RRD 2004 with zippers to change size
- SOunds great to me !
The new Zipping Power Control system allows modification of the power
and flight characterisitics by zipping up or unzipping from one to
three to four zippers. The zippers modify the angle of attack and the
effective power generation of the kite. RRD indicates that
substantial added wind range can be realized through the zipped and
unzipped configurations with one kite.
Alex estimated that the zippers allow about 3 to 5 mph in the smaller
kites and 5 to 7 mph extra wind range in the larger kites. I asked
him if they had problems with sand with the zippers. He tells me that
during R&D they dumped tons on sand into the zippers however they
still performed as intended. They have installed plastic rivets to
improve wear resistance at the inflatable strut ends. They have
installed reinforced "rescue" handles to aid in handling the wing
tips during bailout procedures.
The 8 and 10 m kites have one zipper over the center strut, and the
13 and 16 m kites have three zippers , the 20 m has 4 zippers while
the the 26 m has 1 zipper. The new Type Z kites, with the zippered
angle of attack (AOA) control, are on average 1 ½ lb LIGHTER than the
Airtypes. The zippers are an all or none feature, either the zippers
are all the way open or all the way closed. The zippers use in the
kites were originally developed for the America's Cup boat Alinghi by
RiRi, an Italian company. Cabal states that the new zippers have been
tested on RRD kites for over 6 months with no problems.