ive been a fan of the Pansh brand since my first 4m Sprint from them that I bought against all advice for very little money that proved to be a fantastic flyer.
so naturally I couldn't resist trying out a depower kite of theirs.
within 3 weeks of ordering a brand new custom coloured 8m Aurora turned up complete with bar and lines. all cost less than £250. that wouldn't even buy you the smallest vapour fixed bridle kite.
now ive had it for a few months now and have flown it with varied weather conditions and it has been a struggle to get the right conditions.
it turned up in the usual oversized stuff bag that Pansh provide for these depowers.
I removed the 5th line as it came with 2 lines. the other attached to the lead lines allowing a depower position on emergency release rather than a fully folded jellyfish.
the Aurora has 4 deflation zips per wing tip which aids in repacking the kite quite well though a larger one on the upper skin centrally might work better in my opinion.
the build quality and materials are second to none and I love that they have printed the size on them too.
on the centre of the kite it has a small opening closed with Velcro, I can only assume this is a blowout valve in the event it undergoes a large impact, yet im not convinced if it would do anything. you can see where the 5th line attaches but has been removed leaving some spare pigtails.
First flight, straight from the bag, didn't go as excitingly as I hoped. id attached the lines walked back to launch and the nose tucked in without leaving the ground, pulling the bar in resulted in a better launch attempt. so I shortened the rear lines, several times until 150mm had been taken out. then it flew but would tuck at zenith. further adjustment and the rear lines were 200mm shorter and it would sit nicely but always on power.
as soon as I touched the center line trim it would again tuck the nose and collapse. id even had a fellow buggier have a go, one of the uks top buggy pilots and he came back and he wasn't smiling. it would tuck then snap back causing a unsafe flying situation.
so I thought it through, looked at the speed stystem and realised that as you depower the kite, it was able to reduce the aoa too far and the wind would be ontop of the canopy and push it down. I stopped this with a small mod of a rubber grommet on the speed system. it allows the kite to be powered up, but on depowering it would only let the b lines go as far as I wanted which left the a and b line identical lengths. this maintains a positive aoa at the front of the kite keeping it steady and sitting as it should. upon further depowering it would still allow the c lines to slacken and essentially break the back of the aerofoil resulting in some reflex and loss of lift. ive used grommets so its adjustable and later I may be able to change the line length its on instead.
now I have only tried the mod in low winds but did help the kite to zenith by running backwards and there was no tuck but only stalling due to low wind. infact when the wind picked up enough the kite sat what looked like past the window directly above, this made me worry but it still didn't tuck or fall. could be a good sign? we will see, as soon as I get out in decent conditions.
The mod on the speed system needed tweeking to make it reliable. The rubber grommets didn't work as one broke under use and allowed one edge to tuck again. I Replaced them with metal rings and tweeked it further......
When fully depowered the a lines are 1/2 inch above the b lines at the gather knot. This little positive aoa keeps it flying while allowing for good depower.
Tacks were a sinch and suicide gybes became sexy all the while being able to throw the bar away, depower, hold the line and not worry about the kite.
It is no race kite! My H8 in the same wind was much faster, but then the aurora did feel underpowered in certain reaches so would benifit from 15mph winds upwards for full advantage. I will race with it as and when the conditions allow, depower does hold a lot of advantages. It just needs to be lit up to make it worth it.
Here's a video of last Friday at pembrey