I've just been reading today's updates on the "IS IT THE BEGINNING OR THE END YOU DECIDE" cult of revolution thread. I find it extrodinary that the supporters who post are continuing in an almost xenophobic fashion to label the Chinese Albatross quad kites illegal copies when in my understanding they neither break any copywrite laws or are in any shape or form ment to be a revolution kite.
For me the reputation of revolution has been damaged by its zelot like behaviour and insistance on misinformation and blatent untruths.
For this reason I am going to go back to the original theme of this whole posting and put up my mini review/opinion. I am not going to encourage anyone to buy anything and I'm not going to disrespect anything, I'm just saying what I've found and you can make your own minds up in a democratic fashion.Material
I brought an updated/latest model which is the most expensive (only by a few £'s) of the albatross rev style quads. It is listed (on albatross's offical retail page) as having a "Icarex pc31" sail and is slightly different to the tribal design which has a Nylon sail. It comes in ltblue/black/pinkish-red, red/white/black and almost german national colours. I can't really confirm what sort of sail it is but I have noticed it doesn't appear to bulge out quite as much as the tribals. It is also strange that having flown both side by side the tribal seems to be a little slower and more precise where the "Icarex pc31" sailed one seems to be a little quicker and stiffer. I'm not sure which one I prefer really, I guess the supposed Icarex model does feel a little more 1.5B like in its speed where as the tribal feels a little more forgiving and friendly.Frame
The Frame is I would say a 4 wrap construction and made of wrapped carbon tube. It is hard to say for sure how many wraps but they are slightly stiffer than the rev 3 wrap spars. On the scales they come in at around 16g each. I have not broken one yet and often swap to them on my 1.5B Full sail when the wind gets up. You can actually buy them in a box of 5 for £6 each from the gentleman who sells the albs on ebay if you ask him nicely so I have been informed. The dimensions of the Alb are very slightly different to the Rev but not by much. Everything can be directly interchanged with 1.5 parts without any modification. Lines/Handles
The handles are of a shallower bend than the revolution and lighter. They are of decent enough quality but I much prefer my revolution handles. The lines are some heavy duty 150lb dyneema items which are quite heavy, they also twist up with bowel movement regularity so upgrade when you can.Bridle/stitching
The bridles vary, some I've seen have bigger ungainly knots and excess than others but they're all finished nicely with some areas sown up for extra strength. All the Albs I've seen or used have had good quality stitching equal to that of any normal production kite. I've only ever heard of one which was not up to par but that was returned and exchanged without any problems. Flight/Conclusion
I personally think they fly the same. I certainly would not say that if they didn't fly the same, infact I would be the first person to point out the differences. The caviat to this is they may not fly the same when you get them, you may need to tweek or trim them up to your own personal preferences. I have flown them perfect out of the box but I know of people who have made bridle adjustments or adjusted end cap tensions etc. It is just personal preference.
As a first quad line kite of this type I would get a revolution, even if I could go back right now and have none at all but know what they're all like I'd still buy a revolution 1.5 first. You cannot get away from the fact it is a nice package, you know what you are getting, the handles are very nice and lines of a good quality etc. Plus I want to keep my fav kiteshop stocking them and making money until he starts importing chinese versions (doubtfull but would be amusing).
BUT, and its a upper case BUT, I probably would not buy anymore unless my rev had become damaged. I may persuade my family etc to put money towards a rev vented at xmas but for the future I will just keep buying cheap albs without lines and handles for £60.
As I indicated before I will save the rev for best like a good suit and my alb will be something for letting the family/friends fly and just messing with down the park on a variable wind day or purely for minimising wear and tear on the rev. I might tea bag one or cut some experimental slots here or there. I certainly would not do that with a rev simply because of the initial cost.
Despite my inclination towards good suits I do not have much of a disposable income so that single rev would of been my only quad for a considerable time with maybe a vented in my bag in future. I do not consider my actions to be that of a person who is depriving anyone of my money, infact to the contrary, I suspect I might well buy a few genuine revolution parts to put on my alb in the future
and that was my opinion, if it upsets anyone then I am sorry, maybe you need to relax and have an icecream.