Cambered leading edges

In article <1992May27.164300.24040@e2big.mko.dec.com> sasaki@tle.enet.dec.com writes:

>I think that the performance gains are found in the taut sail that is
>the result of curving the leading edges and curving the trailing
>edges. The light wind performance of these kites is certainly aided by
>removing the flapping of the trailing edge. A flapping trailing edge
>does cause a lot of drag.

Hmmm.  I'll agree that the camber can really make _parts_ of the sail taut,
especially the trailing edge, but most of the kites I've looked at seem
to have a lot of billow in the belly.  Merrick (the local guy who made
the quad "Dragonfly" you saw at ODSKC) was looking at a friend's Pro
knock-off, commenting that it looked good but that the sail didn't seem
overly taut.  I then showed him the same friend's Pro, which has the
same sort of looseness.  You just don't expect it.

It seems like several kites (including the Big Brother family and the Pro) 
use additional layers of fabric on the trailing edge, out toward the wingtip 
to deaden some of the noise.  Doesn't the Katana have a panel out toward the
end like that?  The modified Bantam of which I spoke is incredibly noisy,
but it still seems to have a good deal of low wind performance.

I wonder if the folks at Big Easy have played around with a 3/4 EFM...

(the EFM is largely a Phantom with a curved trailing edge and a rather
neat innovation on the lower spreaders.  it also has a really strange
bridle--the outhaul is about twice as long as normal, and there's a single
line from the other part of the bridle that joins with the outhaul way
out from the kite; supposedly it increases the wind range of the kite)

(sheesh...where do these people come up with this stuff!  ;-)


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