SKY SHARK II UPDATES AND NEWS

We'd like to thank all of the manufacturers and flyers that use Sky Shark wrapped tubes in their kites.

We are always striving to produce the best possible tubes for the best price. We've been working for 14 years now in the development and distribution of wrapped carbon tubes. We started with the development of G-Force tapered tubes and were the first to use them in a line of manufactured sport kites (Sky Burner kites). We then went on to start another company called Black Diamond tubes. We let it go to become the distributors of Sky Shark wrapped tubes, which was started by Erez Borowsky. This last year we took over the Sky Shark lineup from Erez and we now manufacture them ourselves. The tapered tubes are now produced in the USA.

We've made some changes to our lineup of wrapped carbon tubes and also added some new tubes.

To understand more about wrapped tubes let me explain the basics of what goes into making one. Wrapped tubes are made by hand using pre-preg carbon cloth which varies by content of carbon, modulus and resin. By adding plys or layers we are changing the weight and strength of the tube. These layers of cloth are cut to exact size and are then wrapped around a specific size mandrel at a certain place on the mandrel . The mandrels with the wrapped material are now placed in a machine that spins the mandrel and tapes the tube with a cellophane looking material that compresses and wraps the material. This is what gives the spiral effect you see on the tubes. This is also the cause for friction and wear on bridle lines. The tubes are then placed in a oven to bake (cure) for a certain amount of time. Then they go into a machine that breaks the mandrel loose from the tube. They then strip the cello material off the tube and cut it to length. If we are making any of the new Black Diamond series tubes we are then putting the tubes in a centerless sanding machine that very precisely takes off the ridges left by the binding process to make the tubes smooth. We then paint the tubes with a special clear-coat paint and bake them once again to harden the paint. The tube is then printed to identify it. I hope this gives you a better idea of what goes into making one of our tubes.

All of our Sky Shark PT series tapered tubes are made on the same mandrels. This means that all of the inside diameters are the same, at .244 I.D. You can use a .2400 or 6mm ferrule across the range.

All of our past tubes were made on the same type mandrels with the exception of the 2pt's which were made on a smaller mandrel that made the ferrule size a .2300. We still have these in stock for replacements.

I want to interject at this point to explain what has transpired in the transition from original Sky Shark to the new series of Sky Shark ll tubes:

  • 2pt at 32.5" -The old tubes had a build up of material between 10" and 12.75" from the large end . This was done to make the tube stronger where the lower connectors are placed in the leading edge pockets. This was only good if the kite design fit the application of the build up placement. We also built up the small end about 2" to stop any crushing. The tubes always weighed about 8 grams. It is also important to note that there is sometimes a variance of weight on wrapped tubes because the material can vary from batch to batch depending on the resin content. We've stopped putting the upper build up on the tubes. After lots of discussion with flyers it seemed if tubes were breaking they were breaking at the transition from the build-up to the body of the tube. The build up area was causing a stress riser (weak area). We continued with the build up at the tip and we also went to a different material which increased strength. But to keep the tubes as stiff we had to make the new tubes a gram heavier. We also had to do this with the 2p. As far as replacements with the old, you could not tell the difference.

  • 3pt -32.5" -The only change here is that we also did away with the build up area at the 10" to 12.75" area for the same reasons. The weight stayed the same with the new material. The deflection is the same and the tube is very strong for it's 12 to 12.5 gram weight.

  • 5pt-32.5" - No real change , if anything the tube is more durable than ever. The weight is16 grams.

  • 7pt-32.5" - No real change. It's our stiffest tapered tube. Weight 20 grams.

  • All 40'' tapered tubes stayed the same.

NEW TAPERED TUBES:

We were getting a demand for tubes that had a better look and would help prevent bridle wear from friction on lower spreaders. So we brought back a sanded smooth finish tube that was similar to our original Black Diamond THP series tubes that were different colors. We decided to do the same finish with no colors. They have a very hard clear-coat paint that makes them very smooth. The tubes are the same tubes as our standard 3PT's, 5PT's and 7PT's. The only difference is we take grains, not grams of material off the tube very precisely. The amount of material in weight that is taken off is replaced by the weight of the paint.

We also have just started producing a new larger diameter tube that is going to be called the Black Diamond Nitro Standard. We developed this tube in cooperation with Ken McNeill of Blue Moon Kites. Ken wanted a tube that was stiffer than our current 5pt to stop any wing chatter that comes with high wind flying and to create better all around performance. So the new tube has a larger diameter, different taper, and is about 15 to 20% stiffer than our current 5pt. It is also a sanded tube. This tube can also be cut from the large end as well as the small end. This gives you the ability to change the stiffness. We also clear coat the Nitro tubes for spreaders. It's one of the stiffest tube I have ever had at 15 grams. We also just introduced the Black Diamond Nitro Strongs at 17.5 grams.

Black Diamond Nitro standard: Black Diamond Nitro Strong:
  1. OD, large end - 8.34mm/.328"
  2. ID, large end - 7.26mm/.285"
  3. OD, small end - 6.48mm/.252"
  4. ID, small end - 5.20mm/.205"
  5. weight - 15 grams
  1. OD large end - 8.5mm/.335"
  2. ID large end - 7.28mm/.285"
  3. OD small end- 6.70mm/.264"
  4. ID small end - 5.38mm/.212"
  5. weight 17.5 grams

Ferruling options for Nitro tubes:

There are several different options in the way you ferrule the new Black Diamond Nitro tubes from Sky Shark .

  1. You can use a solid ferrule with an OD. of .285.
  2. You can use a piece of P-100 with a .2400 solid rod glued inside to make a one piece ferrule.
  3. You can take a 3" piece of P-100, glue it inside the large ends of two Nitro tubes, then you can glue the .2400 solid rod into one of the tubes. This way you can still use a center tee that handles the standard .2400 ferrule without going to something larger.

If you order Nitro tubes, we have cut up pieces of P-100 at 3 in. that we will give you.

P SERIES NEWS -

All of our P series tubes are non-tapered, with the same inside diameter as our tapered tubes. You can join any of our P series tubes with the tapered tubes. These tubes are made in much the same way as our wrapped tapered tube with the exception of materials used . The P-series also use a different layering of materials which makes it possible to cut the tubes anywhere and ferrule them without breaking out the wall, unlike the tapered tubes.

A common question is "what is the difference between P-series tubes and the tapered tubes?" Weight verses stiffness. Example 3pt, at 12.5 grams, has the stiffness of the P-200 at 14.5 grams.Which is more durable? The P200. The 3pt is an ultra light performance tube wind range 2mph to 12 mph or more depending on design. The P-200 could take winds up to over 20 mph and not break. It would lack the performance of a stiffer tube, but can take it, unlike the 3pt. The P series tubes also have a smooth finish and this year come in either a black or the original gray carbon finish except for the p90 and p400 which only come in the gray.

All the new P series tubes come from a new manufacturer and we think the quality is better than ever. All of the specs are the same as before, with the exception of the P-400, which is a gram heavier.

Information on our other straight tubes:

  1. 8 P- is still available at 42 " and is now also available at 32.5 ".
  2. 2 P- This tube is now 9 grams , and still uses a 5mm/.1960 ferrule.
  3. Ferrules-- You should always use solid .2400 rod in all tubes with the exception of 2pts, P90s and 2ps which you could use lighter 2400 tube ferrules.

We hope this has helped answer any questions you may have had concerning our line of wrapped carbon tubes for kites and hobby. We're always trying to make our products to the highest standards.

Thanks again for using Sky Shark Tubes. If you have questions that your dealer can't answer, please feel free to e-mail us at jtandm@skyburner.com

Jon & Marieanne Trennepohl