Converting a stunt parafoil to one liner

by Jan
(London, UK)

Q: Hi, I would like to convert my 1.3 Symphony parafoil to a 1 line kite. It has a really good drag and I want to use it for flying some scientific equipment about 100m up. Anyway - it would surely be easier to operate a laptop with having one line anchored rather than actively flying it.

So I have tried flying the parafoil on its two 30m lines joined together but even if it doesn't turn it still keeps some side velocity and eventually drifts sideways. I have ordered a tail for it but I don't know whether it will solve the problem. Do you have any tips on how to do that?

Maybe later I will invest in a better sled kite but I really like the drag in this one and I am sure it can get my equipment up.

A: Firstly. I'll mention that my Making Dowel Kites e-book does have a couple of big Sled designs. Both of these are hard pullers in their respective wind ranges. The 2.4m tall Multi-Dowel Sled suits Light to Gentle winds. Any more than that and it will try to pull you off your feet! The Fresh Wind Sled, as the name implies, particularly suits the Fresh wind range but gets airborne at the low end of Gentle (around 12kph). Versatile, although twin drogues are required. I have used both these kites extensively for KAP (Kite Aerial Photography). The bigger kite does like the cradle attached at least 30m from the bridle though.

Back to your specific problem... I have seen others struggle with getting soft sport kites to fly on one line. But it can be done. While developing the MBK Parachute, I discovered that the radius of curvature is the big factor which affects stability. So...

Although I haven't actually converted a soft 2-liner to single-line myself, I strongly suspect that all you have to do is join the lines further up towards the kite. Or you could even bring the left and right sides of the bridle togather and try that on a single line. If that fails, you need to pull even more span-wise curvature into the canopy. Consider putting little loop knots into some of the bridle lines until the canopy starts to look more like a C-kite in flight. It's the side-area behind the towing point that weather-cocks the kite into wind.

I would love to know how you went. Just use the Comments feature Others with the same issue will be appreciative!

Comments for Converting a stunt parafoil to one liner

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May 02, 2018
'sometimes slowly'
by: Tim

DZ99: You're getting close I'd say. Simply try even more curvature. Perhaps stability is harder to achieve with a high aspect ratio foil, but it should be possible.

May 02, 2018
That didn't work
by: dz99

Well, I have tried these methods, with and without a tail, at all times the kite slided to the side, sometimes slowly, sometimes more rapidly. I have tried carefully knotting the lines, still nothing.

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Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

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13–18 mph
11–16 knots
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19–24 mph
17–21 knots
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25–31 mph
22–27 knots
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32-38 mph
28-33 knots
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