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hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

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hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

Postby esteban » Sat May 08, 2010 3:08 am

Has anybody ever tried to build a hybrid kite like this?

leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

It could save some weight and bladders and time pumping

Just an idea

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Re: hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

Postby herculon » Sat May 08, 2010 8:30 am

very nice idea !
like that.
you know the naiboo morphine ? does exactly that. though the leading edge is a aluminium rod, so no need to pump!

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Re: hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

Postby NEkitesurfing » Sat May 08, 2010 2:57 pm

Yeah, I think that this will be the future. Wondering why the kite designers are waiting so long to give it a try. From the aerodynamics point of view it offers a great potential.
I was very impressed how good a flysurfer 19m² kite could work in steady 6knots wind. Couldn't get a north rebel 16m² in the air because of the kites weight.
Compared both kites it was obvious that the flysurfer was significantly lighter than the rebel and for this reason could be started and stayed in the air easily.
My experience is that in the very light wind conditions the ram air kites can collapse when the air flow is disturbed - unsteady winds. A tube kite is performing better when free falling.
So why not combine both advantages primarily for light wind kites to get the most out of both constructions.
For some companies like Ozone, Flexifoil should be easy to construct a hybrid between a ram air and LEI - tube kite because they have the know how to make it. The tube frame can be made much lighter - smaller diameter tubes.
Especially the overall performance in light winds can be improved. This would be very interesting for all the kite racers.
Not an easy task to make a ram air kite without any experience in this technology. Even the design programs are different. Maybe this is the reason why we haven't seen anything like that from one of the major kite boarding (tube)kite companies where many designers don't have an engineering back ground. For this more complex construction a different approach is necessary. I see here an advantage for companies like Ozone, Flexifoil and Flysurfer.

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Re: hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

Postby abel » Sat May 08, 2010 9:04 pm

I'd love to see innovations.
The question mark (for me) is that the foil canopy encloses a lot of air.
I wonder if the weight difference is worth it (single canopy sheet+inflatable struts vs dual canopy+air weight).

I never had the opportunity to ride a foil so I wonder should the kite fall for any reason (especially a lull in light wind), the fully inflatable can be used as a sail to reach back the beach; would the hybrid be able to do so?

@ foil bashers - Petition: please keep the subject of this thread focused. Thank you
Last edited by abel on Sat May 08, 2010 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

Postby dansheridan » Sat May 08, 2010 10:51 pm

careful what you say, pump me up may be lurking about
then we will see his 7 page rant why your idea is stupid

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Re: hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

Postby Afro » Sat May 08, 2010 11:11 pm

flexifoil have tried a foil-LEI hybrid; it wasnt a success story

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Re: hybrid kite - leading edge inflatable + ram air struts

Postby mmunzer » Sun May 09, 2010 1:29 pm

F-One had the "Slider" I think it was called. It had an inflatable LE, but was foil the rest. Semi supported by a bridle.

There was also the Vado Retro Arch VRI. It was a real C-kite shape with 4 lines to the tips, no bridle, but was a foil with an inflatable LE.


I have also always been interested in putting an inflatable bladder down the middle of a flysurfer kite to see what would happen. A bit more rigidity to the flysurfer kite would be interesting!


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