Launching A Flexifoil - The Power Kite Site

3 Ways to Launch a Flexifoil

 

2 Flexifoils stacked - 8' FlexisLaunching -

There are basically 3 different ways to launch a Flexifoil. Two of them are for when you're on your own and the other with someone to help.

 

 

The easiest way to launch a Flexifoil is with a friend

Click for a larger view

When having a friend help you launch make sure that they know that they should be downwind so the sail fills up easily. Just make sure they are holding the Flexifoil with the spar laying on their fingertips from underneath and not gripping it. Make sure that they know not to throw the Flexi.

It will fill and fly off when it is ready.

 

Launching on your own (The easy method)
Provided you are in a nice large field where there is plenty of wind on the ground behind you, launching on your own is a breeze :-). After laying your Flexifoil out on the ground the with the leading edge facing into the wind just walk backwards slowly. The Flexifoil will begin to fill with air and follow you. Once it is full of air just give the lines an extra tug and the Flexifoil will just sail up into the air.

It may help to have your hands down low - about knee height.

 


Fold back launch

If there is a lot of wind and you find that the Flexifoil is trying to take off before you are ready, just fold the leading edge a couple of inches back onto the sail so that the weight of the spar will stop it filling with air. When you start walking backwards to launch the flexi, this will be pulled off and towards you enabling the Flexifoil to fill with air and take off.

 

Launching On Your Own (the upside down way)
This method starts with your Flexifoil upside down so that it will not fill with air and fly away.This can be a bit tricky to learn but is handy because your Flexifoil lands upside down and rather than having to walk all the way to turn it over, you launch it from where you are standing. When you are ready to launch pull on one line so that the leading edge is facing away from you and  into the wind. The wind will fill the sail flipping it over. Continue to pull the sail until it is now facing you and then continue the launch as above.

This method is not that easy, but once mastered can save time and energy.

Flexifoil Spar Maintenance
Often the spar may pop apart while it is in flight, due to the ferrule being a bit loose. The easy fix is just to tape the spars together.

You will need to have 4 pieces of re-inforced tape for each join. Any sort of re-inforced tape will work well.

 

Firstly tape the ferrule to the spar where it is already attached just for extra support.
Click for a larger view Then cut an 6 inch length of tape and fold it over 1 1/2 inches so it sticks to itself, creating a 3 inch length of tape which has no sticky edge to it.  Place it lengthways along the ferrule and tape down about 1 inch of it to the ferrule leaving about 2 inches hanging over as a "flap" as in the photo thereby creating a flap. This setup will remain on the spar permanently.

 

Next cut a length of tape 4-5 inches long. Fold back each end about 1/4 of an inch onto itself as this piece of tape will be used again and again. The folding back will enable you to peel it off the ferrule easily after each use.

 

Click for a larger view Insert the spar into the ferrule and tape down the flap you created. This simple fix will stop the spar popping apart in mid flight and will last for months even years. We have had this same piece of tape on one of our Flexis for about 2 years, and it is just as sticky and good as the day it was put on. (It just looks a bit naff now from use).

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