The Contents Of My Kitebag
(pictures are definitely NOT to scale)

"Single Line"
Twin Line | Four Line | Fighters

"Mum's Delta"

Originally owned by my mate, Mike S-P, this little delta was borrowed for Mum to fly from her wheelchair at Coventry's "One Sky One World" event in October 2003, the photograph below being published in the local paper.
Sadly, it was the last event Mum attended, and this the last kite she flew - she passed away a few months later.
Mike being Mike, the kite is now mine, and is flown only on "OSOW Day" each year, wherever I am....

"Jim's Delta"

Not really built to any plan - I just kept changing things until it worked!

This one's been to 1700 feet (I ran out of line at that point :-)
(and yes - it was with CAA clearance!)

"Pair of Dice"

Really nice single-liners, smaller one is more stable but needs higher wind - fun to fly and relatively simple to make.

The smaller one is just over a foot, which seems to be the ideal size - the larger one proved very difficult to keep in shape in the sky (the diagonal spreaders flex under wind pressure - allowing the fabric to go slack).

If you fancy making one go for about 15" max to avoid problems.

"Er, a sort of Conyne..."

Built in a fit of madness, very weird flying characteristics - but different.

"Conyne"

The second one of these I've built.

Why is the first always the best flier - and the easiest to lose?!

This never really flew as it should - my theory is that Conynes need to be made from cotton (like my first one and as was originally used) ripstop just doesn't work for this design...

Now gone to the "big kite bag in the sky".

"Pearson Roller"

Great for those "where's the wind gone?" days.

Pretty simple to make, and when all else is "grounded" this is one kite that can be relied upon.

It flies in no wind and is my favourite for night flying - it'll handle having lights clipped all over it and still fly superbly.

Update: Now gone to the "Big Kite bag in the Sky" have to make another one day, I miss it...

"Delta Conyne"

Another nice "no wind" kite - a favourite of mine in the evening when the air is almost motionless.

Being 9 feet across probably helped!

Currently relegated to the corner of the bedroom (the kite grave yard) as it's about had it's day - perhaps I'll fix it some day, or perhaps I won't.....

"Sanjo Rokkaku" (By Raindrop Kites)

Look's really nice in the sky.

Not for the faint-hearted (or limp-wristed!)

Definitely a kite for flying with decent gloves and some serious line.

I like "roks", not too difficult (or expensive) to make, and once set up properly they can be really stable in a variety of winds.

"One Sky One World Rokkaku"

Thought it was probably time I had an "OSOW" kite, so I built one - what more can I say?

 

"Another 1.5 metre Rok"

This found itself getting built at the same time as the OSOW one above, being as how the sewing machine was out.

The "Dead Duck Rok"

Built in a panic the night before an OSOW event, having convincing myself that I'd better have something that would fly in virtually no wind (being what we always seem to get in Coventry whenever we organise kite events!).
Having built the thing, I decided it needed some white "peace doves" so hastily blew up an image from a clipart gallery.
Unfortunately, I somehow managed to put the doves on upside down, so the only option was to make it fly upside down by reversing the bridle - methinks there's a moral there somewhere...
Certain unkind individuals, have said the doves luck more like dead ducks - and so it was Christened...(shame you can't actually see the "ducks").

Having a very light carbon spine and even lighter (and ridiculously flexible) spars, it does fly in an amazing range of wind speeds - if the wind gets up it takes on a sort of "apple-core" shape, but still fly's surprisingly well!

"Paraform 8" (By Sky Bums)

Flies in a remarkably wide wind range and looks nice - what more could you ask!

Not built as a 'lifter' so is OK on a relatively light line in strong winds.
Does lose the plot a bit in very turbulent winds - but what doesn't?

Finally managed to get a reasonable picture of this one in the sky!

"Rhomboid Box" (By ????)

Not sure about this one - it seems to have some strange ideas about flying, and I really can't remember who on earth I bought it from (probably a good thing).

I've been meaning to make one of these for years, it didn't happen, so I saw this and bought it.

Considering a rhomboid box is meant to be one of the more stable designs, this one didn't seem to have any interest in in flying properly in any kind of wind.
All it ever wanted to do was zoom around just above neck height, presumably in the hope of decapitating some poor unsuspecting passer-by!

Having tried everything else I could think of, I decided to increase the length of the beast by about a foot (meaning new carbon, of course) and, after some judicious bridle tweaking, it flies wonderfully!

So if you have a box that scares the hell out of you every time you try to fly it....... add some length!

"Crystal" (By Jim Potts)

Been threatening to make or buy one of these for a long time, then this one appeared in the auction at Beverley - sorted.

Handles a wide variety of winds - though isn't keen on the 'bumpy' kind that we always seem to get in Coventry!

"Multisled 7" (By Morgan Kites, now Skybums)

Acquired s/h at Tewkesbury auction, it needed a bit of sorting - but now flies like a good 'un.

Good "lifter"..... just need something to lift now.

Pulls like a maniac.

"Nongaru" (By Karl Longbottom)

Acquired at Tewkesbury auction 2004 after being donated by Karl....

To quote its maker: "It's sort of like a Japanese 'Tsugaru', but with different sparing and bridling, so let's call it a "Nongaru".

Sounds good to me Karl!

"Small Flare" (By Raindrop Kites)

Another Tewks auction acquisition (seems I don't buy kites from shops any more).

I've always liked the Flare. I actually built one a few years ago, and on the day of it's "maiden flight"...... it wound up being left in a 50 foot tree at Coombe Abbey, which sort of caused me to lose interest in the idea!

Then I saw this in the auction, and decided it had my name on it!

Needs a little more wind than a flare really should, though quite a small kite - it should keep me amused until I get round to building a bigger one!

 

"Fred Form" (By David Bentley)

After David's death in 2004, his kites were sent, by his widow, to Tewkesbury auction to raise funds for Charity - hence this one entered my kitebag.

The incredible thing is that it's entirely hand-sewn - I'd be happy if I could sew as neatly using the machine!

Haven't flown it much as yet, and seeing as how it only "looks like what it is" when inflated - the picture will have to wait until I get it in the sky!

"Delta" (By Greens Kites)

I don't understand quite why this flew at all - being the most "unsymmetrical" kite I've ever seen. You'd think that someone who's been producing kites as long as this company would, by now, have figured out that a kite is meant to be the same size and shape each side of the spine (there was a good 3 inches difference in the trailing edge).

Having become bored with it's "lean to the left", I went at it with scissors and sewing machine - that's better...!

 

 

"Sabre Foil" (By Free Spirit)

Handy for teaching the basics of twin-line flying, difficult to damage, but personally I find soft foils rather boring after 10 minutes or so - slow, collapses easily and generally a pain to launch unaided.

"Thunderbird 200" (By Rhombus)

Ditto above - though it does become fun when the wind hits about 25mph - if your arms can stand it (and this is a particularly "small" foil)!!

"Ball of Fire" (By Free Spirit)

Small and manic, biggest problem is stopping it doing tricks without permission!

The only twin-liner that comes out of the bag when there's a gale blowing!

A brilliant toy and surprisingly hard to damage (believe me, I've tried). Make some more Dave!

"Nitro" (By L' Atelier)

Nice, very stable kite. The one that comes out of the bag if I fancy trying some light-wind tricks (with the emphasis on "trying" ;¬)

Large sail area and "light but rigid" construction, one of my favourites in lowish wind.

Pair of "Dancers" (By Free Spirit)

I bought these with the intention of learning to fly one with each hand - nice kites, and reasonably priced.

Can't say I've practiced very hard as yet - I've sort of got the gist, and can keep them in the air, but as soon as the two sets of lines cross it usually goes somewhat "pear-shaped"!

"Blue Light" (By Rhombus)

An excellent little light wind kite for little money - it's not keen on stronger winds, but makes a good "first low wind kite" rivaling much more expensive ones!

I loaned this one to a friend to "try". Unfortunately, he liked it "too" much, oh well.

Bought another one now ;-)

"Triple Nasa" (By Siegers Vlieger)

There's a strange story to this one (three?) - it just turned up at the front door (courtesy of the postman) with no explanation, no return address and no post mark...
I've yet to get anyone to admit to sending it (though I have my suspicions ;-).

It's best described as three small "Nasa Wings" connected by about a million shroud lines! If you've any experience of the beast, I'd be grateful for any information.

I've established that Siegers no longer makes these - and isn't keen to talk about why!

I'm not even 100% convinced that it's strictly a twin-liner, who knows?

I thought perhaps I'd gone over the top putting 200lb lines on it, WRONG!
Let's just say it's a good thing I'm 12 stone.

Not something that comes out of the bag too often, unless I wake up with a desire for longer arms!

One day, when I meet some suitable wind, I've a plan to try the beast on four lines - watch this space!

Comming soon......

"Phantom Elite" (By Benson Kites)

 

"Revolution EXP"

My first quad-liner. It's getting a bit battered now, but taught me a lot.

Update: Now passed on to a mate for yet another battering from a novice Rev flier!

"Revolution 1.5 SLE"

The next step, smooth flier with few surprises - nice relaxing kite to fly in the right wind.

 

"Revolution Shockwave"

Many people dislike this one, not me - you just need to put more work into learning it. Once you have, it's superb - but watch out for the sudden "shift into hyper drive" if the wind picks up!

Pic coming when I get round to taking one!

"Revolution Ultra light" (Oh no it's not!)

Saw this advertised s/h and leapt in with both feet (as you do).
When it arrived I discovered that what I'd actually bought was an SLE with EXP spars!

It seems there were some of these sold as U/Ls a while back (I've yet to track down the clowns responsible). The good news, is that it does fly in "slightly" lower winds than an SLE....

It will happen.......

"Rev One"

 

....and this one

"Fijet" (By InterACTIVEkites)

 

 

 

"Diamond" & "Bombay" Fighters (By Tony Slater)

Having avoided "fighters" for years, I finally cracked and bought these. The amazing thing is that I found I could fly them reasonably well from the outset.
This unfortunately led me to acquire a few more........

"Midge" (By Sky Bums)

Not quite a fighter, but based on one and can be flown as one.

Great for learning the basics, and pretty much indestructible being made from ripstop nylon, an excellent toy.

Ideal for when the weather's too damp to fly conventional fighters.



Some More Fighters

The more I play with fighters, the more I like them.

I'm still not really sure exactly what makes them spin - sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

The trouble with mastering something is that you have nothing left to learn - so have to find a new hobby.

Guess I'm with fighters for a while yet then!