"Nel blu depinto deblu"
FTLComm - Tisdale - October 8, 2000

Fall is definitely the time of the year to let go of the year's frustrations and feel the wind tugging on your kite string.

Apologies to Mario and everyone else who converses in the beautiful language of Italian, but to me, this title is "Let's fly way up in the clouds". The little song that filled the air time decades ago.

Kite flying is a careless experience you do it for fun, pure joy and elation. This kite is a full eight foot wing span and in these pictures is being flown on two hundred feet of two line string as this is a controlled kite. The kite flier can maneuver the airfoil at will be varying the tension on the two lines he or she holds.

When you look down the lines at launch the distance is awesome but this kite does not need to have some one hold it two launch as it can easily be landed and relaunched at will.

A kite this large really pulls hard on the lines and makes a pretty loud noise as the air pulls it along. With such a level of control over it the flier can whip it around the sky with authority and abandon. During this afternoon of flying he had landed it and just let the lines lay on the ground while sorting out the lines on another kite. A gust of wind caught the kite and blew it into the power lines visible in the two pictures below. Often such a problem can mean the lose of a kite or at least serious damage but in this case they were able to simply relieve tension on the line and lower the kite to the ground. In minutes it was back in the air.

To many kite flying is a great change of pace from the rigours of everyday technical work and kites like those shown on this page can be hand made it is simpler and

easier to buy them ready made. Though some store carry high quality kites the mail order and web based outlets offer you a wide variety of products and can provide the flier with accessories that make the activity fun and less troublesome. Into The Wind is a Boulder Colorado company that specialises in creating and selling these outstanding kites. You can visit their web site and have them send you their great catalogue which is filled with unusual wind accessories like banners and tethered flying things.

Of course there are many other sources of excellent kites as the major manufacturers are found in China and Europe. The traditions of kite flying are very long as people have been pulling things into the sky on a string for century after century in Asia. The secret fun and excitement of moving an object at will is an inexpensive way to free the spirit.

Here are some interesting tricks. These shafts are placed in the ground to hold kites in place and allow the flier to launch his or her kite aloft without the need of an assistant. Placed at the string's length from the spikes in the ground that hold the hand grips tied to the lines (below) the multi-line kite strings can be held apart and thus avoid the rigours of sorting them out after each flight.
You will notice that long tails have been attached to some of the kites, this additional drag slows the rapid movement of large kites when the wind is pulling pretty hard.

This kite is an airfoil that is designed similar to modern box parachutes. It inflates and can perform amazing controlled movement and of course, since it has no rigid structure is it completely indestructible. Crash it into the ground or an object and no damage to the object or the kite can result.

In these pictures this is a six foot span ParaStunter that is the easiest flying two line kite available. With the two hundred feet of line on it, as seen here, it is really a great performer and loads of fun as it sweeps around the sky. Multiple rolls and loops are easy to handle as the flier has complete control over its movement at the simple tug of one or the other line.

This is a cross section view of the six foot ParaStunter and in this picture you can see the complex set of strings that form the harness on this easy to fly kite.

The plan was to show you some formation pictures of three smaller four foot versions of the inflated airfoil but two fliers got engaged in a minor sky chase and it took quite a while to sort out the tangled strings. With sun set occurring now at six, the day's wind fell off and Saturday's flying ended in time for supper.