Four KAP kites compared - Bft 4

edited January 2013 in Kites
Here is a line pull and flight comparison of four KAP kites.
Wind was a nice steady 12 to 14kn onshore breeze (Bft 4)

PFK Nighthawk delta
PL 2m2 Pilot parafoil
9ft Levitation delta
7ft Pirate rokkaku (fibreglass spars)


  • edited January 2013
    Nice job, Andrew -- very instructive.

    The Levitation Delta seemed most impressive for KAP in those conditions, as I think you indicated, judging by the actual movement of your scale (numbers and device itself) and the kiteline. Calm line = calm camera = great photos, right?

    Thanks for putting this up.
  • Thanks, I have wanted to do this for ages.
    In those conditions yes the Levi Delta was the stand out. I actually used the PFK for the stills because it's so easy to handle and the rig was only 300g.
  • Yes a very good video, furthering my desire to make a big screaming deathdive delta to go with my lonely PFK, i wouldn't have launched my 7ft Rok as a constant 14lb pull doesn't give me much time to hold by hand before i would have to tether. On a different note its nice to see some sunshine, its seemed very grim here for some time. Today we have snow on the ground with 11mph clean NEasterlys and its as grey as porridge.
  • Like the experiment and the comparison. I am convinced the amount of motion induced on the kite line by the kite is a major source of image blur. The Levitation and Levitation Lite deltas seem to fly a bit quieter while still providing excellent lift.

  • edited January 2013
    Great to see a comparison.
    The Levitation was one of the kites recommended to us by Emma Xiao for stability.
  • SueSue
    edited January 2013
    Here's what I wrote about my Emma Kites Levitation style delta in a different thread ><;

    Since my Last comment I bought an Emma kites Levitation style delta. The first time I flew it, it was a disappointment as it flexed a lot giving hardly any pull and also flew to the left by 30 degrees. It was also not very well made in places. I bought £30 worth of 6mm carbon tube and replaced the vertical spar and the upper part of both leading edge spars. I have enough for the whole of the leading edge spars but kept the lower flexible halves in place as well as the cross spar. My reasoning for this is that if the wind became stronger the kite would flex and spill wind and not become unmanageable.
    I found that the kite seemed to be slightly wider in one side than the other and sewed it near the keel to make it narrower. I hoped that it would flying straighter with this adjustment.
    I flew my improved Emma kites yesterday in the light winds it was made for. It really Did want to fly and took off easily It gave a steady pull which would have carried my light rig. When I pulled hard on the line imitating stronger wind, the kite flexed its wings as expected so that theory was correct.
    It still flew left, maybe a little less. Once, it started to flying sideways but when I let out the line quite rapidly, it recovered OK.
    I was quite pleased with it and would be confident in hanging my rig in it in light winds. It looked good in the sky and was admired by other kiters there.
    My cheap kite wasn't so cheap after all.

    Fly High


  • edited January 2013
    Just to make the distinction clear, the kite in the video is an Into The Wind 9ft Levitation Delta (not the light version)

    I'll repeat the comparison in lighter breeze when the opportunity presents, fingers crossed for a nice easterly so I can fly from the back of the KAP mobile.

  • edited January 2013
    Hey, Andrew, I always wondered if this online kite pull calculator on the website is fairly correct. Later on (since you have a very nice scale) maybe you could attach a 1 or 2 pound water bottle and verify its accuracy for a given kite?

    No pressure :) just fun.

  • edited January 2013
    Hi Sue, thanks for that.
    How do the Into the Wind deltas vary from the Emma Kite deltas?
    I assume that you are saying they come from different suppliers in China.

    Has anyone flown the Emma Kites Mylar or Magic Box Deltas?
  • edited January 2013
    I have previously checked the pull calculator against my findings and it was bang on. I was amazed.
    Kite line with 7lb pull and 1.2kg rig looked exactly the same as the simulator.

    Brings to mind a quote from Adam (Mythbuster)
    "Gravity, not just a good idea, it's the law!"
  • edited January 2013

    The Levitations from Into the Wind kites are the genuine ones, and are built to their design and to a high standard. You can rely on them to fly well "out of the box" and to give long life. They are made for ITW, like almost all kites, in China, but under strict quality control, and ITW do additional checks when they receive them. The ones Emma sells are Chinese copies, not bad kites but, as Sue found, certainly not up to the standard of the real thing in either materials or workmanship. There is not a huge difference in price, and if buying for KAP there seems no reason at all to go for anything other than the genuine kite. This is not to decry Emma, a hard-working lady who does a good job of trying to promote kites at reasonable prices to recreational fliers.

    There has been a thread on this subject before, but I haven't had time to find it.

    By the way, great job, Andrew!

  • A 7ft Rok in 14 knots = a tiring KAP session!

    Did you reel it in or walk it down?!
  • Reeled it in, maybe it's the fibreglass spars and strato spool but it wasn't too difficult.
  • Thanks Jim.

    I missed the other postings. I just drop into these pages very occasionally.

    I do not normally fly deltas, my colleague Jim Knowles does, but not cheap ones.
    We are looking at different cheap kites for work with kids. We normally fly our standard deltas, sleds and flowforms for work with children using our usual cameras but only under our supervision:
    as listed in my concurrent posting.

    As a charity, we are trying to decide on a cheap, simple introductory kit based on the 808#16D HD video camera, preferably without a picavet. If we go for attachment to the line we can use a small kite but if we attach the camera to the kite it needs to be larger with a solid attachment point (eg end of a central rod).

    Party balloons are possibly the best introduction to aerial work with this light, 18g camera, but not when there is a wind. Good for testing indoors at school.
  • Hi all,

    I don't check in here near as often as I should. But really appreciate all of the great comments regarding the ITW 9-ft Levitation Delta and it's, not surprising, great showing!

    As Jim mentioned above, we do quality check the kites we receive here before they are sold and we also try to respond to customer suggestions and input which is why the current 9-ft Levitation Deltas and 9-ft Levitation Delta Lights include a three piece spreader now. It is important to note that the ITW Levitation Delta was designed by Christoph Fokken at Into The Wind's expense and that Emma has copied this kite without our permission. The delta sold by Emma is an unauthorized, unlicensed copy. Unfortunately, there is a limit to what we can do to stop her from selling it.

    Kudos to those of you that have bought "the real thing" and had great experiences! Thanks for sharing your insight on this forum.

    Best breezes,
    Into The Wind
  • Thanks MaryAnn,

    The Into The Wind Levitation Deltas (regular and Light) fly great. The three segment spar helps! Several of us here also fly with a shorter spar in higher winds.

    Will be flying latter today....after I get my feet back on the ground (currently at 35,000 feet in some turbulence!)....above Boulder, CO....may even stop in at your store on Pearl street latter tonight.

  • Thanks MaryAnn,

    Excellent info and well said.
    Great to get the inside story.

    Fair winds,
    Andrew - KAP Blog
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