Take the North Dice for example. I've been told that North prototyped the 12m and 9m. This implies that those sizes were tweaked to their best flying characteristics. So then let's say they used CAD (computer aided design) to engineer the other sizes. Do they just manufacture an 8m and throw it up in the air and say, "This flies great like the 9m so start production" Or do they say, "Not quite as dialed as the 9m but since we don't want to spend the time with prototypes and tweaking it's close enough we'll tweak it next year"?
I've read throughout the years such reviews as "X kite flies great in the larger sizes but funky in the smaller sizes" OR "in 2014 X company has refined the flying characteristics in the smaller sizes but larger sizes remain largely unchanged".
This implies that I am a guinea pig for certain size kites. I don't want to be a guinea pig.
I know the gear is evolving every year but are there kite companies who prototype the whole range of kite sizes?
you would hope now that people are ridge soaring and even towing a lot of kites manufacturers would have to have every kite signed off by test pilots such as with paragliding wings etc before production can commence. this would mean for every size kite made. i am quite sure there's a few company that already do this. but i am unsure if anyone legally bound to do it yet. i know i don't fly cheap kites for a reason this would be one of them.
plummet wrote:I would say they would have to proto every kite size. It would be a very expensive exersize to not proto something and have it fly like shit and be recalled.
They don't though. Some of the larger kites are getting better now though, since they are marketed light wind specific. Because they fly like shit, you think they would recall them!? Ha! Not a chance. Fly a 2010 15m Slingshot Octane once, if you get a chance.
All of them. The 13m is as easy and fun to fly as the 7m, and everything in between.
But I would imagine that for most new kite designs they would make samples that would show a how the design flys in the most common sizes, then for the next year tune how it reacts to scaling at both ends. For example the Dice in 9m and 12m seems reasonable as that shows the performance in the most common range purchased. I'm sure that Ken and Sky are already tuning the low and high end ranges of it now for 2015.
You have to remember that making samples is a pretty expensive affair in any softgoods production so it's not like every brand can plop down the $$$ to have sample after sample made in the full range. Let alone the time to test every one of those sizes.
IMO the truth, for the majority of the brands, is in the middle. They probably develop and prototype 2 or 3 sizes, then they build all the other sizes with the CAD and eventually they simply check that all the sizes fly properly (i.e., there are not big issues). Maybe some brands work differently, FS launched first the 8 and 10 of the Speed 4, then they worked several months before presenting the new Lotus. I always wondered, about the SP4, why it took so much time to develop a 12 having a 10 in the shops but if it happened there must be good reasons. In my case, I own 2 Core Riot XR, 7 and 11, and they behave exactly the same. My XR2 15, of course, is quite different (obvious I think).