Articles

  • 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.
  • 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.