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Lithium (L'Atelier)

Lithium (L'Atalier)

 

Specifications
Model:
Make:
Designer:
Frame:
Sail:
Bridle:
Opt. wind range:
Rec. Lines:
Price
Lithium
L'Atelier
Ramal Tien
G-Force Carbon

Icarex PC31 + Mylar
3point + 4thleg
2 - 20 mph
100-200 lbs, 75-150'
170

 

This is the latest great design from L'Atelier Great because the French manufacturer has not brought out anything now for some time. Great equally because It has a whole 250 cm wingspan. We can't help but notice that the members of Sky Dance have adopted it for their respective demos and competitions.

DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION
The Lithium has a relatively open nose, slightly cambered leading edges and significant depth, above all in the area of the wing section in Mylar. The tail is wide, but the spine short and small winglets complete the wing tips.

The sail is a mix of polyester ripstop and Mylar.

Mylar is also used for the standoff reinforcements on the back of the sail. It has all APA fittings, the frame is in G-Force except for the top spreader. It has a three point bridle equipped with a fourth leg. Its quality of manufacture and finishing is very good.

 

FLIGHT TEST
The Lithium made itself known in a 6 to 10 mile an hour wind, to the extent of pulling slightly, as soon as the test started. It had great presence in the sky. In the first fifteen minutes one felt a slight instability in the tracking, exiting turns and angles. It responded quickly to commands and demonstrated relatively significant speed. The slightest movement of the hands was seen immediately in the kite's behavior, probably due to the choice of G-Force which make the Lithium very stiff. It's therefore a kite that demands to be kept well in hand and which compels the flier to be very precise in his maneuvers and vigilant at all times. Once this is established great flight paths can be achieved with the Lithium.

Although its speed is considerable, the Lithium does not accelerate in the middle of the window. The speed is constant and it allows a number of figures to be carried out, giving them lots of emphasis.

The Lithium stalls perfectly and remains taped in place on demand. It side slides just as well, without wobbling, to the middle of the window.

There is no doubt that the Lithium is a precision beast, therefore no surprise that Sky

Dance left their North Shores for it.

'Me bridle is equipped with a fourth leg, adjustable in length. This leg is always taut, and is linked to a plastic ring that slides along the two legs attached to the leading edge. As such, the more this leg is shortened, the more the 'V' is formed by the bridle as it nears the leading edge. And vice versa. The effects? The Lithium is more stable the longer this leg is left, Similarly if the setting of the incidence is brought up, the stability is cranked up another notch as it makes the kite a little less responsive and therefore easier to control.

This type of bridle allows true modification of the kite's reactions, from one for pure precision (lengthened fourth leg) to good freestyling (shortened fourth leg).

In freestyle set-up the Lithium slightly oversteers and is less stable. Normal! You gain in the axel rotation but a slight jolt was noticed when it was taking up again. The axel is not really on the back or rigorously flat. It's closer to a half axel, which allows good timing for a cascade to be quickly found.

As much as the Lithium was very responsive in precision, in freestyle you to be generous with the volume of your movements and really get hard into it. To reduce the requirement to be so gesticular (some don't like it) we recommend you use 75ft lines.

Landings in the middle of the window, groundwork and coin tosses are all very easy. On the ground, on the tip, with the fourth leg at its longest, one manages to hold the position for a long time, bring its nose down to the ground and take it back up again. There is maximum control.

Some difficulty was met in making it go onto its back and the turtle is not the most stable. The Lithium goes into a fade very easily, but has the tendency to take-up again very quickly, even when moving forward. The only way found to alleviate this was to close the incidence to the maximum.

CONCLUSION
The Lithium seems to be a very versatile kite with lots of potential thanks to its wide range of settings. Undeniably it's an excellent kite for individual flying, and a reduction in speed would make it perfect for team flying. Even as it is, its qualities have already been proven in demonstration, when fliers like to let themselves go. Bravo to L'Atelier who, with the Lithium, have managed to offer a kite which meets the exact current trend in flying. 0

 

GOOD POINTS BAD POINTS
Precision and freestyle performance

Numerous settings possible

Traction and speed
VERDICT  
Accessibility
Reliability
Deisgn
Quality/Price ratio
Performance
Packaging
3/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
2/5

 

 

 

Kite Passion Magazine

This review was taken from
Kite Passion Magazine - Jun/July 99

 

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kite fest photos
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