Simplicity on an F-Arc

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The world’s simplest kite bar

F-Arc 1200 in flight

On a visit to the beach in November 2011 I had the pleasure of flying my first F-Arc. dean couldn’t join me, but insisted I take his kite and try it out. I did fly the kite and also flew a slightly larger Scorpion. With the wind angled to the beach I discovered what a great upwind machine the F-Arc could be. It easily bested the Scorpion in when pointing up wind.

The world's simplest kite bar

The F-Arc came complete with a bar and line set that was elegant simplicity. The trim line and chickenloop was a single piece of 5-6mm Spectra/Dyneema and a segment of vinyl.

Stopper and handle

At the top of the trim line was a bowline that formed a handle and the stopper knot on which both flying lines were larksheaded. Below the handle was an overhand knot and then a ball. When released, the bar rode against the ball and the ball pressed against the overhand knot. The round ball matched the concavity on the kite-side of the bar allowing the bar to spin freely.

Chicken loop The chicken loop was another bowline. The portion of the bowline that formed the loop was threaded through the vinyl before tying. This made the loop stiff enough to stay open and easy to manipulate.

Steering lines

A larkshead knot attached a short pigtail to each end of the bar. The flying line was larksheaded to the knot in the pigtail.

There was absolutely no complexity to the rig. It was light on features, but it worked great. A couple years later I flew the same kite on the same rig in much higher winds at the desert. The kite was way too hot. I was either floating in my seat or burning up tires on the playa. After we added about 4 inches of pigtail on the steering lines the bar’s range was moved back into the sweet spot and the kite was again a dream to fly.

So perhaps the rig could benefit from a little bit of trim adjustment but it seems a shame to disturb its simplicity. All it really needs is longer pigtails on the bar ends with a couple extra knots to adjust the trim.

To that I would add a quick release on the pilot’s harness and this bar would be fine with this kite in any conditions.

Tethered flight

This is how Arc flyers switch kites.