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Solo hot launching a tube kite

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Flyboy
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Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby Flyboy » Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:52 am

I have a situation where the wind direction/land conditions make side launching extremely difficult. As it is a spot where I foil, I'm not launching with a lot of power, so I'm not really concerned about powering up the kite - securing the kite before launching is the dilemma. Has anyone developed a technique for solo hot launching a tube kite?

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby jakemoore » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:21 am

Yes.

If you lay the kite with sand on the trailing edge like a foil kite the tips go up in the air and there is too much force to roll the kite.

You can get it to sit still by piling enough sand to hold it down about 1/3 the span of the kite right behind the leading edge tube. It will sit about 45 degrees to the wind. Walk back and hot launch like a foil kite. It will come up flying toward which ever side is weighted by the sand. Turn the kite to the zenith and it dumps the sand.

I have only done this 3 or 4 times several years ago, I think with an old eclipse thruster. It might not work with every kite. Most of our launches do well with a tethered launch. I have gotten in the habit of doing a dragging self launch in the more normal way that people do it because it does not require a weight and that also seems to work well.

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby airsail » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:47 am

Something I am trying with Clouds as they can be interesting to self launch. Lay the kite on its back directly downwind, leading edge towards you. Weight the kite with sand on the canopy just behind the leading edge, enough so the kite won’t drag.
Hook in and tighten the rear lines, bringing the kite up to leading edge down, pivot the kite with rear line and launch as usual. If everything goes to plan there will be no dragging at all.

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby Flyboy » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:21 am

I should add that there's no sand/beach available, only long grass & shrubs - which is partly the reason for hot launching as it minimizes the risk of the lines catching on stuff.

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby Foil » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:40 am

Flyboy wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:52 am
I have a situation where the wind direction/land conditions make side launching extremely difficult. As it is a spot where I foil, I'm not launching with a lot of power, so I'm not really concerned about powering up the kite - securing the kite before launching is the dilemma. Has anyone developed a technique for solo hot launching a tube kite?
in light winds I have often done just this to hot relaunch which is very satisfying to get right, and easy after a few trial attempts.
with the kite down on its leading edge,
weighted down by sand in the canopy in the usual way for safety, or as i would sometime do, just use my old Ttip as a weight resting on the edge but not inside the canopy,
lines out the back downwind is best for this, but can be done the other way around if less room to cope with.
hook up and get in a position to walk around with the lines pulling the kite round so the open face of the canopy is eventually fully facing the wind, if the wind is light no drama, just a little bit of a constant pull to lean back against, but keep your hand over the quick release just to be safe, then --
once you are happy and sure you can control the next step, then do this next step --
reach up and grab the 2 rear lines in one hand, hold using a safe simple grip, and let one of lines run out a little so they are uneven, i find you only need to let it out a little, maybe a few inches/cm, this will allow the kite to rotate as you pull these lines firmly back in towards you, at all times keeping your bar in your other hand ready to fly the kite up once the kite has rotated,
(note! your bar must be round the right way for normal flight, its so easy to get this wrong)
as soon as the kite rotates around then very quickly let go of the rear lines and grab you bar firmly and get your feet in line to slide any excess power out safley, dont run or fast step forward, just slide it out,
smile and take the applause :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby airsail » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:52 am

Flyboy wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:21 am
I should add that there's no sand/beach available, only long grass & shrubs - which is partly the reason for hot launching as it minimizes the risk of the lines catching on stuff.
Some of us use small sandbags when launching our foil kites, I have thought of using these for the LEI self launch. Something to try but my worry is getting the bag caught in a steering line as it drops away.

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby Herman » Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:09 am

This is offered just for fun rather than a practical solution, also needs shortish lines unless you can still sprint. In extremely light wind balance the rigged kite on its tips LE square into wind so that it will just start to fall onto its TE when released. Have the lines to one side so as not to trip over them. Holding the trim strap release the kite and run directly into wind. Ideally you should get the front lines taught just before the TE hits the ground allowing you to rip the kite airborne with the front lines.

This is just for a bit of fun on a next to no wind day rather than a serious solution!

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby Kristan » Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:02 am

Here's how I hot launched my LEI:

I had my kite parked as usual, on the leading edge. Then I walked upwind, pulling one of the steering lines, so kite would turn. Then I yanked both of the steering lines and kite lifted off. When it was around 3-4 meters above the ground I released one of the steering lines, so kite would turn and fly upwards. Voila. Trim your kite to not to get hardly yanked doing this. Pros: No need for sand bags. Cons: Risk of puncturing leading edge bladder.

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby nothing2seehere » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:10 pm

Reverse launch instead using the steering lines? Drift launch into the water (works well if you don't have any shoredump)?

Two solutions I'd probably investigate before attempting a hot launch

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Re: Solo hot launching a tube kite

Postby Flyboy » Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:16 pm

LOL! All these suggestions do not take into account the particular circumstances of the launch ... which is what make a hot launch desirable in the first place!

The launch site is up on a "cliff" (about 15 feet high) with sometimes inconsistent wind reaching the area. The ground surface is long (growing longer as the summer progresses) grass & small shrubs (growing larger as the summer progresses). The grass is a nuisance, the shrubs a hazard, as a line catching on them can "steer" the kite during launching. Hot launching would allow lines to be straight to the kite avoiding the shrubs & then pulling the kite straight up into the air. Once in the air the wind is somewhat less turbulent higher up so keeping it in the air while I negotiate the "cliff" is easier.

The obvious answer is a foil kite, which is why I am considering a Peak4. However, I'm curious if anyone has developed a system for hot launching a tube kite. On a beach I would be able to load sand on the trailing edge & that would probably work (we are talking about lighter, foiling wind here), not possible at my location.


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