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I built this kite with the intention of using it to kite jump. But it never really worked out for that. There were a number of very aparent flaws:
So I got quite angry and never really flew it for a couple of months ... that was until my brother invested in a Peter Lynn racing buggy. You can see both Dan and the gamma in the top photo.
During the months that I was miffed at spending *so* much time making a kite that I don't use, I started to find more information about it and it's creator. It turns out that the gamma is a highly tuned buggy machine. Its profile is very fast, with no reflex at all (reflex would help stop luffing, but is a less efficient profile.)
The gamma is a tool with one purpose. A buggy engine.
The FlexiFoil Blades that I was used to flying and wanted to copy are like a Swiss Army Knife, they can be used for all sorts of activities and in a variety of conditions. But because of that they aren't the best at any of them (but don't get me wrong, the Blades are amazing.) So with the Blade you get a good kitesurf + buggy + landboard + kitejumping kite. But not amazing at any of them.
The Gamma is built for one thing - buggying and it is amazing at it. So ... get me in a buggy. Now.
Design + tools
I didn't design the kite, Anderson Smith did.
I tweeked the kite shape a little to give it a higher aspect ratio. This makes the kite slower turning but with more pull.
The curve of the canopy is to stretch the top fabric taught to reduce the amount of bulge you get in the cells. The bulge distorts the profile shape, and height.
Cutting, sticking, cutting, sewing.
I lost count of the number of times I sewed the wrong panels together. Or one of them was upside down, or the top panel was on the bottom. My unpicker tool was the most used item :-( What I learned was to mark every panel with as much information about it as possible. I got so obcessive about it that I wrote to the author of Foilmaker and he added the idea of a compass on each printed page; LE, mid, tip, TE, on the four points. Nice.
The construction technique I used was to sew from the tip to the middle, I sewed 3 sheets at the same time. If I was sewing the bottom of the kite I'd sew two bottom panels and the bottom of the rib together. I found this very hard, especiall trying to get all 3 seams lined up correctly.
Bridle, knots, adjustabilty. This is all layed out in the plans.
As you can see in the photo (left) the break lines are pulling the trailing edge of the kite into little folds. I'm not sure how to fix this, or even if I can be bothered. The amount of drag is small I'd thought. We tend to choose kites that overpower us anyway (we're kitesurfers in our hearts) so the kite is usually pulling way too much :-)
More info on the gamma.
Don't forget to check out the comment links under the photos for more info, and why not leave a message of your own? Send me a link to your site!
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