Articles

  • Alistair McKee came around to see me just before Christmas. Alistair works for the BBC and had been put onto me as a source of information on George Pocock, who, in the ear ly 1800s , pract iced the ar t of aeropleustics in and around Bristol. We had a little rummage around my collection of old kite stuff and turned up a copy of the kite patent by Viney and Pocock, as well as the two classic Pocock books of 1827 and 1851, and various other stuff that included authentic instructions on building the kites and kite carriage. The 1851 book is particularly scarce.
  • How long does it take to curate a collection and put it up online? The Drachen Foundation can now speak from experience, and the answer is not pretty – almost 10 years!
  • Among all the kite items that we have amassed in our 13 years as the Drachen Foundation, the Cody Collection has been one of our most interesting. What has happened since 1996?
  • This year is the centenary of the first powered, and some say controlled, aeroplane flight in the UK. It was made by a middle-aged American who was probably better known at the time for his storytelling and theatrical skills. He also made a few kites and flew them wherever his travelling theater pitched up for a performance.
  • Revolution took its 20th birthday to the UK to be a part of the kiting scene in Europe, and what a birthday it was, and even more, what a way to have a birthday party. Myself and team iQuad and even Joe Hadzicki took off for this once in a lifetime event and congregation of Rev fliers. The first stop on the European tour was Portsmouth, England, where we took to the field as both a company and as a group of many nations and beliefs to fly Revolution kites. In attendance were no less than 8 to 10 teams of the very best fliers in the world from at least six different countries.
  • In 2002, the Drachen Foundation awarded me a grant to perform some basic explorations in the use of kites to generate useful electrical power. This grant was originally predicated on furthering explorations of the LadderMill invention of Professor (and one time astronaut) Wubbo Ockels.
  • From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban government in Afghanistan outlawed kite flying, calling it “un-Islamic.” After the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, kites began to return. In 2003, Tom Jeckel helped produce 10,000 sled kites from ripstop nylon for children in Kabul. United Nations peace troops distributed the kites to local schools. For more information on this effort: http://subvision.net/sky/planetkite/ middle-east/afghanistan/
  • Original Steiff kites paired with replicas, several of 17 constructed by Wolfram Wannrich and Werner Ahlgrim.
  • Historical kites are cross-cultural phenomena. They represent science, civil and military use – photography, anthropology, arts, religion, joy and playtime. This makes them interesting for historical research and, of course, collecting. In this article, I will share some of my insights on different aspects of historical kites, and in the second half I will present a first version of a Code of Conduct.
  • 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.