Articles

  • An arts academy with two teachers passionate about kites. A kite store staff diligently spreading the word about the sport. Put them together. And what might loosely be called the Vienna School of Art Kites results----a number of enthusiasts creating and flying kites that are as much esthetic objects as machines for flight. Teacher Anna Rubin (see Page 23) and businessmen-hobbyists Helmut Georgi and Jan Houtermans were unquestionably the catalysts.
  • “The idea of flying has interested me since I was small,” says Anna Rubin. “I remember dreaming it. I made myself a set of wings. Remembering this when I started teaching many years later, I wondered how I could explain the fascination of flying to kids. Kites, I decided.”
  • Sky Sails, a German firm based in Hamburg, has begun oufitting cargo ships with massive kites designed to tug vessels and reduce their fuel consumption. The firm estimates these kites will reduce consumption by about a third. This is a huge saving, given that fuel accounts for about 60 percent of shipping costs.
  • An art school graduate, Frank Schwiemann, of Kaarst, Germany, from the beginning made innovative kites. They were nice follow-ons to what other people had done. With his particular talent and eye, they were one step better than what had gone on before.
  • Their sailboat burned, they took up kiteflying as a replacement aerodynamical sport, then they became interested in collecting kites and kite ephemera. Now, 20 years later, the Fischer family, of Vogelenzang, Holland----Jan, Wilma and sons Martijn and Erwin----preside over a huge trove of collectibles. Although difficult to count, the number of significant items is clearly in the many thousands.
  • Because it is in Dutch, the slim, elegantly laid out bimonthly magazine Vlieger (Kite) is hardly known in the global kite world. But within the Netherlands the publication has been the cement holding together a dedicated pool of Dutch kiters.
  • Nop Velthuizen is noted for his all around capability. If he can’t find something he wants, he builds it for himself.
  • One of the most charming of the kite-related World Wide Web sites is Uli Wahl’s Kite Musical Instruments pages, out of Weinheim, Germany. Wahl has been interested in aeolian----wind-generated----sounds for some 30 years now and his site is expansive to say the least. It’s in both German and English. Aeolus was the Greek mythological god of wind.
  • Chief among Werner Schmidt’s converts to building old kites is Achim Kinter, of Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Kinter helped in researching, building, flying, photographing, and drawing plans for the Diem- Schmidt book Drachen mit Geschichte (Kites With History).
  • Having flown kites in his boyhood, writer Walter Diem, of Hamburg, Germany, became involved with them again after studying David Pelham’s Kites and Clive Hart’s Kites: An Historical Survey when they became available in Germany. This was some 30 years ago.