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Ashaway bird2

Discussion in 'Shuttlecock' started by dbswansea, May 30, 2013.

  1. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    Pre-production samples sent out were considered to be too heavy and some were not durable enough but these and other points were attended before production start-up. Anything purchased from Central Sports should be fine. The manufacturing process is flexible at the moment so any feedback is really useful. There is a trade off between playability and durability so is important to keep monitoring this, especially as we will be producing Bird1, with a one piece flight, and Bird3 an enhanced composite with a new feature which will give extra control.
    We trialed several colour options; the light/dark combo came out best for all round visibility. we will be making yellow flights but not until production levels are higher as the yellow has to be custom made the cost cannot be justified for lower quatities.
    The price is higher than standard nylons as the are several more manufacturing processes involved. The target market at the moment is clubs that are caught between using nylons or feathers and juniors who need play with something more like a feather, and here the higher Bird2 price would represent a fraction of the cost of feathers.
    Please keep your comments coming in. Gordon from Bird Design.
     
  2. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    Pre-production samples were found to be too heavy and variable in durability. Production stock has been modified to take account of the early feedback; anything bought from Central Sports should be fine. Please keep the comments coming as we can adjust the performance accordingly. Gordon from Bird Design.
     
  3. Mike1337

    Mike1337 Regular Member

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    I bought some...

    Initial Impressions:

    I stayed behind after a badminton session today to test these out in a quick knock up.

    They visibly spins on clears, drops and on serve and the shuttle does seem to drop like a feather.

    A former county player also had a quick go and seemed impressed with the shuttle on serve and net blocks.

    We had a quick go at net shots and the shuttle could be spun with no issues imo.

    (The white skirt is very felxible and soft, while the black skirt section is more rigid. There is an internal rib where the white skirt connects to the black top skirt.)

    Durabilty: to early to say.

    Weight: For you nerdy types ;)

    I weighed 6 (unsed) on electronic scales and the weight was 33 grams : Average weight of 1 shuttle = 5.5grams

    VS:
    Mavis 300 6 shuttles (unused)= 31 grams, 1 shuttle average = 5.16grams

    Carlton GT2 Feathers 6 Unused = 31 Grams, 1 shuttle average = 5.16grams

    Ashaway International Feathers 6 unused = 31grams, 1 shuttle average 5.16grams

    Victor Gold Champion Feathers 6 unused = 32 grams, 1 shuttle average 5.33grams.

    As you can see the Bird 2 shuttles do seem to err on the heavier side of plastics and feathers.

    Please find attached pictures for your viewing.

    Pic Vert.jpg Pic Upskirt.jpg

    (Possible solution would be to remove circle of plastic from where the skirt connects to cork to lower weight? Possible issue of flight dynamics/ balance?)
     
  4. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    Perceived/actual weight


    We are getting mixed reports on weight/speed. In trials feather users found standard plastics far too slow so, as a compromise, Bird2 shuttles were made a tad faster. This has been reduced as the main take up initially is from plastic users. You will find a big variation in weight manufacturer to manufacturer and then from tube to tube; they can range from 4.8 to 5.8 due to manufacturing tolerances. Plastic users often say that feather shuttles feel 'heavy' when in fact they are generally slightly lighter (feathers reduce drag and therefore tend to be lighter to achieve the required speed). This is because they 'cup' more air/ have a greater baffle effect, particularly on the smash and also on net shots where there is a hysteresis effect giving the impression of weight and actual increased control. Bird2 emulates this to some degree as it bleeds far less air through the skirt and is in part the cause of the heavier feel.
    Thank you for the feedback, we will probably fix on 5.1, 5.3, 5.5 gms for slow medium and fast respectfully.
    Gordon from Bird Design
     
  5. Mike1337

    Mike1337 Regular Member

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    Durability- Short update.

    We had a bird 2 on Court today and it received 1 hours and 40 mins of continuous use (10 minute knock up from yesterday not included).

    This is what happened:

    Front View Shuttle.jpg
    Shuttle Internals.jpg
    Pic LSkirt.jpg

    As you can see the cork separated from the skirt.

    This is usually a rare occurance and I have seen this before on Carlton and Yonex plastics before. It is too early to say if this is an issue with bird 2s but I think we can put this down as a rare occurence in the current situation.

    The skirt though has remained surpisingly intact. The top black skirt has not had any issues remaining connected to the lower white skirt.

    All the little fins on the white skirt have remained intact. There are 5 micro tears by the fins and two micro tears on the the skirt itself, and this did not affect playability until the grim end. (Read smash turned to drop shot.)

    The other court used plastics and feathers and went through 4 feathers in a couple of games. So the bird 2 has earned its value in durability terms.

    The other players were quite impressed with the shuttle, one preferring the yonex as the shuttle was 'lighter'.
     
  6. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    Durabilty



    Thanks again for feedback Mike.

    Your report on durability of the skirt is in line with other reports so far. As you say, fracture of the cork base is an occasional problem with plastics as some integrity is lost by drilling into the cork. We have sourced the best quality top grade cork (now very expensive) and have not had any complaints so far about significant numbers of failures. However if this appears to be any sort of problem we can bond the fixing spigot to the cork which should resolve this.

    We have developed to pre-production stage a synthetic cork base which has trialed very well and would not fracture or go soft as cork does. We will not bring this to the market for a while as cork is still synonymous with quality in all users minds and the radical improvements to the skirt need to be given time to be accepted before introducing any more changes.

    Also in line with other reports is the consistency of the Bird2 performance after long periods of play. Feathers obviously change very readily after any miss-hit or prolonged period of play. Also all the major brands of plastic shuttles mould the skirts as a regular cone and then press in the flutes which create most of the spin. Over time, particularly in hot conditions, there is some recovery of the shape to the original cone which affects the speed and spin (and hence the peak and drop parabola). Bird2 has the flutes moulded in so that the shape memory is integral. This makes the injection mould tooling more expensive and involved but pays dividends in product performance.

    Gordon from Bird Design
     
  7. shosasakigamba

    shosasakigamba Regular Member

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    Gordon, thanks for contributing here. It refreshing to have one of the developers add thier thoughts on development. Any company that is pushing to develop a feather alternative should eb applauded. While i like these Bird 2s in smash clear and drive i still cant get used to the weight which affects distance of my drops. My nets shots suffer the most cant get the bird to tumble and generally overhit everything at net.
     
  8. Line & Length

    Line & Length Regular Member

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    Also, thanks for being open. There have been others who have set up a dummy account and posted false-positive reviews. It's refreshing to see a developer trying to work with their market.

    I wish you well. With rising cost and falling quality of feathers, the business case for decent plastics grows by the day.

    I have a question though. Like all plastics, the 'hem' appears to be as thin as the rest of the skirt. Would making it a little thicker improve tear-resistance?
     
  9. Ashaway1824

    Ashaway1824 Regular Member

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    Bird 2 review by Dave Eddy

    Hi all,

    Great to see our new shuttle has generated some interest here! All feedback is greatly appreciated, the more we get the more chance there is in us getting it right!

    Here's a review we'd like to share by former All England champ Dave Eddy, who used the shuttle at a tournament he runs in Birmingham.


    To Ashaway/Goode Sport

    BIRD2 the synthetic ‘Bird’ which most closely simulates a natural ‘feather’
    I just wanted to thank you for all the support I have received from Ashaway / Goode Sport over the years and in particular your help with my recent little Tournament in Birmingham for the local Chinese Community there.
    This was a one day American event which I helped to run as a sociable Badminton Tournament with my long-standing friend Joseph Lee on Sunday June 9[SUP]th[/SUP] at the Sports Centre within the National Indoor Arena which is the ‘home’ of the All England Championships.
    I have run this a few times previously with great success. Over the years we have used differing synthetic shuttles but this time was special because the BIRD2 is a new design which clearly replicates closely the flight characteristics of a natural feather shuttlecock.
    I am now using this shuttlecock for many of my coaching sessions and find it so much closer to using a feather than any other synthetic. As someone who has played the sport up to World level with feathers for 60 years it seems to me the design ‘makes sense’ and the product is robust, durable and pleasurable to use for someone who has played virtually all competitive play with feathers.
    Usage at the Tournament was excellent and there were NO COMPLAINTS throughout the event – this is unheard of as in my experience someone always complains, particularly if they lose! In fact a number of players were very complimentary about the ‘new shuttle’, including mainly those players who played at a higher level of local league play.
    I believe you have developed a ‘winner’ in the BIRD2 and am delighted to recommend it to anyone who wishes to give it a try.
    Regards
    Dave Eddy (former National, European and All England Champion)


    You can keep up to date with news on the Bird and all things Ashaway on Twitter too [MENTION=110889]Ashaway1824[/MENTION]
     
  10. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    The hem is slightly thicker, particularly at vulnerable spots, as are most plastics. Any further addition of material in this area causes wobble, you wouldn't believe how sensitive this area is to a few extra microns of material. This is one of many compromises. We can increase this thickness but it would be at the expense of a much larger amount of material being lost from the annular strengthening ring which prevents the collapse of the skirt that you get on standard plastics.

    Gordon from Bird Design
     
  11. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Gordon, or anyone else:

    Have you compared to Mavis 2000? This is the plastic shuttle that is my current gold standard in terms of feel, flight etc relative to feathers.

    If it's better, then you have a winner.
     
  12. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    In measurements and trials we couldn't find much difference between Mavis 2000 and other one-piece plastics. Slightly better spin and therefore a better parabola flight, particularly compared with the Mavis 3000, but no better feel on the racket and collapses just as easily. I think you will find quite a difference if you try a Bird2.

    Gordon
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    All the one-piece plastics look like this when pushed against a Bird2; it is structurally very different.
     
  14. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Sold! When can we try this in North America? :)
     
  15. Elisha

    Elisha Regular Member

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    I would love to try them too!
     
  16. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    Talk to Black Knight, they have close ties with AshawayUK. We are stepping up production rates at the moment so they should be available in the next few weeks.

    Gordon.
     
  17. vajrasattva

    vajrasattva Regular Member

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    gordon, will this be available in singapore any time? looks good.
     
  18. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    For all inquiries about product availability contact AshawayUK at info@goode-sport.co.uk
     
  19. Rimano

    Rimano Regular Member

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    Just introduced these at my badminton club. We normally use mavis 2000.

    The heavy hitters like the feel. Some of the net players commented that it dies quicker, so they needed to push more at the net, so much closer to the feel of feathers.

    Each court had a shuttle each for 2 hours, minor tear at the skirt, however the cork is feeling loose. This can been seen on both shuttles. So durability wise, it looks like the corks going to come loose before the skirt becomes too ripped. Durability and cost wise is probably worse than mavis 2000, but still more economical than feathers.

    All in all, very positive. The only downside is that it does feel heavier and the club can't even think about switching until we worked our way through our current batch of shuttles. :-(
     
    #39 Rimano, Jul 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  20. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

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    We haven't had any feedback about the bases before, but it looks like we need to bond the bases to the stem section. Thanks.

    Gordon.
     

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