Subject Airbow
From (Andy Wardley)
Date Fri, 9 May 2003 06:47:15 GMT
Newsgroups rec.kites

Well I guess the cat is out of the bag... :-)

Yes, I've been working on a quad line kite called the Airbow.

Although it's a 4-liner, I tend to think of it as more of a hybrid between a 2 line kite and a 4 line kite.

You can fly it like a 2 line kite, with big hand movements, carving turns, slack lines, and so on.

And you can also fly it like a 4 line kite, flying forwards, backwards, side-to-side, hovering or spinning on the spot.

The main innovation is the 3d shape. You could say that I've added stand-offs to a quad line kite to push the sail out and make a 3d shape. That's the essence of it, but of course the devil is in the detail.

One benefit of this approach is that is creates a channel for the airflow. This contributes to the nice feeling of "carving" turns that you get with dual line kites, which also channel air in the same way.

Another important benefit is that it make the kite self-supporting and stable even when the lines are slack. You don't need to be constantly flying it with pressure on the lines to keep it in its proper shape. This not only makes flying it easier, and more fun, but it also opens the door to a whole range of cool tricks.

Axels, Flat Spins (of a fashion, but I'm working on it), Flic-Flacs, Yo-Yo's, groundwork, etc. And also some crazy things like end-on barrels rolls - the kind of thing that you probably haven't ever seen a kite do before.

I've been making prototypes since last September, more recently with Tim's help now that he's got the UL Gemini out of the way. The one that you see is #14. We need to make some more minor changes to the sail shape to improve handling in a few areas (still a bit sketchy in light wind, but we think we know how to fix that now), and then we're going to come up with a graphic for the sail pattern.

We're expecting it to take a couple more months to get things finished off and then they'll be rolling out of Benson Kites and available from all the usual places.

We don't know what the price will be yet, but we expect it to be in the range of a full-size dual line kite, most probably under 200 pounds, but don't quote me on anything yet.