New Year’s Eve – Kite Eating Tree

Valerie and I are spending the weekend at our friends Scott and Linda’s house/antique store on Prince Edward Island. Today while visiting Daphne’s Hobby Farm Scott attempted to do some Auto-KAP. The snow was fresh, the pony and donkeys were out, and the wind was blowing nicely. The kite went up with ease and the rig was happily doing it’s standard routine, turn-click-turn-click-turn….

The wind was particularly strong and lumpy at about 120 feet or so and made the kite a little hard to handle. After about 10 minutes the kite ended up in a classic nose dive but no matter how much slack Scott fed out the kite would not right itself. The kite managed to get stuck 30 feet up in a tall spruce tree (see pic). Scott and I have both been in this situation before so we knew not to pull on the kite. The best thing to do was to fly another kite and try and lift his out.

A quick trip back to Scott and Linda’s to pick up my trusty Frogakku and back to the hobby farm. Much to our surprise and joy the kite was easily plucked from the tree in a short 15 minutes. Here are some shots of the hobby farm and the kites. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics with the kite in the tree, but I did get one just after the kite was free from the branches. Hopefully I will have some of Scott’s pics to post shortly.. :)

Daphene's Hobby Farm - Fence Daphene's Hobby Farm - kite eating tree Daphene's Hobby Farm - Freshly liberated Rokkaku Valerie on the Farm :)

KiteGen Project

Found an interesting article on iafrica.com today about another project aimed at using kites to generate electricity. This concept is more of a merry-go-round with large kites tethered to spokes. Some prelminary trials have been done and a small test showed that it was possible to produce energy using this design. A team has been assembled and they will begin work on larger prototypes.

You can find more information here…
KWG Project

A cool flash simulation showing how the kites would fly can be found here.Kite power – Flash Demo

Kite power
Popular Mechanics, December 2006 issue.
Thu, 28 Dec 2006
By Alan Duggan

LET’S not beat about the bush here: unless we do something pretty damn dramatic to slow the pollution of our atmosphere, the world as we know it is going to change — and not for the better.

In fact, some scientists believe it’s already too late to halt the progress of global warming, citing the relentless consumption of fossil fuels, the melting of the ice caps and many other portents of disaster (for the sake of brevity and everyone’s mental equilibrium, we won’t go into the cavalier dismissal of the Kyoto Accord and other initiatives aimed at curbing the dreaded greenhouse effect).

Against that, we should be encouraged by the fact that scientists, engineers and assorted futurists are trying to avert the looming crisis with a host of strategies, including the development of safer and more affordable nuclear power (see “A new atomic age”, November issue) and proposals for the safe storage of nuclear waste — if there is such a thing.

Some of their ideas are workable only on the basis of hugely optimistic assumptions — for example, a sizeable proportion of the world’s motorists deciding to swop their muscular gas-guzzlers for wimpy fuel cell-powered vehicles costing three times as much — while others are characterised more by gee-whiz ingenuity than practicality.

Some of the more provocative ideas exist only in the form of outrageous concept drawings and small prototypes with cute names.

We’ve heard about wave power (actually, this is one of the few concepts with serious potential), geothermal power (again, quite effective, but not suitable for rolling out on a large scale), wind power (experimental wind-powered turbines are already doing their bit in South Africa), and many other strategies — including (as we recall from our recent Great South African Inventors Competition) at least three utterly foolproof designs for “free energy”.

Now meet a concept that must rank among the most original yet — kite power.

Continue reading

Flickr albums added

Found this great plugin called “Flickr Photo Album for WordPress” from Silas Partners and written by Joe Tan (joetan54@gmail.com). It’s fantastic! It allows me to embed my flickr sets, photos, flickr groups, etc on my site with the same look and feel of the rest of steadywinds.com. This is what I was hunting for when I first started this blog and ended up using Menalto Gallery 1.x. While Menalto does the job, I like using flickr much more and the fragmentation of two photo albums was bothering me.

you can check out my flickr photos here. www.steadywinds.com/flickr/

and embedding a photo from the post creation page is a snap…

Santa Cruz Boardwalk - Kap 3
Merry Christmas!

Cheers,
Bill

Instructables – Kite related projects

If you haven’t had a chance to check out instructables.com, stop reading and go check it out. It’s a great community based site that allows users to document things they have built using a simple step – by – step approach. Everything from flamethrowers to kite buggies. I have been planning on posting some how-to type information for specific types of kite building for a while. Maybe I will get a chance to do that over the holidays (ya right :))

Anyhow.. on with the show..

After my post yesterday regarding the ice butt boarding I started digging around for other kite related instructables and came across these gems…


Kite Powered Land Proa by aerohydro

Another from our butt boarding friends…


Traditional Polynesian Ice Canoe (Ice Proa) by ewhilhelm

And some fun for the kids over the holidays…


Paper Kite by intoon

There are a lot of instructables with the word kite on them… just have a quick search and you will see what I mean. Some of them are just surfplan postings and don’t have much instructional value at all… your mileage may vary…

Happy Holidays!

–Bill

Kite + Ice + Butt + Board

Found the latest installment of instructables tv on the Make blog today. It covers at least three different ways of ice kiting. A skateboard that you sit on that has been modified to have blades instead of wheels, a Polynesian ice canoe, and some skate style devices. The video is great, what better way to spend a winters afternoon then skimming along a frozen lake with a skateboard strapped to your rear :) :)

Enjoy…

Instructables : Kite + Ice + Butt + Board

Update…

found another video of the same gang on You Tube..

Pakistani government hopes to lift ban on kite flying by making it safer

Kite flying in Pakistan has been a touchy subject over the last couple of years. The government is now trying to come up with a way to allow its citizens to participate while making it safe for the general public.

I think no matter what happens some people will still insist on using “manja” type line or even worse wire or chemically treated mono-filament line…


“The Pakistani News Paper wrote

by Amir Mir
LAHORE, Dec 17: The Punjab government is thinking of lifting the ban on kite flying and related businesses and make the sport safer.

According to well-placed sources in the Punjab government, the provincial chief minister Pervez Elahi wants to lift the ban on kite flying in order to revive the spirit of the centuries old colourful spring festival of basant.

Therefore, they said, the government departments concerned are trying to evolve a consensus among stakeholders on how to once again make the sport safer.

Annual revenue
The sources said the chief minister believes that it is necessary to save the sport because it generates an annual Rs2 billion (Dh120 million) revenue in Lahore alone on the occasion of basant, which also needs to be protected as it has become an international event.

The Punjab government had to ban kite flying last year following a series of deaths in accidents involving the twine.

The ban was imposed under a directive from the Supreme Court, which had taken suo motu notice of the deaths.

The government had nevertheless relaxed the ban on the occasion of basant but it had to re-impose it following more deaths.

As kite flying is the main component of basant, many Lahorites indulged in the sport despite a police crackdown. Before basant, the government had also promulgated an ordinance on January 22, 2006, to
regulate kite flying and prevent the sale of dangerous twine.

But there was a complete ban on the sport and its related businesses since then.

The government sources said the dominant view in government circles is that deaths were caused by irresponsible actions. And the actions of some people should not be allowed to destroy the festival and the kite business providing livelihood to thousands of families.

They said the intention was to allow only the original form of kite flying and discourage dangerous trends.

Cool Kite Flying How-To Videos

I was reading the “coreylama’s kite chi” blog the other day and came across an interesting post. Corey Jensen, owner of Wind Power Sports in Las Vegas, has put together some kite flying how-to videos. The videos are hosted on Expert Village and cover flying dual line, quad line power and preceision, as well as single line and a some video about Kite buggying as well.

Here is a sample…

Check them out…

Dual line kites
Kite Chi
Kite turns
Delta kites
How to attach lines
how to fly a delta dual line

Flying an ozone quad
Power kite tips
Flying power kites
Kite buggies
Revolution quad kites

Single line kite knot
flying dragon kites
Kite string winder
Winding kite line

Brazil : Kite Fighting

Back in October of this year I came across an article from Gringoes.com talking about kite fighting. In the article the author, Laurie, stated the following.

“As I have never seen kite fighting in the United States, I am wondering if this is a phenomenon unique to Brazil? Perhaps a “Gringoes” reader will know the answer to this!”

Of course after reading this I quickly fired up my email client and sent off an email with some information about the North American Fighter Kite Association (NAFKA) and some of the differences between North American kite fighting and those used in the Gringoes.com article. Here is the short note I sent off…

Hello there,

Kite fighting does happen in the US and Canada. The North American Kite Fighting style uses smaller kites (usually) and without the glass coated line. It’s “touch” kite fighting. i.e. you have to try and attack your opponent either from below or above (decided at the beginning of the fight). Once you make contact with the line or kite from the prescribed direction you receive a point. A match consists of 3 fights.
….

One thing that is truly great about the way we publish information on the internet is that people are usually only too glad to hear from readers, it’s much more personal which is more or less the opposite of what a lot of people thought would happen. This kind of communication is great for me since one of the goals of this website is to help spread the word about all things related to kites. Continue reading