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ARC Solo Launching & Landing

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  • bnow@earthlink.net
    Someone asked about launching and landing a Peter Lynn ARC solo. I wrote my methods down for him, and I figured others here might be interested in the same
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 30, 2000
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      Someone asked about launching and landing a Peter Lynn ARC solo. I
      wrote my methods down for him, and I figured others here might be
      interested in the same information, so I will copy it here. These
      methods are used with an ARC rigged with the rear brake lines
      approximately 8 inches longer than the front lines, with the
      depowering strap all the way out. There may be other methods that
      work, but these seem to work well for me. As a disclaimer, this is
      an account of my own personal experiences only, and are not meant to
      be interpreted as instructions. If you use these methods on your own,
      you do so at your own risk. Find a qualified instructor to teach you
      the proper techniques for this process. The following is only a
      sharing of my experience, and in no way meant as any type of
      substitute for proper professional instruction.

      ARC Solo Take-off

      I unfold the kite on it's back or top with one wing tip faced
      directly up wind and the other end downwind, so that the kite is on
      it's back parallel to the wind direction. Another way of describing
      this position would be that I stand with my back to the wind, hold
      onto one wing tip with the top of the kite facing down and the
      leading edge of the kite to my left, with the trailing edge to my
      right. I let the other wing tip float down wind like a flag laid
      flat. When I use this method I do it very close to the ground so
      that the downwind wing tip doesn't flap around to much. I make sure
      the sand under the kite doesn't have any debris that could puncture
      the kite. I place a good amount of sand on the upwind wing tip, and
      then work my way down putting sand on the rear trailing edge of the
      kite up to approximately 2 feet before and after the rear deflation
      Velcro flap. That means I keep the area of the deflation flap clear
      of sand by two feet on either side of it. Now I continue to cover
      the rear trailing edge all the way to the downwind wing tip. Now I
      drag the kite from the downwind wing tip end, with the sand on the
      trailing edge, perpendicular to the wind with the trailing edge
      facing directly into wind. It is important that I position the rear
      trailing edge directly perpendicular to the wind direction. Now I
      open the Velcro deflation flap and invert it into the kite so that
      the hole can remain open. I lift up on the flap area a bit to allow
      the kite to inflate through the deflation flap a bit. I check the
      position of the kite during inflation to see how evenly or squarely
      the wind is blowing on the kite. If it seems the wind is not blowing
      in the center of the kite, I move the position of the kite to correct
      it's position. I then close and Velcro the deflation flap. I put a
      fair amount of sand over the deflation flap area so that the whole
      trailing edge is now covered with sand with a bit more sand on the
      wing tips and the Velcro closure area. I attach my flying lines, and
      depending on wind speed, put a fair amount of brake on (tightening
      the rear lines) by letting the adjusting strap all the way out. I
      get my harness and other equipment on and ready. Then with my back
      to the wind, I stand directly upwind with the bar in my hand, making
      sure my lines are straight and correct. The leading edge lines (the
      edge of the kite where the intake holes are) attached to the center
      of my bar, and the rear brake lines (trailing edge) are attached to
      the ends of my bar. I get ready and slowly back up to tighten the
      lines until the kite is in an upright position but still on the
      ground. The kite will form a wall shape as the wind blows against
      it. If the kite wing tips fold in on itself when I do this, the
      angle of the kite to the wind is not correct or perhaps I don't have
      enough sand the wing tips and trailing edge of the kite. I allow the
      kite to continue to fill with air a bit in this wall position. I can
      slowly pump the kite back and forth in this position, allowing it to
      fill more with air without having it take off yet, if I have enough
      brake on and if I have enough sand on the trailing edge. Once I see
      there is enough air in the kite, I take some of the brake off by
      pulling in on the depowering strap slowly (thus loosening the rear
      lines) and get ready for take off. I keep backing up slowly, and if
      needed pump the kite a bit to remove the sand off of the trailing
      edge. At this point I am ready for take off. Depending on the
      amount of brake I have on, and the wind speed, the following things
      can happen if a person is inexperienced with the kite. If I don't
      have enough brake on when I pull the sand off, the kite will shoot
      straight up fast. Not a real problem if I'm prepared for it, I just
      have to be ready to be pulled or run like hell directly toward the
      kite. I don't suggest this method because it is kind of hairball /
      bonsai, and if the kite doesn't have enough air in it, it will
      collapse at the top of the wind window. If I have too much brake on,
      the kite will either sit on the ground in the wall position, or it
      will hover a few feet off the ground stalled in that position. The
      method I use is to have enough brake on to ease the kite up slowly to
      about 75 degrees overhead and then maneuver it left and right across
      the wind window until it is fully inflated. ARC's can be unstable
      and collapse unless they are filled up completely with air, so I
      don't do any radical maneuvers until it is filled completely. Once
      inflated I'm ready to rip.

      Landing By Myself.

      My bar is setup with a depowering adjusting strap that is rigged with
      the rear lines approximately 8 inches longer than the front lines
      with the strap all the way out. In light winds I am able to put
      enough brake on by letting the strap all the way out to slowly back
      the ARC down backwards directly downwind. If I am unable to gain
      that much brake in higher winds, I grab the brake lines evenly and
      pull them in slowly to gain enough brake and steer the kite down
      backwards. The grabbing of brake lines is a more advanced method
      that I practiced in low winds to master before attempting it in
      higher winds. The danger is that I am hooked in at this point and if
      I were to let go of the brake lines while bringing the kite down in
      the power zone, I could be in for quite an unexpected ride. Once the
      kite is on the ground I can grab one side of the leader lines and let
      go of the bar. I hold one front line, and one rear line on one side
      of the kite only, so that with the bar loose the kite turns into a
      flag. I can then follow the lines down to the kite keeping tension
      on them until I get to the kite. The other method I use more often
      is to let go of my bar once the kite is down and allow my leash
      system to pull the two lines on one side of the kite for me. I then
      walk down to the kite with the two lines tensioned, put sand on the
      kite and deflate it. That's it. These methods may seem a bit
      involved to put into words, but I find it to be really quick and easy
      in practice.

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