New FlowForm-like kite : HQ Invento Flow Foil
  • Hello there fellow KAPers,

    I received a discount coupon on the (European) Volango store by email. 10% on all singleline kites until 28/03 : "vog-3ba-rns". By the way, it makes the 9ft Levitation Light Delta about 50
  • Kickme,
    The smallest looks like the FF16 (a little bigger) since HQ Flow Foil 3: Size: 61 x 80 in= 1,54m x 2,032m.
    Let us know how it works!
  • Running the numbers, it looks like the Invento 3 is a 33sq ft kite. The larger ones are quite a bit larger. My guess is the Invento number is square meters, which makes the Invento 7 really really big. REALLY big.

    On another note I didn't know anyone made a Flow Form 450. I did a double-take when I saw that on the FunWithWind site, and had to check the specs. Yep, 450 square feet. The recommended line would just about pick up my Jeep. I was a little dismayed to see the picture for that kite showed a human being holding it (or appearing to, anyway). Come to think of it, the HQ Invento 7 isn't too far off from that size.

    Can't say I've tried the new HQ kites for KAP. If anyone tries the Invento 7, let me know so I can stay well clear!

  • See this new softkite in the sky too:
    Ivo van Olmen designed the Explorer for Didak, Belgien.
    Side 11 in the pdf-catalogue

    Ralf Diedrich wrote an article:
  • Love the wind range on these new sleds...

    - HQ Flow Foil 3 - Wind Range: 8-31 Bft

    - HQ Flow Foil 5 - Wind Range: 8-49 Bft

    By my simple math - these wind speeds are approaching 300 mph - not bad for a kite. You never know when a tornado may show up. These kites should work fine in the lower latitudes of the planet Jupiter with winds routinely in excess of 400 mph. Recommended line looks a bit light at these speeds.
    Wind Speed


  • FWIW, my HQ Flowform 2.0 (approx 32sq ft) is still my 'go to' kite at the moment where conditions allow. Robustly built and super stable.

    I too would be interested to hear how these bigger Invento foil kites perform.........
  • It seems to me that Fun with Wind has mistakenly wrote Bft instead of mph. All wind ranges on their other kites are in mph. gives 3-6 Bft for Invento foil 3. They also gives other units such as 7,6-30,9 mph.
    They also range 2-6 Bft for Invento foils 5 and 7.
  • A few days ago I ordered the Invento HQ Flow Foil 5 (indeed 5 square meters, as it measures 2m by 2m64cm) from Volango.
    It arrived today. Wow.. what a beast. gigantic!
    It comes complete with 2 gigantic Taffeta tube-tails (20 meters or 66feet long) in matching colours.. In a solid kitebag.
    Specified windrange: 2 - 6 Bft aka 8 to 49km/h aka 5 - 31 mph.

    Now just I need to find a flying field big enough to let it fly.... and time to practice flying it.
    Anyone else using this kite?

  • I don't know Ed.. You may need a larger kite to lift that A590 IS.. ;)

    What line are you using with that, 300# ? The only kite I use for KAP is my Power Sled 14 (1.3 sq meters), and that has enough pull at times to frighten me. I couldn't imagine 5 sq. meters. I think it may take you for a ride with 49 km/hr winds.
  • Hey Brandon, i was thinking about lifting my old Nikon D70 DSLR ;-) (eventually .... ?? )
    NO seriously, that Flow Foil 5 might be a tad overpowered for kap..

    Recommended line for that kite is 260daN (=kg) , which equals nearly 600# - if I converted it correctly. But I guess there is a 100% safety margin calculated in that line strength..
    In 49km/h winds (and even much less) i'd tie it to a real solid anchor point and not fly it out of my hand ;)
  • It's a good idea to use a lifter for KAP that is just enough to lift your rig, and not much more. I'd strongly recommend not using a monster that will keep you totally preoccupied just keeping it from hurting someone.
  • I agree with Brooks. Safety must be a first priority with these large kites......heck....put on a climbing harness and you can cut down on air fair....this kite will take you where you may not wish to go!
  • Perhaps I should clarify that I didn't buy this kite for KAP purposes, don't worry!

    I have other kites for that: the Fled Mk III (handmade by Brooxes plans), Fled Flowform-8 and soon (when I finish sewing) a Flowform-16( both handmade to Harold Prinzler's FF03a plans.
  • I conducted the first succesful flight with my Flow Foil 5.0 today. I made some pictures of it flying (some KAP done with my FF03A-8) which can be viewed here.
    Wind was a solid 4 - 5Bft (up to 30km/h) from the North.
  • Very nice Ed! That thing is HUGE!
  • I have translated Ralf's review of the Explorer into something like English here. He loves the Explorer!
    Like Hamish I'm begining to worry about replaceing my Sutton FF. Now I find they are out of stock!
  • Wind chimes? That's a new one, but maybe musical kites are a good idea. Or perhaps it meant wind-socks or drogues, which would not be as interesting.

    Gomberg kites make their own FF equivalent, the Skyform, but the smallest at the moment is a 60 sq ft. Perhaps they will make a smaller version now the Sutton ones are gone.
  • Didaks choice of 2.7 is pretty clearly a push to replace the ff30. That really got my attention! I have got very used to 2.7 as a baseline for kite size to lift 1kg in Bft 2-4 with the Sutton. I firmly agree with Brooks on the balance between lift, rig and flyer. 30 sq ft (2.7sq m) is just dandy for me as an 11 stone (70kg) weakling

    I'll keep an eye out for a Gomberg Skyform 30 while I wait for my Explorer...maybe Gomberg could take up the Sutton licence?

    I thought 'wind chimes' was rather fun but it will be a drogue for me!
  • There isn't yet a clear solution to the fading supply of Sutton Flow Forms. Air Affairs is straddling the fence, not wanting to sell out completely, but terminating wholesale sales and stopping manufacture of, e.g., the FF8. I've urged David Gomberg to see what he can do about that, and while he's willing to do what he can, without Air Affairs' cooperation, that probably consists of making a smaller version of his Skyform. Such a solution is not likely to be on the market for another year.

    HQ is making a long-tail Flow Form in medium sizes, and I have an order in for their smallest one to try it, but it's much bigger than the FF16, which I still consider the workhorse of KAP. Unfortunately, just about anything is going to be considerably more expensive than the FF16.

    Ralf's KAP-Foil is being manufactured by HQ under license, and I plan to carry the smaller [sic] one here -- but it's going to be lotsa money and at 5 sq m, still much bigger than I'd like.
  • "FOTOKITE 160 Kite designed upon FLOH concept. Great solution for aerial photography. Increased number of cells a number of which is closed in the external part of the kite. Additional sockets inside the kite are provided to maintain distribution of air. Materials: 39g/m2 fabric, 3 and 4 mm polyester line. Strength of wind: 1,0-7,0Bft. " This description is for the producer in Poland. I have this kite and it is well made, and well-fly. Very popular with the KAP-people in Poland, but in a larger size 250, 350. Price FOTOKITE 160 - $ 100.

    Piotr ;O)

    F 160
  • Piotr, Brooks

    I have gotten used to to 30 sq feet (2.7m sq) of the Sutton FF30 so any replacement I go for will have to be about the same size/pull. Ralf's KAP foil is a really lovely kite but why so big? Even scaled down to 5msq its going to be a handful! I have to be mobile with my kite and managing a powerfull foil is not what I want to be doing while I'm taking photos by RC!

    Just how big is the Fotokite 160? And how do I get one?

  • Fotokite 160 has a surface 21 sq feet. Here's the link to the store in Poland. They speak English (Head).

  • The Didak Explorer looks for all the world like the Mock Form Mini. Nice looking kite.

    Re: the Explorer's rocking tendencies, I'd say sew tabs on the rear corners and use a Y bridle on the drogue -- or a good old fuzzy tail.

    Thanks for the research, Bill! I'm still looking too.
  • I promised myself a Sutton FF16 for this upcoming summer but that is not going to happen as we all know.
    Also looking for a decent replacement.
    Thanks a lot for these comparisments.
    Keep up the good work.
  • Brooks, I had wondered about the Y line for the tail. I'll do that. The rocking seems to be a bit of a characteristic of the Mini Mock design:

    I'll need to check the sizes but the Explorer 2.7 has nothing like the power of the Sutton 30, it's definitely made from heavier fabric. The Didakites Explorer is made from 'crunchy' rip-stop (40D?). The Sutton is made from something softer: does anyone know what the fabric spec for the Sutton is?

    When the weather breaks (it's flat calm and overcast now ... :-( ) I'll see if I can get some better idea of the load I can get the Explorer to carry. I think the Explorer 2.7 might be a good match for the FF16.

    I know Ralf has done a good job with the KAPfoil but the size scares the pants off me: I saw an 8m version fly at KapiNed10 and its really steady.... but I need to be mobile!

  • Suttons were made out of various types/brands of fabric. I remember especially the red was very soft and slippery. Other colours were more crunchy.

    Yes, the Explorers are made out of heavier cloth. And they have more (and heavy!) bridle lines and more ribs/keels. So they are heavier and thus generate less usable lift. plus their drag must be great then that of a FF30.

  • but the size scares the pants off me

    Hi Bill,
    you can scale down the KAP-Foil easily.
    LG Flattersaus
  • Ralf,
    I'm loooking for an 'off the shelf' lifter, any chance of getting HQ to roll out a 2 or 3m KAP-foil?

    Maybe a cheap way forward with the Explorer would be to cut away 2 of its 5 keels and replace the bridle with lighter line?

  • Ralf, I must agree with Bill. There's a big hole in the market for a soft lifter of about 2 square meters, and I don't want to build it myself, nor do my customers. Any help you can provide would be ausgezeichnet.

    I've added the Into the Wind Parafoil 10 as a hopeful replacement, which should be stronger than the Flow Form 8 but not as strong as the FF16 (I hope to compare them all when weather cooperates), but the hole remains for the 16 replacement.
  • The Peter Lynn factory has a 2 square metre Pilot parafoil for NZD120, about $100 US. Postage from NZ should not be high for such a small and light kite. The kite is well-made and flies well, in my experience, and although designed as a lifter for inflatable kites and line laundry, should serve well for KAP. These are usually built to order in your choice of colour, but if you are not fussy they might have one or two available off the shelf.
  • The 2 m Pilot looks like a good idea, the 4m Cim Lifter ( a Pilot copy) is a realy good kite once its tuned. .Meanwhile I'm getting to know the Explorer a bit better
  • Meanwhile I have added tail loops to the trailling corners of the Explorer to dampen the rocking, it helps!

    I'm begining to think Ralf's 5m KAPfoil would be a good thing..I already fly a 4m Lifter in light wind so maybe its not so scary?

  • And now I know the upper windspeed fr th Didak Explorer:

    It's a handy kite but its windrange for KAP is pretty limited!

  • Hello,
    I ordered a Explorer 1,6 for Kap. What do you think of usability and stability, is it the stability the same like in your Tests? Should I make some Modifications and which weight to lift is possible?
    Which Windrange do you think is the right for the 1,6?
    At the beginning of KAP I use a very lightweight Keycam #16 and try to have fun with my daughters 4 and 2 Years old, but I think this Kite pulls to much for the older daughter!?

    OK. Too late, it has been sent out right after my Order, so I should make the best out of it, for example with lightweight Rig etc.
    Is here someone who tested it?

  • I'm new to KAP and want to use KAP for some remote-sensing work over corn and soybean experiments. I'm lifting a rig (camera + picavet) of 750 g (1.65 lb). I've got a Fled that works great in the 6 to 12 mph range but really need something that is stable in the 15 to 20 mph range.

    I need to be mobile while the kite is up to position the camera correctly over the field. I was wondering about the Shannon parafoils. They have a 30 sq ft model, and Gomberg's site lists them as excellent lifters.

    Does anyone have experience with this kite or have suggestions for what I'm trying to do?

    Many thanks from a newbie... Larry
  • Larry you should check out the Peter Lynn PLK 2m2 (pilot style parafoil) I have used this kite in 15mph+ winds for KAP with a 2 lb rig and have been very successful. Its best to use a fuzzy tail to promote stability note this is half the size of the Gomberg pilot 50 and only cost $120 with delivery direct from Peter Lynn.
  • I'd go with Nestor on this. The Shannon parafoil looks good, but pricey. The PL Pilot, besides costing a lot less, has the benefit of a much simpler bridle, which could be very important when you want to get the kite up and flying in a short time. David Gomberg quotes the Shannon as possibly needing adjustment to the factory setting of the bridle after it has been flown, which suggests a degree of touchiness I would rather do without. The PL Pilot is a very well-made kite and should give great service.

  • Jim and nriverajr,

    Thanks so much for your comments and suggestions. I'm looking into this right now.


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