More Bridle Adjustment Tips For Your Kite
"I just bought
a new stunt kite and it won't fly correctly if at all. After reading your
bridle adjustment page
, I suspect I may need to adjust the bridle, but I'm still a little confused
by it all. Can you give me some hints on how to set this thing up for proper
confused by bridle adjustments after reading the bridle adjustment page?
Not to worry, lets try an analogy that will help you understand what the
final goal that you're trying to achieve is.
ever held your hand out of a car window on the highway you may already
know more than you think concerning setting up a sport kite's bridle for
enhanced flight. You will have noticed that if you tilted the top of
your hand into the wind it started lifting your hand and arm. When
you tilted your hand too far into the wind it would have very little
lift as the passing air would start escaping under the palm of your
hand. As you tilted your hand slowly back so that your fingers were
pointed straight up you may have noticed that the lift slowly decreased
as you tilted it back. You may have also noticed that the force of the
wind hitting your hand had become much stronger than when your hand was
tilted forward a bit.
sport kite reacts the way your hand did when you were "window surfing".
If you have wind but your kite won't lift off, chances are the nose
needs to be tilted into the wind by raising the bridle just as you
tilted your hand into the wind above. Tilting the nose "too" far into
the wind will have the same affect as above - you'll have reduced lift
as the air easily passes under the trailing edge of the kite just as the
air passed under the palm of your hand. Tilting the nose back by
lowering the bridle has the same affect as tilting your hand back until
your fingers were pointing straight up. Slowly the kite loses lift, just
as when you moved your hand back, until there is no lift at all.
You want to find a bridle position that is tilting the nose of the kite
into the wind enough to make it lift and fly, but not so much that it
dumps the air under the trailing edge, if it is tilted too far back on
the other hand, it won't lift at all.
place to start is to suspend your *fully assembled* kite by it's tow
points from two clips in a work area with a picture in your mind that
the wind is coming straight from the ceiling. As you stand back
and look at the kite, the leading edge and spine will be roughly
parallel to the ground.
A good starting point is to have the nose
slightly higher off the ground than the tail of the kite. You can use a
measuring tape if you like, but just eyeing up the leading edge should
work fine. If the nose is closer to the ground than the tail and your
kite won't take off you've just found the most likely reason, you need
to raise the bridle (slide the tow points towards the nose) until the
nose is tilted into the wind (farther from the floor than the tail while
hanging from it's tow points).
*Exactly how much further from the floor should the nose be as compared
to the tail of the kite?* Different designs will have
different angles of attack "built into" them but a good rule of thumb
might be to start with the nose 3 to 5 inches higher off the ground than
the tail. That means if your kite is hanging from the ceiling by it's
tow points and you measure the tail at 50" off the ground, you could
adjust your bridle so the nose measures 53 to 55" above the ground.
Remember that these are "starting points", they are meant for the
folks reading this article that can't get their kite to fly. After the
kite is in the air it's time to fine tune: see the other
bridle adjustment page
bridle adjustment, it's important to check that both of the bridles are
exactly the same on both sides. If one is higher than the other for
example, that side of the kite will lift more and flight characteristics
will seem unstable - not what a new pilot needs when just starting out!
With the kite still hanging from it's tow points, a quick eyeing up of
both bridles will assure you have them equalized.