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Zippy8
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Fearless Devil Vented Light

Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:01 pm

I've been a long-term doubter of some of the claims made about this kite and so, in a truly heroic display of putting my money where my mouth is :wink: , I bought one second hand although it's still the most expensive dual line kite I have yet to buy. It's barely flown and very tidy - which is nice. I'm unlikely to get to fly it for a while as my entire region has become a swamp. So let's start with build quality, shall we ?

First some numbers; it has a 2.3m span, a full length spar for the spine (ie; 82.5cm) and weighs 307 grammes.... which is an interesting view of the term "light". The venting consists of 4 small swoopy, scimitar-esque panels out towards the LE and they are more about smoothing out the bumps in the wind than anything else. The LEs are Skyshark 3PT, the spine P2X and the lower spreaders 5PT. Again.... this strikes me as firmly in Standard territory.

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Personally I'm not sold on the looks. There's something of the kabuki mask to it and perhaps a touch of "ill advised tattoo that looks faintly exotic". It's not bad, it's just not "me".

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Stitchwork is excellent. I'd put this on a par with Peter Betancourt and only beaten by Herb Weldon. You really won't find a better put together kite.

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The detail at the nose is superb.

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The wingtips look very tidy from this side but....

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... they are a bit of a palaver to tension up and put together. I'm glad I don't loosen these off as it is very fiddly.

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The base of the spine is held in a fixed pocket - no velcro closure here. This is not going to be helpful if the spine breaks and needs replacing or if I wish to adjust the tailweight on the kite. Note that the weight is fixed in position with a glued on vinyl tube, as is everything on this kite. I have no idea what the length of bridle line is for. Answers on a postcard please.

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Two standoffs per side and dealt with oh-so-very tidily. Really lovely detail work. The line is the trailing edge leech line and there is a length of bungee there too. I've not seen this particular notion before.

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The connectors are Sky Sport Design's own and I foresee issues to come. They are made from a hard material without the flex and give that APAs offer. So even in my house they proved tricky to get spars either in or out of. Come the harsh midwinter............ :-| But again this area is full of neat touches. From the right; stopper, bridle line, stopper, tip weight, LE fitting, stopper (hidden), tape. You may also note the marks on the sail. Now these are supposed to be to check your spreaders are in the correct place but I can personally do without them. They are at the upper spreader too.

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Oh yes and at the yoyo stopper. Which won't move... so they're just construction marks left on the sail. I complained when Challenger did this and haven't changed my mind.

Overall this is amongst the finest examples of kite making I've ever seen. It's no Synchro :wink: but I wonder if we'll see the like of that again and if it takes something that magnificent to outdo, you've got plenty to be proud of. There are things that make me go "hmmm" but not a single thing wrong here and it clearly has been put together with considerable attention to detail and thought about how to make it work.

Would I pay the full asking price for a new one ? No.
Should I have paid what I did for this one ? No also. But I take a relaxed view of the matter. :biggrin:

I really would like to put this thing in the air at some point but presently I run the risk of trench foot. I'll get back to you.

Mike.
 
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pink
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:23 pm

The base of the spine is held in a fixed pocket - no velcro closure here. This is not going to be helpful if the spine breaks and needs replacing or if I wish to adjust the tailweight on the kite. Note that the weight is fixed in position with a glued on vinyl tube, as is everything on this kite. I have no idea what the length of bridle line is for. Answers on a postcard please.


i have it done on my PINK if you keep the pocket right size is fairly easy to pop it IN/OUT slightly bending the spine (they are quiet flexible);-).

also if i want to add more tension to spine, just pop in c-clip between P90 and end-knock.
Prism Nexus, Chris Matheson - Midi Sandpiper, DIY Le Quartz, R-Sky Diablis, DIY Pink S.U.L
CIM - Fireman, DIY SunDog Fighter

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Zippy8
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:51 pm

pink wrote:
i have it done on my PINK if you keep the pocket right size is fairly easy to pop it IN/OUT slightly bending the spine (they are quiet flexible);-).

also if i want to add more tension to spine, just pop in c-clip between P90 and end-knock.

I'm not for one second going to suggest that this isn't a viable solution but I don't see any advantages over the by now traditional Velcro™ strap and I do see a couple of disadvantages.

It does fall into line with the impression that I'm not supposed to tweak this kite to any great extent. It's been done, and done properly, so I should just get on and fly it as it is. Tim Benson largely takes this approach and I'm not against it per se.

Mike.
 
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fworley
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:35 am

Okay, so not counting the "decoration" is this a single panel sail ? Or two halves ?

Or am I missing something ?

Only compared with many designs it seems to have a pretty simple construction - the "flair" aside.

-Frazer
 
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Zippy8
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:26 am

fworley wrote:
Okay, so not counting the "decoration" is this a single panel sail ? Or two halves ?

Two major panels, the yellow bits, joined at the spine. The ripstop grid is aligned with the spine and all the other appliqué panels line up to this too.

Only compared with many designs it seems to have a pretty simple construction - the "flair" aside.

I wouldn't call the construction simple but the overall sail alignment does lack the apparent engineering seen elsewhere (ie; Blue Moon in particular).

Mike.
 
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pink
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:52 am

is there any chance You will post more detailed photos of nose finishing (both sides) it`s look very different and interesting.

nice kite and nice review BTW.
Prism Nexus, Chris Matheson - Midi Sandpiper, DIY Le Quartz, R-Sky Diablis, DIY Pink S.U.L
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:07 am

in my transformer-review is also a close-up from the nose: http://v2.1.kiteclique.com/wordpress-3.0/wordpress/skysport-designs-transformer-tl-sul-review-by-krijn

and yes, lam's buildquality is the best!




nice fearless, zippy
 
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Zippy8
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:23 am

pink wrote:
is there any chance You will post more detailed photos of nose finishing (both sides)

Front and rear are identical. The LE dacron has a slot cut in it (with the end of this finished with a burnt hole to stop it spreading) and the nose webbing cut into a wedge then inserted into that slot. It is very tidy, looks snag free (TBC) and shows a lot of attention to detail.

Image

Mike.
 
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:09 am

The single panel design of his kites have perplexed me from a cost perspective.

I do not in anyway mean to suggest that his build quality is not 'best in class' for sure, but the fact that he uses a single panel as the main sail means many of the construction issues associated with panelled kites are all but completely avoided.

In my mind, this means less sails lost to mistakes, and less time sewing overall. Could be way off.

The nose, wing tips, and leach line details on his kites are second to none.

Can't wait for the in flight update.

On my postcard, I would write "ala the Androgen to aid in pitching the kite. Doesn't look tight enough to matter."

obi
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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
 
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fworley
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:55 pm

[Mike on]
The wingtip tensioning is a tad ridiculous - he did the same thing on the Sea Devil, there simply is no need for such elaboration.

As for the spine / tail assembly - well thats another pain in the arse, how easy is access to the weight or the spar itself ? And how can that be a good thing ?

For sure it all looks very clever, but there are simpler, well proven solutions which are just as reliable/effective and look cleaner to boot.

--

I'm not anti-Lam kites per se, I owned a set of Sea Devils, I'm just down on the tiresome hyperbole emanating from their owners.
[/Mike off]

-Frazer ;-)
Last edited by fworley on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:29 pm

Image
 
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Zippy8
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:27 pm

I like your thinking (and your presentation too :) ) but I suspect that I'll have to ask the Laminates over at GWTW for its actual purpose.

Mike.
 
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:04 pm

I know!!
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:05 pm

Build quality is all very well (and the stitching looks very nice) but please get out there in your wellies and let me know how it flies.

Is the mystery piece of line at the tail non-elasticated? Thanks H :cool:
 
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Re: Fearless Devil Vented Light

Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:15 pm

I agree with Kareloh and wonder if the P2x spine extends all the way to the tail tip ..... hhhhmmm :roll: