Pansh 'First' 5M Prototype
The First is a kite in development by Pansh Kites for buggy racing and is in prototype release. While this kite is in development for buggy racing it has many fine attributes to commend it to the experienced beach buggy flyer. Low lift, upwind performance and fine control come immediately to mind. The kite looks great in flight, is manufactured from first rate components and the manufacture quality is second to none.
The livery is an exciting departure from that of the Sprint using an alternating pattern of black and white similiar to the checkered flag for Formula 1. This design adds a new level of complexity to the assembly of the kite calling for unprecedented precision in the manufacturing process. Power kites are very challenging in there assembly due to being made up of a large number of strips of fabric. This kite increases this challenge as the strips are made up of alternating black and white segments.
I will fly the kite using the new coloured (red 220kg / blue 136kg) 20M, coated dyneema line set offered by Pansh.
The kite will be reviewed in onshore winds for beach buggying and for static flight. The onshore winds experienced locally have a large thermal component and therefore vary in strength and direction. The strength varies typically as follows in knots
0-3, 3-6, 6-12, 10-15, 10 -20, 15-25, 18-30
Area = 5 M sq
Chord = 1.15 M
Span = 5.32 M
Fabric: Ripstop crisp fabric
There are 40 cells with the two center cells (20&21) closed and 9 open cells to left (11 to 19) and right (22 to 30) of centre cells with 10 cells closed on each wing tip.
Open 18 Closed 22
Sandouts: Cell 2 & 39 - Velcro
Bridle Material: White Coated Dyneema, sewn loops
Configuration: A, B, C and D
The power bridle is 2 teir with 27 primary connections cascading to 10 secondary at the leader for the powerline. Numbering from centre out PA(1-9) PB(1-9) PC(1-9).
PA (1-2) – SA 1, PA (3-4) - SA 2, PA(5-6) – SA 3
PB (1-2) – SB 1, PB (3-4) - SB 2, PB(5-6) – SB 3
PC (1-2) – SC 1, PC (3-4) - SC 2, PC(5-6) – SC 3
There are 9 connect points on the outer three cells to support the wing tips.
PA (7-8) 9, PB (7-8) 9, PC (7-8) 9 - S10
D bridle with 9 connect points each side.
This bridle configuration offers strong balanced support of the canopy giving predictable flight characteristics. The kite flies on its power bridles and can be responsively steered using the power lines only, with the brakes controlling speed, enhancing steerage and controlling landing. The brakes can be released without the kite overflying the wind window.
Wind Range: Gusting to 20 knots, but will generate useful power from 6 Knts.
I attached the lines to the bridle at the longest setting offered on the bridle header leads and the kite flew as I wanted, the brakes are off in flight but with very responsive control, launching and landing.
The kite requires to be allowed to inflate before lift off then rolling onto one tip and flying away across the wind window.
Gentle even pressure on the brakes will back the kite onto the ground.
The kite launches easily – first inflate on the sand allowing wing tips to fill. A gentle tug on the power lines to lift kite into the wind window. Gentle pressure on brakes to steady kite pull on one power line to steer kite to vertical in centre of wind window then ease brakes to fly to edge of wind window. Above 6 knots the kite will sit stationary at edge of wind window if a gentle pressure is applied to the brakes.
The kite responds well to control of both brake and power lines. Its speed across the wind window can be regulated by brake pressure on both lines. Figure eights both up and down turn, generated generous power in 3 to 6 knts for sand skudding.. The kite exhibits low lift when flown quickly to the zenith and responds evenly to brake pressure to land backwards. The kite can also be landed downwind by collapsing the lower wing tip onto the sand and releasing pressure on the upper power line allowing the kite to lay on its back. This technique is useful when landing alone in high winds.
The kite proved itself in the buggy being stable and controllable. I flew the kite on a strop on a seat harness. This allowed me to fly one handed steering on the power lines. It is essential that no pressure is exerted on the brake lines to prevent unwanted steerage and to allow the kite to respond to gusts by moving forward in the wind window and accelerating the buggy. In strong gusts there would be a surging forward of the kite and as the gust passed the kite would slide back in the window which gave the illusion of the buggy catching up to the kite. If the kite shifted due to updraft , wind shift or inadvert inputs I found it responsive to corrections and therefore not threatened if it drifted around the wind window.
All up my buggy and I are relatively light at 120kg. The 5M First generates usable power from 5 knts and remained manageable to gusting 20knts with controllable loss of traction in gusts over 15/16knots. The first session with the kite lasted over 2 hours. Max speed was 59.5 km/h. I was on the beach with a Libre Vmax powered by a 10M Flysurfer Speed 1.5 and in wind speeds of 10/15knots I was able to pass the Vmax going full speed in the opposite direction turn to follow and round it up in about 2km and pull away.
I flew it on long runs to windward that lasted for over 15 minutes at speeds around 40 km/h and found it much less tiring than say an ACE. The kite was so stable, predictable and low lift I could comfortably fly it 1M off the sand or quickly push it up to 80 deg in the window if necessary.