OK... this could go either way. This all comes from a series of posts over at The Other Place With More Traffic™ that didn't end well. Let's see if we can do a little better.
I was somewhat surprised to hear from several owners of Lam Hoac's Fearless kites that his Light version, framed fully in SkyShark 3PT (although possibly with 5PT LSs at times
) can be flown, flown well and without "deforming" or "showing signs of concern" in winds up to a claimed 28mph. The kitemaker himself claims a maximum wind of 20 mph on his website and 25+ mph when directly asked. When pushed on the subject things turned... defensive. A request for videographic evidence of this performance has yet to receive a reply.
I've been messing about with kites for a while now and I wouldn't consider flying a 3PTed kite in anything close to the lowest
of these numbers. Skyburner, who also make SkyShark spars and should know about these things, only rate their 3PT equipped Widow Maker to 12 mph. A similarly framed Nirvana gets to 11 mph, allegedly.
A couple of weeks ago a rare opportunity presented itself for me to try out winds of this order of magnitude for myself.
I chose to fly at this location because there is a meteorological site alongside. These are accurate measurements
, not guesstimates or something from a hand held meter. I've marked when I was flying in red and as you can see the average wind speed went from 11 mph to 17 mph with gusts up to 24 mph (and lulls down to 8 mph but that's another story
In the last hour or so the only kite in my bag that I felt even close to comfortable flying was the Seven. Mine is the initial version with a P200/5PT LE and 7PT LS - not remotely Light but curiously weighing in a 300g, the same claimed by Lam for the Light framed in 3PT.
In those winds the Seven was not fun AT ALL
. In a remotely low pass the LE shape visibly changed. There was noise from the usually silent TE and wingtip vibration. Any slack line moves needed to be done very fast. Whenever the kite regained the wind it did so with such violence that I was genuinely worried about the kite. As far as I was concerned I was above the usable wind range for this kite - it was staying together but what could I do with it ?
would my 3PTed kites have withstood these winds, comfortably below what is claimed for the Fearless Light ? Have I been wimping out all these years ?
even if it had, would it have been a worthwhile experience ?
is there something special about the Fearless design that allows it to exceed every other kite in max. wind range despite using the same materials and being largely the same aerodynamic layout ?
Just to be clear - I'm being as sincere as I know how to be here. If the claims for this kite are correct then it is Relevant To My Interests. One kite that could cover almost any wind I'm likely to be out in is something I'd happily pay a significant amount of money for.
What is the hive mind's view on all this then ?