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      Greetings, we've received notice of a few forum members soliciting other users for specifications on some of the Revolution kites... Please be advised, any such confirmed activity will result in immediate suspension of forum privileges. Making your own Rev style kite for artisitic purposes is admirable, but directly copying the patterns in use will not be encouraged here.
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darthsean

30 seconds of uncontrolled flight in 4 hours of trying

Question

I saw a rev kite at a kite festival in DC and bought an EXP. Watched the videos. Read the manual. First attempt resulted in kite doing multiple uncontrolled spins and then crashing. 30 minutes untangling lines. Second attempt resulted in uncontrolled spins the other direction and crash. 30 minutes untangling lines. Packed it up for the day. My second and 3rd attempts were similar disasters. Just uncontrolled spins and crashes without any sense that I was even momentarily controlling the kite. Most of my time is spent untangling lines. I watched the video about line management and tried to follow the instructions. Still took 40 minutes to untangle the lines setting kite up. The videos just don't seem to cover anything that I am experiencing. Nothing about how to maintain level flight. Some videos mention "adjusting the trim" of the kite and it appears to be a continuous action. The videos do not mention what specific motion in response to what specific stimulus. ie. when the kite starts to roll right, what do I do? When the kite starts to dive, what do I do? What is supposed to happen if I launch and just stand and do nothing?

Another thing is how do I tell if the kite is tied properly? Some people mention checking the length of the lines but I don't see how. At 80 feet, the lines are stretchy enough that their length depends upon the tension on each line. In addition,there is no way to do a fine adjust of the line length. A single loop knot takes up just under 1cm of length and I don't understand how to shorten or length a line when the sleeve slips all over the place and I can't be sure the tension is the same and I am trying to compensate for the length of line the knot takes up. My fingers aren't sufficiently calibrated that I can be certain the tension is the same on both strings especially when trying to tie or untie a knot in one of the strings. I also have no basis of comparison to tell if the bridle is tied properly. In one of the crashes one side somehow managed to untie itself. I examined the knots on the other side of the kite and tried to get it right but really have no experience and the pictures in the manual are of insufficient resolution to tell if a knot is tied correctly. I had hoped that the kites and strings would come properly set up from the company.

It would be nice to find an experienced flyer and I contacted Wings over Washington three weeks ago - no response. They say they have monthly flying events but do not mention the time and no response to my asking what time. I am really frustrated and would send the kite back for my money if I thought I had some grounds to do that. "Learn to fly in under an hour" "Exciting in the hands of a beginner..." Nonsense. Kite is hard to learn to fly and videos and manual are completely inadequate and there do not appear to be any resources. Closest kite shop is 3 hours away. Kite shop listed on revkites in the DC area is out of business as far as I can tell.

So, other than just leaving the kite in the closet and considering it $250 wasted or travelling many hours and paying someone hundreds more dollars to learn to fly the kite, any practical advice?

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Where are you located? You mention DC area however your location is listed as Albuquerque.

Maybe we can find a rev flier near you to assist you.

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I can help showing how the bridle is assembled, see the link, for the rest I am sure others will give you good informative answers!

Meeting up with an existing Rev flier is worth doing, even if it means a round trip of a couple of hundred miles!

Bill

http://www.revkites.com/forum/topic/6173-bridle-images/

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Mind if I ask a few questions?

Flying experience? Have you flown before? What type? SLK, dualie?? It will help to figure out if you have any habits that might need to be "changed".

Set up of the kite. Might take some pix of everything - kite, rods, attached lineset. handle setup, etc. You have mentioned an EXP, setup should be pretty straight forward for one.

Equalizing the lines. Take all 4 lines and place them on some common point, a stake will do. Run them out and untangle. Hook them up to the handles and gently pull back against the stake. (not too hard, don't pull out the stake). Look to see if both handles line up exactly the same. This is important! If there is one long or short, it will cause the kite to steer itself despite your best efforts. Untie the sleeve on the offending line(s) and adjust, until all 4 are even. Now you are ready for a neutral flight.

You haven't mentioned how much wind you went out in - might it have been too much? While the kites have stated wind ranges, a bit of experience is really needed to fly at either end of the range. A good learners wind would be around 10 mph, enough for the kite to fly easily and you concentrate on learning the controls. Too much or not enough, means you not only are trying to learn, but also trying to keep the kite airborne while doing so. From your description of your experiences I would guess maybe the high end?

I'll stop here and see where this goes, before adding more. Sorry to hear you've had a tough learning experience so far, but there are many experienced fliers here that are glad to help! Feel free to ask more!!

PM sent on some info!

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Hey, darthsean, welcome to the Rev forum and the darkside. Join us on the Kitelife also.

Learning on your own won't be easy, but the eventual satisfaction is worth twice each minute of anguish. Those of us who learned without the help of an experienced pilot put up with the same frustration that you are encountering at this stage. Stick with it. Once you begin having those "ah-ha" moments you'll be in kite heaven.

Ok, first things first, and please don't take offense if I state the obvious. We need to make sure that everything is as it should be. Do all of this before trying again.

The most basic error some folks make at first is to set up the kite with the vertical tubes on the front of the kite. These should be on the back of the kite. Although the kite can be flown this way, it will make it extremely difficult to learn. The next thing to check is that all parts of the bridle are a mirror image of right and left. You can check this by removing the frame and comparing all the lengths of each segment against the other side. They should be equal, to within 1/8", ideally they should be a perfect match. When you set up and install the frame, be absolutely sure that all parts of the bridle have no twists or tangles and come cleanly off each endcap, ideally from the center side of each.

Check the flying lines' lengths by laying them all out, detached from the handles. Stake down all four through the loops at one end. Go to the other end and check if they are the same length. Any variance exceeding 1/4" should be corrected. See the line equalization video in the tutorial section. Remember that almost all the twists that appear to be tangles when you are laying out your lines, except maybe one or two, will disappear when you apply some tension to the lines. What appears to be a tangled mess at first is not really there.

Now attach your lines at the kite and at the handles, making sure that the upper right at the kite is attached to the upper right handle, lower right to lower right, and the same on the other side. It will be very helpful if someone can assist you once are connected, to position the kite for the next launch after each new attempt. If the kite launches and spins in one direction a few times, you can remove all the twists this created by grabbing both handles together, and as a unit spinning them in the same direction as the kite did. These can also be removed by spinning the kite in the opposite direction, and once you have basic control can be done by spinning the kite as it flies. The kite can be controlled, by experienced pilots with more than 15 twists in the lines.

We will do our best to answer all your questions. I recommend watching the setup, line management, line equalization, basic launch and basic control videos available to you on the KiteLife Forum site, over and over until you are sick of watching them, and then watch them a few more times. I watch all of the training videos over the winter months each year, and always find something that will help make me a better pilot.

Finally, and I state this with absolute confidence, stick with it and don't give up. The end result of being able to control a Revolution Kite is immense satisfaction, and will put a smile on your face that's hard to erase.

If you are in the DC area, or anywhere else, take a look at the member map. PM some of the people near your location. Make arrangements to get together. Kiters are a friendly bunch and always looking for any excuse to go out and fly. Attend a festival or two. Drive 200 miles if you must. It will take a ton of time and frustration out of the learning curve.

Most of all, have fun, smile and don't forget to breathe.

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The very best advice is stated more times above. Find another experienced pilot. 1 day together will be the very best way to speed up the learning curve. We give in the Netherlands Jst-4-Fn clinics with the option Try-a-Rev. Newbies in the 4-line world can so feel try and see how it works .... So find a mate.... (Although I do realize within the USA distance between pilots is a different topic as in The Netherlands)... Good winds

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Great advice above. As a recent and first-time Rev (EXP) owner myself, I TOTALLY feel your pain. I had extreme buyer's remorse after my first few sessions and my EXP came perilously close to ending up on craigslist. The video tutorials are great, but they fail to impart a visceral feel for flight. And there has yet to be a book written on the subject of flying quad line kites. I find this disappointing because I love a detailed manual. The lack of literature may be because flying IS so visceral and it simply defies verbal explanation. For me, the controls just felt plain backwards and I spent about 2 minutes in the air for every hour in the field. The rest of the time I spent untangling lines (it seems that I am an expert at braiding lines) and traipsing back and forth between the handles and the kite to get it set back up after a crash.

It was really two things that helped me. The first was closing my eyes and imagining how I would respond to various scenarios. This is a proven method of training in everything from athletics to marksmanship. As I said, the controls felt backwards to me early on. When my kite would turn to the right (usually due to a wind gust or change in wind direction), I would tilt my right stick forward in an attempt to affect a left turn to correct. This would obviously result in an even sharper right turn, which would lead to spins and ultimately a crash. In my mental exercises, I forced myself to focus on correcting unwanted right turns with forward tilt on the left stick. After a few days of these mental exercises (about 10 minutes a day), I found that I was able to control the kite much more effectively

The second breakthrough was realizing that the wind in my area is extremely variable in both speed and direction. When you watch youtube, most of the guys and gals flying Revs are flying in coastal areas with very laminar, uniform winds. Anyone can fly in those conditions. ANYONE. We inland flyers have a much harder time of it. This doesn't make it any less discouraging, but it is helpful to realize that it is not you or the kite, but the wind itself.

Having said that, it is important that you learn to discern where the wind is coming from and to be sensitive to changes in wind direction. I watch the forecast graphs on Weather Underground religiously. If the wind isn't going to get above 10mph and the direction isn't going to remain within a +/- 20 degree sector for more than half an hour, then I don't even consider flying that day. I think it says it in the manual that comes with the EXP, but one of the main sources of instability and crashes (uncontrolled spins especially) is attempting to launch a kite that is not directly down wind from you (off wind.) If you are like me and the wind changes direction markedly from moment to moment, this can happen very easily without your noticing, especially when you are preoccupied with just trying to get the stupid kite airborne. Pay attention to the wind. Watch nearby flags, etc. A sailing trick is to smoke a pipe or cigar and watch the smoke. Another technique that I use from my sailing experience is to turn my head until the wind whistles equally loudly in both ears. When it does, I am facing the wind head on. This is useful when the wind is blowing harder than 5mph.

And handle length is worth addressing. The 11" handles that come with the EXP are depressing. I understand why they are bundled with the EXP. The intention is to mitigate twitchy and oversensitive response. But I am finding that they just don't provide enough control in winds below 15mph. 13" handles or longer will likely give you more control of the kite.

That is all just my 2 cents, I hope it helps.

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The hardest thing to do when starting is keeping it small.

Small arm movements.

Small wrist movements.

Small body movements.

If to can imagine your wrists in a set of handcuffs. This goes to reduce the big arm and body movements. Also forces you to concentrate on small wrist inputs. I've even used a big elastic band to physically stop it. Works. Feels weird but works.

Worth remembering that you stake your "top" lines and set the kite back up with the Leading Edge on the ground.

Keep the lines relatively tight when setting up and you won't get any tangles. Or minimise them at least.

Stick with it. It will happen. Breath lots. I learnt on my own but I had lots of help from this forum and others (Kitelife).

The handles that come with the EXP will be 13". You measure the length of the rod around the bend. 11" come with the Rev2/B2 platform. But yes, smaller handles minimise inputs.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Handle lengths are measured from the raw tube length BEFORE bending! I'm pretty sure your handles are 13", at least that is what is usually in the package. Are you measuring them as they are now? But your interpretation is correct - smaller does = less input.

Some of us do use longer or shorter handles - I myself use 3 sets - 13", 14", and 15". I use the 14" as my default everyday pair, 15" in lighter winds, and 13" in windier conditions. B2s are, I believe, paired with 11" and really old Rev 2s had 9" handles! Them are little!

More important than handle length is replacing the stock leaders at the top. Let me find the link to the thread, it has pix and some explanation of why it is done.

http://www.revkites.com/forum/topic/4409-my-leaders-your-thoughts/

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Why? John Barresi (if you haven't seen his videos go to Youtube) uses that size exclusively - and is arguably in the handful of top pilots in the world! The "B" series kites were his upgrade specs from the original 1.5 SLE - if you doubt his credentials. Many have used that size with no problems at all. (Wonder why they are included in the package?) They are the "standard" size for almost everything. Yes some of us use others, again personal preference. But I would encourage you to master those 13" first, before jumping into other sizes.

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Thank you for all your responses. I have been without internet access for a few days. I'll try to answer all the questions in one post.

1) I am in the DC area for the next few months.

2) I have only flown single string kites before

3) According to the weather report, winds were in the 8-12 mph range on the days I went out.

4) Spars are on correct side of the kite.

5) Still don't believe it is possible to verify length of 80' line without specialized equipment. Can't be certain both lines are under the exact same tension. It did appear to me that the lines were not the same length and I have tried to re-tie the knots. Also not easy given the slippery cord over the end and trying to maintain line tension while tying the knot. Is there any reason why the rev kite doesn't use fishing tackle and some kind of a more finely adjustable way to maintain line length rather than untying and re-tying a line under manual tension?

6) I would love to visualize what I would do under varying circumstances but I don't know what to do. All the videos proceed from the point of view that the kite is already in stable flight and I want to change what it is doing, not from the point of view that the kite is doing a spin, dip, spiral or other maneuver and I need to stabilize it. Can anyone summarize what to do if the kite starts spinning left/right, plunging down or arcing to left/right?

As it turns out I am on travel and in San Diego tomorrow and have a meeting in Poway of all places. I'll try to stop by revolution and see if I can find anyone to ask questions.

What I really need to know is how to get the Wings over Washington people to tell me what time to show up for their monthly fly. It isn't on their website and no one has responded to my emails. That seems like the best way to find a rev flier but showing up at 8am and just waiting around for several hours doesn't seem very efficient.

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While in Poway, ask if the Rev simulator is up. A lesson from Lolly or someone from Rev should get things straight!

While it might be tough to get lines exactly perfect, you should be able to get them closer to equal. Place all 4 loops at one end on a stake well driven into the ground. Place your handles on the lines and reasonably pull tight. Both handles should line up as closely as possible. If not redo the loop to adjust. Untie the sleeving, pull the line through as much as you think, then retie the loop. Yes it is guesswork, but with experience you start to know what amount to pull. Patience and go slow.

REVflyer

This is Paul's username here. Contact him using the PM system. He will gladly give you all the WOW info you should need! (He can also help with the equalizing thing!)

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I will be in the DC area from 6 to 9 June. We should hook up for some flight time.

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My business travel took me to San Diego today and I had some free time so I stopped by the revolution kite factory. Super friendly! Joe took about 30 minutes to show me the basics of flying the rev and I actually got it under control and did some basic maneuvers! There are some techniques that the videos and manuals just didn't convey clearly enough for me to understand. Thanks nice REV people! Some take-aways.

1) I wish I had known about the travel kit. I would have bought that version to start with. The travel spars are half the length of the regular ones so the kite can easily fit in a suitcase. The travel case is also better than the standard one.

2) The starting position to learn control is forefingers on the end of the string just above the control handles. That gives a clear idea of just how light the touch needs to be.

3) As the kite turns left and right in response to wind shifts, the control technique is to lightly tap the control forward on the side with the upper edge. This has to be mastered first before stable flight can be achieved and anything in the videos can be meaningfully attempted.

4) Next time I fly, my goal is going to be to just do stable flight, take offs and landings until I can get the controls for stable flight to be something I don't have to think about.

Thanks for all your support.

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Good to hear!! Did they put you on the simulator? Helps sometimes to see things up close. But for sure you were in good hands!

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This is good stuff. Lessons from Joe! AWESOME!!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thank you for all your responses. I have been without internet access for a few days. I'll try to answer all the questions in one post.

1) I am in the DC area for the next few months

Ah, perfect. The local club, Wings Over Washington, meets on the Washington Monument grounds (just west of the monument, between 17th, Independence, and Constitution) on the first Sunday of every month. Most of the folks who show up fly revs (and some of us have been doing it for over a quarter century!) and you'll learn more than you could imagine...

In fact, my avatar photo is taken in our usual flying spot, with a ton of revs on the ground behind me.

Next first Sunday is June 5th. Come on down!

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Sorry to jump on an old thread, but as for altering string length - that can be done accurately, quite easily, there probably is a full description on the site somewhere but I've just searched and failed to find it.

As described above, under tension with staked lines, work out how much you need to adjust a line by, measure that distance with a ruler.

Then, before you untie any knots - mark where the actual end of the line currently reaches to along the line.

Not sure if ascii art works ok here, but roughly - main line comes in from top left, makes a loop, and then comes back through a knot onto itself:

____

---------/ \

----\____/

^Mark this spot on main line

Untie your knot - should be a simple overhand knot, move the end of the line down the main line *double* the distance you'd measured, adjust the sleeve (dont remove it!) so it's central to the new loop, and tie an overhand knot again to secure it.

Then compare them all again to check ;-)

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There is nothing forbidding about using ASCII artwork here.

However photos would be much more clearer and meaningful.
Yes photos are permitted.

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