Articles

Although digital technology and access is changing the use of our written world, we were proud to start our communication through the Journal. This wonderful “printed” blog approach came mostly from the editorial direction and pen of Scott Skinner, Ali Fujino, and our man in the field, Ben Ruhe. From years of Journal publications, we changed the format to be not a few individuals' view but to have individuals of the kite community use their own words to bring forth something innovative and exciting about the world of kites. Enter the current edited version of Discourse by Katie Davis, Scott Skinner, and Ali Fujino. Below are archived articles from both the Journal and Discourse.

Most Recent Articles

  • Encouraged by a modest Drachen Foundation grant, historical kite enthusiasts Frank and Dorte Schulz, of Buxtehude, Germany, began researching early Scandinavian utilitarian kite – kites used for meteorological, military and amusement purposes. They planned to combine their love of Scandinavian holidays with a bit of scholarly study, Frank’s long-time interest.
  • A stint in Texas while on active duty with the German air force got Ulli Draheim turned on to things American, so when he later took up collecting old, historic kites he naturally turned to Gibson Girl kites and Paul Garber target kites from the World War II period.
  • A student of early historical kites, Jan Westerink of Zutphen, Holland, was searching patent databases when he found a design by Matthew B. Sellers, an American flight pioneer, that caught his fancy. The kite has wings like a glider and an eye-catching tubular tail. It was patented in 1908, meaning its 100th anniversary was due this year. Westerink, a former industrial designer turned handicraft teacher who has built replicas of several dozen largely unknown kites from the first half of the last century, decided to build this one.
  • A busy Lake Constance ferry port in the south of Germany, Friedrichshafen is inextricably linked to the stately Zeppelins built and flown there for the last century. The link to inventor Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin remains strong. Throughout the city, streets, schools, cafes, even a dress shop are named for him. A children’s slide near the sprawling waterfront Zeppelin Museum is shaped like an airship.
  • THE BEGINNINGS OF A NEW SAILING ERA A millennium ago, daring Polynesian sailors made use of kites to tow their canoes between nearby islands. This was the prehistory of kite navigation, an unusual means of transportation that has not been able to show its full potential until very recent years. As the energy crisis and global warming urge us to find alternatives to oil, high-tech synthetic materials, computer assisted steering, and satellite observation of the earth now allow for brand new developments in kitesailing.