Articles

  • 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.
  • An oddity showed up a while back on an Internet auction site----a classic Gibson Girl kite of World War ll fame. Associated with the Allied cause, the kite on offer was strikingly different from the usual. Instead of assembly instructions in the usual English, they were in German----the enemy at that time. How could that be?
  • A man prepared to take up difficult challenges, Falk Hilsenbek reacted in normal fashion after obtaining a book on kites 15 years ago. A stunt kite flier up until then, the German volume by Diem and Schmidt focused on historical kites and Hilsenbek was an instant convert. After examining the plans, he settled on the most complicated kite in the volume and successfully built it--- -a Lamson Aerocurve. Lamson was a New Englander who invented beautiful and intricate kites at the turn of the last century. Few of them survive, but plans for them, plus photographs, keep his renown alive.
  • As unofficial historian of kite doings over the years at Lindenberg, Werner Schmidt has carefully researched the feat most closely associated with the observatory----a high altitude kite train record set Aug. 1, l919. The world mark claimed was 9,750 meters or 31,989 feet. Details of what he learned are as follows: Before and after that date, the station routinely achieved heights with its trains of 6,000 meters. There were dozens of 7,000-meter flights and the occasional 8,000-meter flight was achieved.