Sea&Sun wrote:What happened to the TurboLauncher? Did it work?
I think that they used the TurboLauncher sucessfully at the Virgin Airline celebration at Squamish last summer. If one used it to launch from a boat, then that would solve the problem of what to do with the device after you are done launching... just leave it in the boat.
The TurboLaucher won't work with the DriftFly launch procedure as well as using the bar to store and dispense the line...for the following reason: It does not stop the dispensing of the 4 lines at short (10 foot) intervals. The solid and automatic, stopping of the line by the half hitch knot every 5 windings of the 4 lines, is necessary to make the kite descend to the water, and allow the kiter to make any adjustments to the lines, and in addition, to enable the 5th line to go slack so that it can easily be unwound in preparation for releasing the kite to its next 10 foot section of lines, enabling the kite to ascend in a controled manner. Each ascent of the kite is needed to allow the kiter to observe the lines for any line tangles or snags of seaweed, which, by jiggling the 5th line, may need to be shaken off the lines. Seaweed is a common problem causing the fouling up of many conventional "drift launch" techniques, where the kite stays in the water throughout the whole procedure, where it can accumulate a load of seaweed, knitting and knotting the lines together.
The Turbolauncher was designed to control the lines and to dispense them in a smooth, rapid motion, to the full legnth of the lines. I think that the device works well in that capacity. It also was designed to enable kiters to be less "rude" at the beach, by keeping their lines wound up and out of the other kiters way. If the Drift/Fly launch ever became popular (which I doubt it will), then, a modification could be done to the TurboLauncher to incorporate a braking device for the 4 lines and a separate cone section devoted to the windings of the separate 5th line. I don't see the need for that, since the normal bar works fine (with the slight modification of "ears"). If anyone is interested, I will post a picture of the "ears".