fly at is quite narrow and with its customary onshore wind there is not much room for mistakes.
The video on how to launch a Sonic was taken in light winds. Once you get above 20kts it becomes a different ball park.