Articles

  • Some of kite flying’s most enduring characters were invited to San Vito, Sicily for a first-time festival this May. Headlined by Peter Lynn, Ray Bethell, George Peters, Martin Lester, Robert Trepanier, Claudio Capelli, and Ramlal Tien, the invited kite fliers brought large and striking festival kites sure to attract large crowds. Additionally a group of first-rate kite artists attended and flew their newest creations. In a small flying arena, highlighted by Capelli’s informed commentary, the kites were spotlighted in a show that lasted 9 days.
  • For many European kite enthusiasts, the Roloplan is a kite they consider just as important as the Hargrave, the Eddy, or the Cody. It is interesting for collectors because many original examples of it still exist and have been traded time and again. Small wonder: the Roloplan was manufactured from 1909 to 1943 and again from 1950 to 1968 in altogether twenty different sizes!
  • September 1989, West Berlin. This is two months before the wall was torn down. A thought that was inconceivable to most East Germans in their lifetime. But the wall coming down is another story. We are lucky enough to have small pieces from both sides of the wall: a smudgy, shitty, yellow piece of wall from the East and a wonderfully colored piece of the wall from the West.
  • 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/