SMALL - espritmodel.com SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio

Revolution Kites EXP High-Performance Quadline Flying Wing Review

When you're faced with winds too high to fly most R/C models, why not come to the field prepared with something that thrives in wind? Just don't call this incredible quadline the "K" word.

Splash

Introduction

Every so often, something comes across my e-mail that's truly life-changing.

No, I'm not talking about spam for electronic cigarettes or other such nonsense.

In this case, it was a simple e-mail forwarded to me by Dan Metz, president of the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club. Dan frequently sends global e-mails to his friends. This e-mail forwarded to him by a gentleman by the name of David Hadzicki proved to be particularly interesting.

Imagine, if you will, a flying thing with a wingspan of 92" (2337mm), or more than seven-and-a-half feet. Now imagine something that will immediately accelerate to more than 40 mph (64km/h) with a mere backward flick of the wrists and immediately decelerate from 40 to zero and hover just above the ground with a push of the thumbs.

Add to this the fact that this improbable flying thing does so without a radio system.

The e-mail in question originally came from David Hadzicki, founder of Revolution Kites in Poway, California USA and inventor of the high-performance quadline flying wing.

Ah, you say. It's a kite.

Or not. In this case, definitely not, at least as the term applies to the traditional kites of yore.

David has a marketing angle which I thought was brilliant and since I come from a broadcast marketing background, I was doubly impressed and took the time to contact him for the possibility of a review here at RCGroups.

His idea was to make the incredible American-made Revolution EXP available to R/C flying clubs at a cost far lower than retail as an alternative to a wasted, windy day at the field. It's a whole new skill set and believe me, the EXP is as far removed from the inexpensive discount store kites or homemade newspaper-covered diamond-shaped kites with the rag tails we've all flown as a toy balsa glider is from a turbine-powered R/C model aircraft. It's also a heck of a lot of fun and is capable of some of the most eye-popping stunts and pinpoint manuevers you may ever see. It's far more well-made and aerodynamically sophisticated than a simple kite and the "K-word," as David calls the word "kite" and its connotations, almost doesn't apply.

Read on as I outline how the EXP will open the door to this incredibly fun sport.

Revolution Kites EXP
High-Performance Quadline Flying Wing

Wingspan:92" (2337mm)
Wind Range:3 - 15 MPH (5 - 24km/h)
Weight:8.8 oz (249.5g)
Construction:Parachute-grade ripstop nylon, tubular carbon fiber reinforcements, high-test Kevlar-reinforced flying lines, foam rubber-padded stainless steel control handles
Manufacturer:Revolution Kites, 12170 Dearborn Place, Poway, California 92064 USA
Available From:The manufacturer and select hobby stores
Average Price (USD):$199.00

Kit Contents

Everything you need to get the Revolution EXP up and flying is included:

  • Fully assembled wing
  • Carbon fiber reinforcement spars
  • 4x80' 90 lb. (27m/41kg) test Spectra flying lines with color-coated lanyards and winding handle
  • Padded stainless steel control handles
  • Nylon storage tube with drawstring
  • Instructional and store display DVDs

The only thing you'll need to provide is:

  • Old screwdriver or similar item used to stake the control handles during setup

Revolution has made an ingenious simulator system available for training and practice. It hooks up to a suitably roomy wall and the wing is attached in turn via a bungee cord and a short set of lines. Putting tension on the bungee allows the wing to maneuver as if it were flying. Clubs, take note.

Getting started

There are few things as relaxing than spending a few days in different surroundings without a need to answer to a schedule.

Translation: Vacations are cool.

After my correspondence with David Hadzicki, I was going to devote some of that free time literally learning the ropes. My wife and I would be spending time with my sister and brother-in-law in San Diego, California. Revolution Kites is a short drive away in Poway.

Funny how things like this work out.

I arranged to meet David at the historic Torrey Pines Glider Port up the coast from San Diego. If ever there were a more perfect place for flying kites - or flying wings - I'd be hard pressed to find it.

It wasn't hard for me to locate David; he and his friends had three quadlines in the air at the leeward side of a hill where powered paragliders soared away from the cliffs and over the Pacific. Simply put, the setting was quintessential Southern California.

Even more amazing was the quadline flying I was witnessing. If I thought the videos I'd seen were amazing, the real thing was breathtaking in its beauty and precision.

Dave already had my red, white and blue EXP set up and ready, but if you'd prefer another color scheme, Revolution has several equally attractive schemes available:

  • Lime green/blue
  • Light blue/dark blue/black
  • Aqua/white/black
  • Red/black
  • Raspberry/white black

Setup

The instructional DVD enclosed with all Revolution wings is a beautifully produced industrial-grade video starring David's brother Joe Hadzicki and shot at San Diego's spectacular Seaport Village. It goes into clear, concise detail regarding the setup and operation of the wing. Here's a brief synopsis on how to do it:

  • Unwind a couple of feet of the control lines from the winder. Note the colors; black is bottom, white is top.
  • Loop the ends of each line over the corresponding lines on the handles with a simple lark's head loop. Joe shows you how in the video. That was one of the hardest things for me to get the hang of, but now that I have, it's ridiculously easy.
  • Place the handles behind the stake and carefully walk out the line; don't worry about twisting at this point. Do worry about the possibility of a tangle. If the lines were wound properly on the winder, a tangle is unlikely.
  • The wing is readied by first placing the leading edge into the wind to prevent flyaways and by connecting the CF tubes inside the leading edge. There are sleeves sewn inside which will make this task easy. Built-in rubber endcaps secure the tubes in place.
  • The vertical CF tubes are placed in their rubber caps, completing the assembly.
  • With the wing face down over the lines, one corner of the wing is lifted and the lines attached in the same way. as the handles. Attaching the lines on the other side complete the process, the wing is then propped upward on the tips of the trailing edge and is ready for flight.

Joe makes it look easy on the video - and it is - but having a helper on hand to help with any twists in the line and getting the wing in the air is invaluable for a beginner.

Now is where the real fun begins.

Taking Off and Landing

Forget about anything and everything you know about kite flying, or R/C flying for that matter. Flying a quadline is an entirely different skill, easy in theory but one which takes some practice.

With the wind directly at his back, Dave got the EXP in the air with a backward tug on the upper part of the handles. In less than two seconds and with the sound of flapping ripstop nylon, the EXP had rocketed off the ground and was flying almost directly overhead.

The EXP depends on a combination of wind and line tension to fly and manuever. It's so well balanced that it can be kept in the air almost indefinitely much like a traditional kite simply by keeping one's arms straight out in front and balancing the control handles at their bends.

The tricks involve keeping the wind directly at your back and avoiding overcontrol. Overcontrolling the wing will almost certainly get it out of the "wind window" and may cause a crash. It can be steered back into the proper orientation with the wind after some practice.

Turns are simple; to turn left, tap the bottom of the left stick and countersteer with a tap on the bottom of the right stick to get the wing flying nose up once more. Right turns are equally simple. Pulling back on the lower end of either stick puts the EXP in a loop; it will loop about eight times before you have to spin back the other way. Even if the lines are twisted, up is still up, down is still down and right and left are, well, right and left.

It seems simple and it really is, especially since there's no control reversal issues to overcome like there is in radio control, unless you do some advanced moves like nose-down inverted flight. David told me that R/C pilots are particularly quick studies, but it requires some unlearning of old skills and learning new ones.

I felt a bit like Luke Skywalker to David's Yoda.

I must...unlearn what I have learned...hmm...yes...

David is a patient teacher; my problem was trying to overcome the tendency to try and fly the EXP like a traditional kite. My arms were all over the place; doing so basically placed the wing in neutral and caused it to crash. It's a far more tactile sensation than the imagined feel of a radio controlled model. You'll always know what the wing is doing since you can literally feel it in your hands.

I should take this moment to point out that Revolution quadlines are incredibly well-made and sturdy. Repeated smackings into the Torrey Pines sands had no effect whatsoever on my example, but flying in sand requires getting into the habit of thoroughly cleaning the wing to remove the sand and to prevent abrasion damage to the nylon.

Just as it seemed that I was getting the hang of it, I fell back to the old habits. Again, David was very patient and stuck with me. After a couple of hours of intense trial and error - not to mention a bit of a sunburn despite the fact that I live in the desert and spend a lot of time outdoors - I finally overcame the tendencies to try and fly the $199 EXP quadline like a $9 Gayla single-line.

What followed was some of the most fun I've ever had with a flying model. I was doing loops, turns and I even managed to pull off the incredible looking stall which involves nosediving straight down and pushing ones thumbs on the tops of the sticks at the right moment. This action puts tension on the leading edge, relaxes the trailing edge and has the effect of literally hitting the brakes, bringing the wing to an immediate and seemingly impossible stop. If the sticks are held, it will begin to fly in reverse. I even learned how to get the kite pointing upward again after a nose-down landing or crash. So quick was my progress once I overcame the mental barriers that David felt comfortable allowing me to fly one of the advanced kites he'd been flying prior to my arrival. It was harder to launch than the EXP, but once in the air the response was absolutely laser sharp. It also had one heck of a tug to it; more on that in a moment.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The stunts this wing is capable of are simply amazing. Rolls and counter-rolls are as easy as can be once one learns the basics; advanced stunts such as knife edge flight, reverse flight and the amazing nosedive stall come with practice. Close-quarters choreography is possible; Revolution's flying team puts on choreographed shows all over the world; the YouTube video below opens with a choreographed routine. Multiple wings can be flown by a single person, but one should be aware that such a setup has enough thrust to literally drag you across the ground even if you dig in your heels.

Of course, this tremendous tug can be put to good use. A ride-on tricycle that looks like an adult-sized Big Wheel and steered with the feet is available that harnesses the power of multiple wings to pull one along at a pretty darn good clip.

Once I get proficient with my EXP, I have simply got to get a hold of David and get together with him back in San Diego for a whack at this.

Is This For a Beginner?

Well, I certainly qualified as a beginner. Before long, I'd overcome my bad habits and had the wing flying properly. I had the advantage of help from the man who invented the wing and is a world-class flyer, but anyone who studies the video and enlists the aid of a helper for those first flights will be flying by themselves and flying well before long.

We in Southern California and possibly Arizona and Nevada have the extra added advantage of David Hadzicki himself. He has made himself avaliable to R/C clubs in this region to demonstrate the EXP and the rest of the Revolution product line in person and, as I mentioned at the top of this review, to provide samples to clubs at below retail. I applaud his bold marketing move and I urge clubs all over the country to contact David for advice and, if you're relatively near to San Diego, to book a demonstration.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Between my still-feeble flying skills and my inability to get some time coordinated with my videographer, I've elected to let the pros show you what these magnificent wings are capable of.

Prepare to be amazed.

These copyrighted photos of the EXP's available color schemes are from Revolution's website:

Conclusion

The Revolution Kites EXP High-Performance Quadline Flying Wing is a magnificent example of American entrepreneurship, engineering, quality and creativity. It will introduce a new hobby/sport to anyone regardless of whether or not they fly R/C. David's 8-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter as well as Joe's 14-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter love to fly the wing.

I have no aversion to video games since I'm a "first generation gamer" from the Pong era who owns and enjoys a Nintendo Wii. There are, unfortunately, far too many kids who are parked in front of video games for hours on end. They basically interact with what might be described as "unreality" almost to the point of ignoring any alternative pastimes. Of course, this is painting with a very broad brush. I have a nephew who is a nationally ranked Halo 3 player who's made a rather tidy sum in organized competition. He's also a well-rounded individual with a broad range of interests.

Learning to fly and to master a quadline is a healthy, worthwhile outdoor activity which the entire family can enjoy. The sky is quite literally the limit where these wonderful wings are concerned.

At around US$200, the EXP is by no means inexpensive, but it isn't priced out of sight, especially when compared to a video game console and a couple of top-selling games. Instead, compare buying an EXP to an investment in any piece of top-quality sporting equipment. In the case of the EXP, it's truly leisure money well spent.

Who knows? Your own child may someday make the Revolution team!

I give this marvelous, all-American product an enthusiastic and heartfelt two thumbs up. It's simply too much fun and too well made to give it anything less.

Just remember to avoid using that dreaded "K-word."

Many thanks are due to David Hadzicki for providing this wonderful wing for review and for his patient, helpful instruction. Learning to fly the EXP at the beautiful setting of the Torrey Pines Glider Port was the highlight of my vacation. Dan Metz, president of the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club, gets my thanks for forwarding David's e-mail to me. Angela Haglund is the RCGroups administrator responsible for getting many of these reviews coordinated and all of them published for you, dear reader.

Of course, you are the reason for these reviews. We reviewers all thank you for your continued visits and for making RCGroups.com the largest and most visited hobby site on the internet.

See you at the beach!

Pluses and minuses

There are many things to like about this product. Among them:

  • World-class, high-quality construction which justifies the purchase price
  • Learning to fly is easy
  • Excellent, helpful instructional video
  • Will soak up the inevitable crashes during the learning phase and will come back for more
  • An outstanding complimentary skill to one's R/C skills
  • The perfect way to put an otherwise wasted and windy day to good use
  • Every R/C club in the country - or the world - needs to take David up on his offer

The only real minus is:

  • Setup and first flights may be difficult without the aid of helper
Last edited by Angela H; Sep 26, 2011 at 01:52 PM..

Discussion

Reply
Thread Tools
Old Sep 22, 2011, 09:05 PM
Registered User
Minneapolis Mn
Joined Jan 2003
901 Posts
I've purchased a few Rev's over the years - and love them...

They fold well and travel well and alot of fun especially when your son and daughter fly them.

Jim
jimklein is offline Find More Posts by jimklein
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2011, 10:10 PM
Whats a search engine?
inventing_man's Avatar
Missouri
Joined Jun 2006
886 Posts
Good post Ralph !
Yes you ought to see a whole squadron of REVs and their owners flying in formation .
And the indoor windless REVs is absolutly Spellbinding !
Honestly , I think this world would be a lot funner and friendler place if people would just go fly a kite ! No pun intended !
You mentioned paragliders , Heres what I do when the wind gets to much for the PG wing . I have a 4 meter, 4 line power kite that I hook up to my PG harness with short lines of about 30 feet . And Kite it like a PG . You have to have gun fighter reflexes to control it with weight shift only . Its like a micro mini speed wing! HUGE HUGE fun and safe when using kite killers ! I think is has helped me alot with the PG wing kiting as well. Trying to just feel the wing through the brakes and not look at it to keep it above your head is an awesome feeling . Feels like your arms have sprouted wings. Having the Kite connected to the harness with the main bridals, puts all the kites pull forces, focused on your weight , and does not tire out your arms like it would if you were just holding on to bars . You can kite all day . I have even been lifted in some insain 30 mph + gusts !
Having said that I wonder IF you could do the same with a REV and use your body weight as control and anchor, with your arms, now not tireing out as quick from the constant pull ! WOW ! I dont have a REV or I would try it !
inventing_man is offline Find More Posts by inventing_man
Last edited by inventing_man; Sep 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2011, 04:46 PM
NiCd + Mabuchi 550 was da bomb
NY USA
Joined Apr 1999
610 Posts
How much is Rev paying RCGroups to host this review here?
boom is offline Find More Posts by boom
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2011, 05:25 PM
Registered User
CSpaced's Avatar
Oak Ridge, NC
Joined Jun 2006
1,432 Posts
Very cool, and I want one!

I had a lot of fun flying stunt kites on the dunes at Kitty Hawk, best thing I could do was drag the wing tip sideways across the sand
CSpaced is offline Find More Posts by CSpaced
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2011, 05:45 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Bishop
Joined Aug 2006
99 Posts
I wonder if this would work to pull me along on skis?
gregory smith is offline Find More Posts by gregory smith
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2011, 07:04 PM
Registered User
CSpaced's Avatar
Oak Ridge, NC
Joined Jun 2006
1,432 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by boom View Post
How much is Rev paying RCGroups to host this review here?
Nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory smith View Post
I wonder if this would work to pull me along on skis?
I want to see it on video if it does
CSpaced is offline Find More Posts by CSpaced
RCG Plus Member
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2011, 07:32 PM
snɹɹıɔoʇl∀
Altocirrus's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Southampton
Joined Dec 2005
397 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory smith View Post
I wonder if this would work to pull me along on skis?
Wonder no more:

Kiteskiing with a Rev 1.5 (1 min 18 sec)


... though a Rev Blast will get you moving much quicker!
Altocirrus is offline Find More Posts by Altocirrus
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2011, 08:02 AM
check the crazyplanes ...
flattermann's Avatar
Germany
Joined Dec 2006
323 Posts
...would appreciate to see it here in the RC-Kite Forum as an RC-Kite

Any RC-Kite Video?

flattermann
flattermann is offline Find More Posts by flattermann
Last edited by flattermann; Sep 27, 2011 at 01:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2011, 11:40 AM
Transmogrified.
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Southern California
Joined Feb 2006
2,947 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by flattermann View Post

Any Video?

flattermann
Actually, there is...but you must be on a Mac since it isn't showing up on mine either. It shows up fine on my PC as a link to an official YouTube video. I've alerted the administrator. This is truly strange!
DismayingObservation is offline Find More Posts by DismayingObservation
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: Call it a "review preview."
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2011, 05:28 PM
Registered User
Joined May 2005
209 Posts
I have had multiple revs and I am big into kite flying and rc planes....and after seeing this review it brought a smile to my face *sniff*.....
I have a first gen EXP (green and purple)
A homemade B-series (traced sail of friends b-series and built it) flies exactly like the b series
I have a miniture rev that hasn't flown in years....
lets just say I love revs. Its nice to see this review...it brought a smile to my face


The only problem with revs are I only know of acouple people who fly them here in CT and even though it turns heads at the kite field, no one else wants to learn to fly to fly them cause they have to relearn to fly a kite.....
Team3D is offline Find More Posts by Team3D
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2011, 06:36 PM
Where'd The Wise Men Go?!?
AC5FF's Avatar
United States, NE, Bellevue
Joined Sep 2007
2,997 Posts
I am pretty good with a 2-line stunt kite.
How difficult would one of these be to learn on my own? Don't think i have ever seen anyone flying a quad line kite locally.
AC5FF is offline Find More Posts by AC5FF
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 28, 2011, 07:39 AM
Go Forward, but Remember
reills's Avatar
Pawling NY
Joined Oct 2002
944 Posts
I have a gen 1 EXP as well, even got it to fly several times on my own on Cape Cod. My hangar has as many kites (1, 2 and the EXP 4-line) as planes and they both come to the field. If the wind is up when I get to the field, I break out a kite to scare it away. It works with often enough to be a little freaky.
reills is offline Find More Posts by reills
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 28, 2011, 12:04 PM
Whats a search engine?
inventing_man's Avatar
Missouri
Joined Jun 2006
886 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by reills View Post
I have a gen 1 EXP as well, even got it to fly several times on my own on Cape Cod. My hangar has as many kites (1, 2 and the EXP 4-line) as planes and they both come to the field. If the wind is up when I get to the field, I break out a kite to scare it away. It works with often enough to be a little freaky.
LOL! Ive got that same curse !
inventing_man is offline Find More Posts by inventing_man
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 28, 2011, 12:16 PM
Whats a search engine?
inventing_man's Avatar
Missouri
Joined Jun 2006
886 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by DismayingObservation View Post
Actually, there is...but you must be on a Mac since it isn't showing up on mine either. It shows up fine on my PC as a link to an official YouTube video. I've alerted the administrator. This is truly strange!
I would really like to see this one !
inventing_man is offline Find More Posts by inventing_man
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Build Log Lethal Weapon! Building and Flying the High-Performance Sailplane called...ROTOR! davefriant Seattle Area Soaring Society 0 Apr 07, 2011 12:45 AM
Discussion Hyperion wing servo for high performance flying models kin High Performance 1 Oct 28, 2009 01:31 PM
Discussion High performance flying wing merijnwijnen Hand Launch 3 Jul 19, 2008 06:38 PM
Question High performance ARF flying wing? methos Flying Wings 3 Jun 25, 2007 08:35 PM