DCO – Announces free safety kite-string rods

Looks like more kite action for Pakistan. This time the government is taking proactive steps to protect motorcyclists from the dangers of the very sharp chemical and manja line used in kite fights.

I am not sure what one of these kite safety rods looks like.. I will try and dig up some pictures.

DCO announces free safety kite-string rods

LAHORE: District coordination officer (DCO), Muhammad Ijaz, Wedneday said that people would be provided safety kite-string rods free of charge for their bikes.

Speaking at a meeting of All-Pakistan Kite Dealers-Manufacturers Association, he said that all union council nazims would provide safety kite-string rods to people who had motorcycles registered under their names. Traffic police would take action against people not using helmets and rods, he added.

He said that manufacturers would produce kites of designated sizes only. A butterfly kite’s maximum span would be 32 inches and no kite would exceed a span of 40 inches, he added.

The DCO said that kites could only be manufactured using local materials. Materials from other cities would require the permission of the district environment officer, Tariq Zaman. Ijaz said that town municipal officers would be responsible for nine teams organised to dispose of chemical-coated strings. He said that chemical-coated strings would be outlawed in a week. Shops caught selling chemical-coated string would be sealed permanently and the string would be confiscated, he added. staff report

Bestselling Book Sparks US Kite Fighting Craze – VOA News

VOA (voice of America) News has an interesting video and article on the popularity in the U.S.A of traditional kite fighting since the book “The Kite Runner” was released. In the article VOA indicates that kite fighting was first introduced to the US about 10 years ago. I find this hard to believe, and I am sure that it was earlier than that. Stories like this always help the kiting community and it’s nice to see, I hope it continues.

Broadband Real Player format

By George Dwyer
New York City, NY
25 January 2007

Throughout much of Asia, kite fighting has been a popular activity for generations. Now a bestselling novel by an Afghan-American author has stirred new interest in the sport in the United States. And as VOA’s Jim Bertel reports, kite fighting is more than just a sporting diversion, it is an important cultural touchstone for many South Asian immigrants in the U.S.

The skies over a park in New York City have been filled with kites in recent months.

On the ground, Afghan, Indian, Pakistani, and other South Asian devotees of “kite fighting” battle for supremacy of the skies. Bangladeshi Qaiser Khan says, “It is very special. I got this from my father, from my childhood. This is the only thing I (have) been doing since a very young age.”

Sheryar Choudhry, Director of the World Control Board of Kite Flying says kite fighting is a highly competitive sport, but it is also considered an art form across South Asia — a touchstone of shared experience.

“It’s not only a sport. It’s also a culture,” says Choudrhry. “It’s a very big part of Pakistan, Indian culture. And you know it keeps you basically in touch that you left home and you are here now but you know all the guys and families come out to the park and they fly kites. It is basically a way of staying in touch with your heritage.”

Introduced in the U.S. just over a decade ago, kite fighting has been on the ascent ever since. But with the 2004 publication of the novel “The Kite Runner” by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, the sport has really taken off says kite fighter Rizwan Basit.

“No matter what, even if it’s windy, rainy, sunny, they are here Saturdays and Sundays flying kites. Firstly, we started twelve years ago. I was like one of the three people that were here (and) started this sport. Now we have a bunch of people.”

It takes two men to operate the kite. Mastery of the sky goes to the team whose kite line cuts the cord of its challenger, sending the defeated kite into a free-fall.

“It’s like winning a match. When two kites have a match together one of them is going to (be) cut. Whoever cuts the kite, he wins the match,” explains Arshad Butt.

These “experienced hands” know how to prepare their kite strings with powdered glass and glue to snap their opponent’s line. And they understand that winning takes patience, strategy, and some luck.

More than two years after its publication, “The Kite Runner” is still a hot seller. Hundreds turned out at a recent Washington DC book festival to have him sign copies of his books. In New York the sport of kite fighting is flying higher than ever.

Source : VOA News

No kite flying on Basant, Pakistan Supreme Court rules

I am sure the sentiments of the thousands of people who were looking forward to flying kites during during Basant are a little more than upset today. The Supreme Court in Pakistan has ruled that even though the Punjab provincial government had lifted the ban the ban is till in place and there will not be any kite flying at this years festival.

By IANS, [RxPG] Islamabad, Jan 23 – The spring festival of Basant has once again come under a cloud with the Pakistan Supreme Court disallowing kite flying, an integral part of the celebration, on grounds of safety.

The Supreme Court Monday rejected a Punjab government plea seeking permission for kite flying in the province, taking a dim view of announcements and preparations made despite the ban.

What began as a matter of concern for the safety of those who fly kites from rooftops and other risky places and as a hazard caused by the use of wire instead of traditional string has escalated into a politico-legal issue.

A large number of deaths caused by falling off rooftops while flying kites are reported each year. The use of use of wire also disrupts power supply and is known to slit throats of people, particularly children.

The bench disliked the Punjab government’s move and asked it to tell the court how many people had reportedly been killed during last year’s Basant, The News said Tuesday.

A nine-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed the Punjab chief secretary to explain why an announcement for celebrating the Basant festival was made when there was a complete ban on kite flying.

The bench summoned a record of a press conference by Planning and Development Commission Chairman Salman Ghani announcing that the Basant festival would be celebrated in the Punjab Feb 25.

The chief justice also asked the reporter of a private TV channel to provide the footage of the press conference.

Punjab Advocate General Chaudhry Aftab Iqbal told the bench that the ‘Prohibition of Kite Flying Amendment Ordinance, 2007′ had been promulgated on Jan 20. It empowered district officials to allow kite flying for a period of 15 days during the spring season.

The apex court reacted by observing: ‘It is now provincial duty to keep law and order. The Supreme Court will not become a party in this case at this stage because when people die due to kite flying, people criticise the Supreme Court. Now this time we will keep ourselves aloof and the onus for – during Basant will be on the Punjab government.’

The Supreme Court had imposed a ban on manufacturing, flying, selling and buying of kites across the country last year. The Punjab government held a Basant festival in 2006 in the name of Jashn-e-Baharan after seeking relaxation from the Supreme Court.

Source: RxPG

US Navy Target kite video

Kerry St. Dennis, a member of the Toronto Kite Fliers, started a discussion on the TKF Yahoo group about a Target Kite video that was on YouTube.com.

It’s pretty amazing to see these kites in action, the harness and reel setup is pretty interesting as well. :) The video was produced by the Bureau of Aeronautics of the American Army in 1945!

Others chimed in with links to better quality video. http://www.carnetdevol.org/target/va-video.htm
http://robroy.dyndns.info/targetkites/index.html
and the PDF manual including plans to build the kite http://robroy.dyndns.info/targetkites/navy_5_foot.pdf

Enjoy,
Bill

Meanest Indian – Kite Flickr Photos

I stumbled upon some really wonderful photos from flickr user “Meanest Indian” today. This person has some fantastic photos of people making kites and manjah in India. Here are some examples…


Multi-Firki – Kites & kites string at Manek Chowk. You maybe counting down to Xmas but here in Ahmedabad the next big event is Uttrian – the Kite Festival on January 14th. Can’t wait… always lots of fun!


Spinning Rainbows – Winding dyed string for kite flying near Gandhi bridge.


Palm Patina – The hand of a man who is coating kite-string with coloured paste embedded with glass. On the roadside near Dilli Diwarja. Have been stopping by these guys the last few days – really dedicated workers and highly productive.

You can see all of “meanest Indian’s” Uttarayan Kite Festival
related photos here.

Cheers,
Bill

Long flight for Birdwoman kite

Stuff.co.nz (The Dominion Post) has a quick article on Suzanne Tamaki’s kite “Manu Wahine” which means “Bird Woman”. The kite will be displayed in the British museum together with the oldest known traditional Maori kite, which is the male counter part to Tamaki’s kite. You can read the complete article here..Long flight for Birdwoman kite – Stuff.co.nz


Photo Source : PHIL REID/The Dominion Post

Valerie and I were in New Zealand in 2004, I was in to kites then but I didn’t have a clue about Maori kites. Since then I have received a bit of an education with the help of some kite flying friends from NZ and from a great book titled “Te Manu Tukutuku – The Maori Kite” by Bob Maysmor.

To give you an idea of what’s in the book here is the table of contents

  • Origins of the Maori Kite
  • Materials used for kite-making
  • Surviving examples of Maori Kites
  • Other types of Maori kite
  • Decorations and accessories
  • Flying lines and bridles
  • How kites were flown
  • Tutu Manu – chants and charms
  • Traditional histories
  • Contemporary Maori kites

There is also a great appendix with listings of Maori kites in museums and other collections, how to make a manu taratahi and Drawings of surviving kites inlcuding the bird man kite that is in the British Museum.

So if you get a chance pick up the book.. you can get it from the kite lines bookstore

Kite And Kayak Festival 2007

Hello all,

The 2nd Annual Kite And Kayak festival has a new website. Tons of pictures from last years fesitval and information on the upcoming festival for 2007. A lot of the photos were shot by Linda Lücker. lot’s of pics of the lobster, Scott and I holding on for dear life, some great aerial shots by Yvon Hache, check it out…

Looks like the dates have been set for July 20-22, 2007. Just enough breather room between K&K and the Dieppe International :) Check out the site at www.kiteandkayak.ca and don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to get information as soon as it’s available.

Cheers,
Bill

Synergetic Kites – An Interview With Thomas K. Horvath



Photo source: www.horvath.ch

Hello all,

Over the past couple of days I have had some great correspondence with the Synergetic kite creator Thomas K. Horvath. Thomas graciously agreed to answer some of questions about his inspiration and motivation to build these very cool kites.

Steadywinds: Who is Thomas K. Horvath?

Thomas:My parents came to Switzerland as refugees in the Hungarian revolution in 1956. Born in Switzerland, I now live and work in Zürich, which is a fast and dense city, a nice home for the Urban Ninja too.

I studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zürich. Then I worked a couple of years with renowned architects, before I started my own small studio for architecture and industrial design. I have now reduced the architectural activities to invest in kite development and business.

My passion: Soaring in the wide sky with a prototype, that’s not good enough yet.

Steadywinds: How did you get started in kiting?

Thomas: While studying architecture, I was interested in light, collapsible structures, often designed for temporary purposes. In this context tetrahedral principals and fuller’s tensegrity structures are investigated. In those years I knew, that someday I will be constructing kites. Years later I started kiting with the first Benson and Wolfe kites, but due to no wind in the swiss evenings I soon switched to light-wind kites like the most beautiful white Isis by Pierre Marzin. Even these hi-tech floaters need a little wind to hang loose with them.

Steadywinds: What is a synergetic kite?


Thomas:
I think of synergy in three aspects:

• Structural: The dynamic interaction of the frame with the membrane, intensified by air pressure and input of the flyer provides a strong, but flexible arrangement. The whole structure is a moderate, pragmatic tensegrity approach.

• The synergy in flight: While gliding, my flyers benefit of their nature of a kite, like the low wing loading of around 85g per sq. m. While stalling, they don’t fall down, and those neutral moments of zero energy are the decisive points of piloting them. In kite mode, while pulling them up into the sky, their profiled wings develop much more lift than their weight is, so they climb very fast with minimal loss of line length.

• air, the bird and me: my most quiet and beautiful moments . . .

Steadywinds: It seems to be part glider, trick kite, single line.. how did you get inspired to design these kites?

Thomas: I wanted kites to play around with in calm evenings. To fly without wind, there must be motion, and it’s essential, that I can influence the motion. I learned, that such a flying machine would have to glide away over longer distances and had to be steerable. I began to reduce stability down to the minimum to make the designs slower, but more agile in order to get a direct response. This enabled the kites to do tight flat-spins, resulting in longer air time on a narrow spot.

Steadywinds: What is the Urban Ninja project?

Thomas: The Urban Ninja is an attpemt to provide an easy to fly gadget for everyone including kids, not only for kiting people. It can be flown anywhere and anytime. It’s called a project, because I plan to publish variants: A tiny indoor variant (which I flew in the studio a few minutes ago), an even more aggressive highly unstable one et cetera.

Don’t expect these within the next month’s. It turned out, that people like to fly the Ninja in the crowded sky at a festival and when the winds die in the evening and there’s plenty of space in the sky, they are soaring around with their “Long Way Homes” and the other wings. It would be nice to see a growing community of ninja fliers. With a number on the sail, you invite others to fly around with you, even on a narrow spot …

Steadywinds: Why did you decide to create the Urban Ninja and offer the plans online?

Thomas: To share something with the community, to promote active single line kiting and to reach people like you . . .

Since this interview Thomas has added another section to his site describing how his kites fit within the kite world. you can find this information here. our kites in kite space

Also it looks like there will be a write up on www.kite-tests.de about The Long Way home. The Long Way home is the kite being flown in the YouTube video in my previous post. I am not 100% sure when the information will be posted but it should be soon.