More speed, more complexity, higher price… This appears to be the trend in the development of competition gliders. A growing number of pilots take a different view: Simplicity is at the heart of hanggliding – less is more!
Pilots are looking for uncomplicated, easy-to-fly, lightweight gliders that guarantee a maximum of flying pleasure. Designing such gliders requires using the latest findings and experiences in sailmaking and aerodynamics.
Our answer in 2006 was the Kite: simple, but strong performance. A concept that is focused on the essentials: Sturdy, yet lightweight construction, quick and easy rigging, light handling, fantastic thermalling performance, good glide and pleasant take-off and landing characterstics.
Since then, the Kite, like all our gliders, has been continually optimized further, within the limits set by certification. Directional stability has been improved, and the glide performance has increased slightly further. Thus the Kite still has its place as a high-level kingposted glider classified as DHV-2 (intermediate).
Frame and Rigging
From the start the uncomplicated assembly of the wing is noted. There are no hard to install bent radial tips, no drag inducing lufflines, but integrated swivel tips inside the double surface sail. These have a threaded adjustment and easily swing towards the leading edge for transport. Outside and inside the crossbar the lower side wires are tensioned by steel springs, in consequence the wing can even with loose VG be securely held and guided steadily. The Kite weighs only 65 Lbs and can be short packed to 12.5 ft. Optional is a profiled base tube, which can also take split wheels.
Wing tubes are 50-52 mm, the crossbar 60-62 mm and the keel is 45-50 mm, all of highest quality Perunal tubing. Control frame and kingpost are of the low resistance Bautek profile. The result of this tube combination is impressive: The Kite can carry a max. load of 265 Lbs and launch with a gross weight of 330 Lbs. The Kite can be flown with all standard motor systems. The pilots hang strap is fastened on the kingpost. The stainless steel cables are smooth without plastic cover for less drag. The base tube is a speed bar with handgrip area cover.
The sail construction builds on the Spice-sail, but was modified in nose-angle, wing taper and wing-profile. The trailing edge is made of the light, dark transparent Mylar-fabric “Apen smoke”, which is also used for the latest topless high performance wings. It gives the wing an individual look. The leading edge is made of the same material.
The upper sail between leading and trailing edge is made of crease-resistant Polyester fabric. Due to weight considerations the wingtips are, like with our other kingpost wings, without end-caps, but have flattened leading edge tube ends and foldout spreader battens.
The tensioned flying-wires give a secure feeling and facilitate easy control at launch. The balanced, neutral center of gravity of the kite when start-ready makes the wing appear lighter than it already is. After a few steps the Kite already flies and you feel immediately the performance potential inherent in this wing.
The Kite’s handling is light and direct. As with most modern gliders, it is recommended to use about 1/3 of VG for launching. To further increase directional stability (in particular for winch or aerotowing), a vertical tail fin can be mouted to the keel. The Kite’s excellent slow flight performance and the direct feedback it gives about the surrounding air mass make for superb thermalling performance. The VG is very efficient: With the VG on, the glide ratio is very good - comparative flights against our topless high performing Spice showed no noticeable difference up to 43 mph [70km/h]. Pitch-pressure with VG on is comfortably low, which is important for UL-towing. Even with the VG full on, the Kite can be steered. Turning attitude is neutral, stall behavior is gentle, spin neither with loose nor tight VG possible.
The Kite is easy to land, because of its low stall speed. The airflow-separation is easy to feel. Small errors in flair timing: the Kite takes that in stride. The low weight of the wing helps decidedly in standup landings.
Color selection of the double sail is available at no extra cost. The sail cut defines 3 fabric strips of different width, which can have creative color combinations. If you want the whole double sail out of light sail-cloth, you have a choice of the colors white, red and blue. For all other colors the heavier Polyester material is used. Special color designs and advertising can be done for an extra cost.
The Kite can also be flown with a profiled base-tube instead of the standard round one; both can be fitted with wheels.
For car-top transport a PVC-cover bag is the best weather protection..
When you buy a Bautek wing you also get competent, absolutely reliable and generous service, which we have demonstrated for over 25 years!
V ne [speed never to exceed]:
V min sink:
V best glide:
DHV 2 [intermediate]
149 sft, [13.8 sm]
33 ft, [10.15 m]
ca. 85 %
long 18.7 ft [5.7m]; short 12.5 ft, [3.8m]
29 top; 8 bottom
ca. 15.5 mph, [25km/h]
ca. 19 mph, [30km/h]
ca. 27 mph, [43km/h]
min 198 Lbs, [90kg]; max 330 Lbs, [150kg]
max 265 Lbs, [120kg]
ca. 65 Lbs, [29.7kg]