Standoff placement -how does it influence performance?

In article <1994Jan26.215044.25039@midway.uchicago.edu>, cora@quads.uchicago.edu (Andre The Great) writes:
>A friend of mine is considering building a kite- the original plan
>is for a kite without standoffs- however, he wishes to modify the
>design so as to incorporate a pair. The question is : where
>along the trailing edge should one attach the standoffs? While I realize
>that an exact answer would depend upon the overall design of the kite,
>are there general guidlines? How does moving the attachment points
>further toward the wing tips or in towards the spine influence
>flight and handling characteristics?

Here is my 2 cents.

Anecdotally, moving a single standoff towards the wingtips increases
the "oversteer" in a kite. The El Nino from the High Fly Kite Co. has
positions on the trailing edge for standoff placement in two places.
The postion closer to the spine results in a stable kite with good
straight line tracking. Move it to the outside position, and the kite
is a little "twitchy", with plenty of oversteer.

Overall, standoffs control the shape of the kite at the trailing edge,
as well as the shape of the body of the kite. The Katana has two
standoffs per side. The outside standoff reduces trailing edge
vibration and changes the angle of the sail near the wing tip. At the
suggestion of Bert Tanaka, I've been experimenting with this and have
even played with three standoffs per side.

Standoff length can be important, especially if there is no "give" in
the standoffs. Length also depends on whether the kite is flat or
bowed as it is flying. If the kite is bowed, then rigid standoffs will
tighten the sail as the kite is bowed.

Marty Sasaki            Harvard University           Sasaki Kite Fabrications

Return to Kite Fliers's Site