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Outer Space (Benson Kites)

Benson Outer Space

Specifications
Wing span
Weight
Dimensions
Sail
Frame
Upper Spreader
Lower spreader
Upper leading edge
Lower leading edge
Spine
Stand off
Wind range

Recommended lines
Price
84"
245 g
225 x 109 cm
Icarex PC31 / Mylar laminates
Structil Hi-Modulus 6mm carbon
50 cm 6.0mm structil standard
74 cm 6.0mm structil High Mod
67.5 cm 6.0 mm structil standard
82.5 cm 6.0 mm structil high mod
82.5 cm 6.0 mm structil high mod
24.5 cm 3.0 mm carbon rod
3 - 18 mph

80 lb / 75 ft spectra
135

The Outer Space is the latest offering from Top UK designer Tim Benson and has been developed over the past year and a half through competition experience in the UK.

The kite has a very clean look, with curved leading edges, curved panels and the snowboard style 'b' logo in the centre of the kite. The Outer Space was developed primarily as a freestyle kite but it has already proven itself as a mean precision kite.

DESIGN / CONSTRUCTION
The Outer Space has a lightly cambered leading edge and a curved trailing edge with a leech line. The wide set and long (25cm) stand-off creates a deep channel that runs right up to the nose of the kite.

The distinctive sail design owes more to skate styles than dated kite graphics and is   both modern and attractive. The sail is sewn from Icarex PC31 and Mylar laminate, and is made up of six panels plus the 'b' applique centre. The seams are all sewn flat with the glue and zigzag stitch method. There is reinforcement in Mylar all the way up the spine and at the stand-off positions, with more familiar Dacron used at the 'T'. The tail gets a Velcro fastener and the nose has lightweight webbing. The frame is entirely made up of 6mm Structil carbon which is both light, stiff and highly resilient. The lower spreaders are plugged at the 'T' end to further increase strength. The kite has a completely new 'active' bridle developed by top UK competition flyer, Andy Wardley, which serves to increase control especially through tricks, while maintaining the kite's precision by smoothing out wobbles and power surges during gusts.

The other innovation is an active trick line - with the simple addition of a bungee cord at the centre.

FLIGHT TEST
First impressions of the Outer Space are of smoothness and complete control. The kite has no hidden idiosyncrasies to become accustomed to -in this sense the kite is very accessible even to the extent that a beginner would have no problem picking it up. It tracks smoothly and without

wobbles; angular turns are precise and free of oversteer. To get the best out of the kite in the precision area, small and equally precise hand movements worked best. The Outer Space had a large window and very wide wind range, flying from about 3mph up to just under 20.

Axels are smooth, 540s easy, fades clean and consistently well held. Where the Outer Space really scores is the ease with which more advanced tricks can be done - double axels, lazy susans, pop fades and headsprings are now easier to execute.

The active bridle makes double axels more consistent, while the active trick line makes lazy susans throughout the window a reality. The controllability of the kite shows itself again in the ability to control speed through tricks. They can be slow and lazy or hustled through fast.

CONCLUSION
The Outer Space has brought a more up-to-date look to sport kiting, and more importantly new levels of consistency, smoothness and excellent accessibility. The kite is among the easiest to trick that ever come across, it has a huge usable wind range and its precision capabilities are nonetheless very accompli-shed. The Outer Space has a durable, stiff yet inexpensive frame making the its price attractive and again accessible.

With the Outer Space we feel that perhaps Tim Benson has given us a new benchmark for the ultimate all rounder of the late 90s to follow his much copied Phantom of the beginning of the decade.

Good Points Bad Points
Very accessible
Wide wind range
Excellent advanced trick performance
No instructions

Verdict
Accessibility
Reliability
Design
Price/Quality ratio
Performance
Packaging
5/5
4/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
3/5

 

Kite Passion Magazine

This review was taken from
Kite Passion Magazine - Oct/Nov 98

General Kiting Info
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Beaufort wind scale

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kite fest photos
design and plans

Buggying
how to buggy

first lesson

buggy tricks guide
buggy pics
tandem buggying
kite buggy email group

Power Kiting
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Flexifoils
stacking Flexis
launching a Flexifoil

spar maintenance

 

Misc
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about me
 

Extras
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holder 14

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guitars


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