Werner Schmidt Leads the Way: Rediscovering the Kites of Lindenberg

Ben Ruhe
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Werner Schmidt’s apotheosis came in l984 when he viewed a strange kite in a technology museum in Munich. It was a Grund Boxkite. “I still remember the moment I first saw it,” he says. “That’s how impressed I was.”

As a dedicated kitemaker, Schmidt grasped its sophistication. “It was much more developed than a Hargrave, or even a Cody.” The kite was labeled “self-steering.” It had a strange appearance----pyramidal wings in front, a flexible joint in the middle. Schmidt correctly guessed the odd shape made it self-adjustable to the direction of the wind while the hinge allowed it to self-adjust to wind speed.

“I wanted to know more. I wrote the museum. The museum told me Rudolf Grund was the most important German kitemaker ever. I was impressed. Neither my kite friends nor I myself had ever heard the name.”

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