Revolution Reflex XX Kite Review - RC Groups

Revolution Reflex XX Kite Review

Check out this review on the Revolution Reflex XX Kite. It's more like flying a 3D plane than a kite!

Splash

Introduction

Most of us are aviation nuts. We like anything and everything that flys, be it RC aircraft, boomerangs, and yes even kites. I've had several high end kites over the years, mostly two line stunt kites and parafoil power kites, but a few months ago I saw a video of a Revolution Kite flying that totally blew my mind of what was possible flying a kite. Here's that video in case you've never seen it.

The level of precision flying and agility of the kite is what grabbed my attention. This was no mere stunt kite, this was a 3D kite that could move in any direction, travel fast and stop on a dime and I had to have one. It took me a while to pull the trigger, but seeing the inventors of the kite at Joe Nall flying them put it over the top. Joe and David Hadzicki were vendors at the show and they were constantly in the field by the hangar flying their Revolution kites and giving free lessons to anyone who stopped by. They are great guys and after my first flight I said "I'll take one!" I learned that they have been doing this for decades and somehow I just never found them. They are traveling to more and more RC events now to spread the news to our community since it's a perfect cross over from RC flying. I'll get into the flight experience and how it translates to RC flying a little later in the review so for now, let's take a closer look at the kite itself.

Info

  • Skill Level: Beginner to Master
  • Wind Range: 0-20 MPH
  • Wingspan: 98 Inches
  • Height: 33 Inches
  • Weight: 9 oz.
  • Frame: Rev Carbon Fiber 5/16″ Reflex
  • Link: RevKites.com

What's in the Bag

  • Revolution Reflex XX Kite
  • Carbon Handles with foam padding and multi-knot settings
  • 80 Feet of 90lb Quad Lines
  • Spare Shaft
  • Carry Bag
  • Owner's Manual
  • Training DVD
  • Skills Manual
  • Club 38 Level 1 Card

Rev Kite Assembly Video

Getting your Rev Kite ready to fly just takes a few minutes. You will pull the kite out of the bag, set the lines up, install the carbon tubes to assemble the kite, and connect the lines. You need to make sure and keep the lines in pairs and keep the top lines and bottom lines in the right places. The lines are all the same length so it doesn't really matter which ones go where so long as the line you use for the top goes to the top section on the handle for the same side. It's better if you use the same one every time and be consistent. This is all easier shown in a video than in writing so be sure to check out the assembly video below.

Learning to Fly

Since this is no ordinary kite, it won't fly like one. You may be used to flying two line stunt kites where you need to pull one side or the other to control the kite. You have to forget all that and it can be tough. You really want your hands to be fairly close together and even for starting out and learning the basics of control. The steering is done by pulling the trailing edge on each side of the wing. To do this you need to rotate (tilt) the handles towards or away from the kite. If you want to steer the kite to the right, rotate the right handle forwards at the top towards the kite. This action will pull the trailing edge of the right side in and cause the kite to rotate to the right. Rotate the handle back to the neutral position in line with the left handle and the kite will stop rotating. There's a lot more to it than this, but that is the basic control action to get you up and flying.

Take off

Getting off the ground is pretty simple, with the kite upright, you rotate the top of the handles towards you and give the lines a quick tug and the Rev will leap into the air. You can also take off inverted by rotating the bottom of the handles towards you and doing the same tug. If the kits falls over with the lines facing up, you can take a step or two back while tugging on the lines and it usually will pop right up and start flying. It's not hard at all to get it in the air by yourself.

Flying Around

Once in the air, you'll need to start controlling the kite. Just like flying an airplane, it will need near constant course corrections to keep it going where you want. You'll start out by flying gentle turns to the left and right and focus on not over controlling in the turns or when making course corrections. The Reflex XX flys great throughout the wind window and you fly from edge to edge with great control.

Hover

This just means keeping the kite still in the air. You can hover the kite facing in any direction, but you'll want to start with it facing up. Just like flying RC models, it's very easy to over control the wing at first and you'll end up making the kite rock back and forth instead of remaining still. It takes some practise but pretty soon you get the finesse down and will be hovering the kite in place. Pulling or rotating the top lines in will make the kite climb, rotating the bottom lines in will make it descend. It seems like a lot going on at first, but it quickly becomes second nature just like controlling the sticks on your radio.

You actually have 6 axis of control with the Rev kite. Rotate left/right, climb/descend and slide left/right. We've already talked about the first 4 and sliding left and right is slightly more advanced maneuver. When hovering right side up, you can slide the whole kite to the left by pulling the left handle back and away. The speed of the slide will depend on how far away you pull the handles and the wind speed. This also world in side-hovering, let's say you rotate 90 degree to the right and leading edge is facing right. You can still hover the kite and it is quite happy in this orientation. Pulling the left handle back will cause the kite to slide upwards and pushing it back in or pulling the right handle will cause the kite to descend.

Landing

Getting the kite back down is just as easy as taking off. You can land in any orientation by just descending until it reaches the ground. It's fun to do tip landings and if you land inverted and are not ready to take off upside down yet, you can just rotate one handle and the kite will automatically rotate on the ground to the upright position. Pretty cool stuff!

Club 38

Pretty soon you'll have the basics down and you'll want to start getting into more advanced maneuvers. Sounds just like flying an rc plane doesn't it? Well you might not know where to start and that's where Club 38 comes in. Club 38 was started after the Revolution team saw that not every owner was getting the advanced skills down and they wanted to help. The club is free to join and has 8 levels and 38 moves to master. Level 1 starts out easy with the basics of setup and getting in the air and back down all the way to level 8 with the most advanced moves. You film yourself performing each level's pattern and submit the video. If you pass, you get a level pin and the password to view the skills and pattern for the next level. The Rev team offers tips and advice after reviewing each video, it's like having a personal instructor with you while you learn.

I recently went on vacation to the beach where I had some nice wind and was able to work my way to passing level 3. Level 4 looks fun and challenging and I'll need plenty of practice to get through it, but all the while, my flights have purpose and are still crazy fun. If you get a Rev Kite, you have to join Club 38!

Read more about Club 38 here

Video

Photos

Conclusion

What can I say, I love things that fly and this Revolution Kite flys well. The quality of the construction and design is top of the line and that comes at a hefty price of nearly $400, but it's worth it and it will last for a very long time. One thing that makes the Rev Reflex XX so unique is the airfoil that is created by the springs on the vertical support tubes. This make the kite super stable and you can even overfly yourself at the top and the kite will float and drift back into the wind like an autopilot. This isn't an ordinary kite that you will get tired of after two outings, it can do things no other kite is capable of and you'll want to build your skills to get to the advanced level of control. It's uncanny how similar it is to flying R/C models in that it takes practice to learn and build your skills. When packed up, it's about the size of an umbrella and you can easily take it with you anywhere. I know I'll have mine at all the R/C flying events I go to so I can fly it when the wind picks up. If you're like me and enjoy unique models, you will have a blast flying a Revolution Kite. It's the most fun I've ever had with a kite.

Learn more about Revolution Kites here.

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Jun 26, 2017, 11:03 AM
Registered User
I never thought I would ever laugh out loud at a kite video, but that first one was hilarious!
Jun 26, 2017, 03:11 PM
Registered User
Finally, the Revs are seeping into RC hobby life.
Revolution brand quad kites have been around since the 80s?
The Rev team getting in a rcg review like this is gonna rocket them deeper and faster into the rc community.
Revolution has a deeeep history. Read all about and dig into the awesome Rev worshipping community at kitelife.com forums.


Awesome. Can't wait to see more RC hobbyists picking one of these up. They're absolutely the perfection of fun for when the winds are too strong for rc flying. Or you have used up your 3000mah batteries in the field and want to do even more flying. Wind power never needs to be charged or discharged
Jun 26, 2017, 03:33 PM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
I WILL own one very soon. The wind won't stop around here...
Jun 26, 2017, 03:37 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
I flew again yesterday between rounds at the Possum Toss DLG competition. Turned a few heads and had some giant scale guys grill me about what in the world kind of kite could do the things they saw it doing. Fun stuff!
Jun 26, 2017, 03:52 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
I flew again yesterday between rounds at the Possum Toss DLG competition. Turned a few heads and had some giant scale guys grill me about what in the world kind of kite could do the things they saw it doing. Fun stuff!
Mine was the opposite experience when I flew my Hybrid 1.8 at the park which happens to also be a hotspot for kiters, they asked me plenty about the paramotor and Opale after they were done flying their revs and prisms. Haha.

I love the Rev kites. I've seen some crazy stunts and exhilarating spins. Long flight time too! Never have to worry about batteries

This is one of the first more full-fledged reviews I've come across for the Rev kites though, thanks Jason. The Reflex XX sail looks stunning too.
Jun 26, 2017, 04:05 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Ha, well that's great to get guys into Paragliders also!
Jun 28, 2017, 12:44 PM
PROFESSOR TRUTH JIMMY ICE
Akura2's Avatar
I have an original one from the mid 90s... I love them!!!
Jul 06, 2017, 10:43 AM
KI7CBF
xtrmtrk's Avatar
Revos are a ton of fun. I've got a quiver of kites that are a great alternative when there's too much wind to comfortably fly my RC toys.
Jul 07, 2017, 03:17 AM
Registered User
I like everything flying. So I have not quite q few kites as well as 4-5 quads and as many planes. Largest kite is a Peter Lynn Hornet, 3m^2, which can lift me in gusts, and is great for getting a workout. 4 lines means you can adjust AoA, and avoid being lifted, but just being pulled on your feet is great.
Best kite is my Freilein Windrider Vented. This is same shape as the rev, but different vent design. Very good in the shifting wind I have here. Also have one that is not vented, and it is too nervous unless very low wind.
Biggest disappointment is the Windrider Transeye. Flies OK, but not as good as the Rev shapes.
Best take along is a HQ Symphony Pro, I have a 2.2m and my son a 1.3m. They are just parafoil type, so easy to keep in the car.
Also have some Peter Lynn Uniq kites, they are a disappointment as well. Too narrow flight area, and not nearly as good as the foils.
And I have a cheap 5.5m octopus from eBay, it was cheap, and it is GREAT. Keeps flying and I always puts it up first.
Got a few more kites, but nothing to write about.

Kites are fun when too much wind for planes/quads.
Jul 07, 2017, 03:31 AM
Registered User
Just one to show that playing with powerkites can be good excercise if you fly it at max pull.
Peter Lynn Uniq Quad 1.5 (1 min 8 sec)


Some early session with 3 different quad-line kites from Freilein, very difficult wind conditions.
3xFreilein (7 min 11 sec)
Jul 14, 2017, 10:15 AM
Registered User
Love Revolution quad kites -
Jul 20, 2017, 03:18 AM
Registered User
Atomic Skull's Avatar
These are nothing new framed quads have been around since at least the early 90's. I had a Revolution EXP back in 98 and I got a Revolution Shockwave (which is no longer made) a few months later.

Sad that they don't make the Shockwave and Supersonic anymore.

Revolution Shockwave ... Huntington Beach. NN, Va (2 min 13 sec)


Basically they were like the Blast, only smaller (the Blast actually is a bigger Shockwave as it came out later)

There are a bunch of other similar framed quads out there like the Deca and Solution. I actually have about 6 Solutions in the back of my closet that I got in the late 90's on sale from Gone With The Wind Kites. They were made by Spectra Star in the early 90's and AFAIK there was only one production run.

Solution:

Kites : Flying at White Creek, Cumbria (3 min 25 sec)


Deca:

session d'été (5 min 9 sec)
Last edited by Atomic Skull; Jul 21, 2017 at 01:07 AM.
Jul 21, 2017, 02:09 AM
Registered User
Atomic Skull's Avatar
Revolution Blast is about the same price as the Reflex but is bigger and faster, it's really a scaled up version of the old Shockwave. It has the same leading edge and double vertical spars which make the sail very flat with a curled back leading edge that generates a lot more speed and pull than the traditional Revs. The bungees and caps that connect the vertical spars to the leading edge are connected in front of and below the leading edge pocket and the end caps are pulled up over and around the leading edge which causes the leading edge of the kite to curl back and creates a like a toboggan-like curl in the leading edge of the kite. The doubled vertical spars also hold the shape of the sail, you can actually throw it and it will glide like a wing.

Revolution Wing BLAST (1 min 6 sec)


Revolution BLAST (2 min 19 sec)
Last edited by Atomic Skull; Jul 21, 2017 at 02:19 AM.
Jul 21, 2017, 06:40 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Very cool


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