Author Archives: Bill

KiteGen Project

Found an interesting article on 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

HQ Multiple Kite System

MKS-KiteSystem 001

Originally uploaded by wdrwilson.

Recently Steve Ferrel at the Kite Studio added Auctions to the forums. The original idea came from some posts about Dave Ellis and his attempts to auction kites for charity on eBay. I think there were some issues surrounding eBay’s policies dealing with charities. So Steve worked very hard over the next few months to bring auctions to all members of the forum and so far it seems it’s a success.

Dave aka KiteGuy was one of the first to get in on the fun by adding some kites, line laundry and an interesting kite kit called the Multiple Kite System from HQ. If I recall correctly this was a kit that Dave won at a

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kite making retreat and it looked suprising similar to the Thames & Kosmos Kite Dynamics kit, which I had just recently found online. So what the heck, I bid on it, not thinking I would ever win with such a low bid of 10 dollars. Much to my surprise the auction ended a few days later and I was the winner. Woo hoo!

Dave sent the parcel this week and it arrived today, now that’s fast considering it had to come from the U.S.A. As usual when I open up a kite from HQ I am pleasently surprised by the attention to detail and the quality of the parts. This kite was no exception, The kite comes with decent manual, a nice bag for the skins, a separate bag for the connectors and my favourite wrapped fiberglass rods. I started with the simplest of the designs (the one suggested by the manual) and here are the results.

MKS-KiteSystem 009
MKS-KiteSystem 001
MKS-KiteSystem 002
MKS-KiteSystem 008

So far so good… I went back to my original post about the Thames & Kosmos Kite Dynamics kit and examined the photos on their site. It appears to be an updated version of the HQ MKS kit. The connectors look identical and even the way it’s packaged and displayed looks the same. In conversation with Dave about the kit he mentioned that the designer was looking for a less expensive way to produce the kit. Looks like he found it.

Thanks Dave for the great buy, this kite will likely never see the skys but it will be hanging in my office very soon. :)


Pakistan bans kite flying

Kite flying and kite flying bans are hot topic in Pakistan these days. For the last few years there have been calls by activist groups to ban kite flying outright. The issue stems from injuries and deaths caused by the kite line used in the highly competitive passtime, particularly during the Basant festival. Usually the line is manjha or wire; manjha is glass coated line and can cause serious cuts to people as the kite line descends after a kite fight. The line drapes across streets and cars and since it’s so fine it can go unoticed until it’s too late. The wire line causes additional problems, flyers have been electrocuted as the line crosses power lines and even if the flyer is not electrocuted the wire line often results in power outages.

Geo Pakistan news reports

LAHORE: A four-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday imposed a one-month ban on kite-flying and manufacturing, buying and selling of kites.

A bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mr. Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry had taken suo moto notice of the losses by kite-flying.

The full story can be found on the website

Another article can be found on the ONLINE -International News Network.

A number of other articles have been published over the past few years regarding the Basant festival, which celebrates the begining of spring, and the tragedy that unfolds each year.

January 2005 – The News International – Basant: past and present

January 2005 – The Nation – The economics of Basant

January 2005 – Gaurdian Unlimited – Lahore buckles up for thrills and spills of kite carnival

August 2004 – Pakistani Times – Complete ban on Kite-flying Demanded in Punjab

June 2003 – Daily Times – Kite-Flying, Thread Works associations’ representatives to meet nazim today

Purdy’s Wharf

Purdy’s Wharf

Originally uploaded by wdrwilson.

Yesterday was another beautiful day and I decided to take some more KAP shots. So Pete, Greg and Alex (Greg’s 2 y.o. son) and I headed out for a few hours. I headed back to the RESL Wind Turbine site but didn’t get any really good pictures. Then we headed down to Purdy’s Wharf in Downtown Halifax. The wind was great and the reflections off the mirrored buildings were incredible.

Today I posted this photo to my flickr photostream and then shared it with the Halifax flickr group. I made a quick post about my aerial photo set and BelarusRikk replied to my post and inquired about how the photos were taken. While I was replying I checked out BelarusRikk’s photo stream and found that they had a photo of Purdy’s Wharf around the same time. Sure enough you can see the kite flying high in the sky and

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Peter and I standing on the wharf.

Too Cool!!!


RESL Wind Turbine

RESL Wind Turbine

Originally uploaded by wdrwilson.

Last week we noticed this huge new wind turbine being setup on the edge of route 333 in Halifax. I couldn’t get over the size of it and I thought it would be a perfect candidate for some aerial shots.

So today I managed to get out to take some photos. The winds were good but not quite enough to get the rig higher than about 100-150 ft off the ground. (time to make a Maxi-Dopero). This is the only

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really decent shot I was able to get in my two attempts to photograph the turbine. I like this shot as the clouds are particularly interesting and you still get a sense of scale (not enough IMHO).

RESL has 3 more turbines lined up and ready to go in different parts of Nova Scotia. This particular turbine will generate enough energy to power 250 homes. Gotta love the wind!!!


KAP Prince Edward Island Mustard Field

I was on Prince Edward Island flying at the Summerside Lobster Carnival this week. While the kite fest was rained out on Thursday Scott Ferguson and I had a great day of Kite Aerial Photography on Friday. Driving along the highway from Badeque to Summerside I spotted this beautiful field. I later found out it is a Yellow Mustard flower crop. Scott and I made a point of coming back on Friday to get some shots. Our first attempt failed due to the lack of wind, but our second attempt later in the day proved to be successful. 3 minutes in the air was all the time we had, but we managaed to get a great shot.

I will add more shots to my gallery later today.


Fort Amherst Canada Day Kite Festival


Originally uploaded by ferlu.

Scott Ferguson is an excellent friend of mine from Halifax (who now resides in PEI). Scott built a 6 foot Rokkaku depicting a Rock Climber this past winter. I can’t beleive that this is Scott’s first kite! It came out great and looks great pasted to the sky.

Here is a photo of Scott’s kite flying at the Canada Day Kite Festival in Fort Amherst PEI. Check out Scott’s Flickr stream to see more :)


Flickr, Geo Tagging and KAP


Originally uploaded by wdrwilson.

This is really cool…

I’ve heard about flickr before but I didn’t realise that it’s tagging features were so awesome.

Basically Flickr is an photo sharing site (like webshots, etc) but it’s built around communities. It allows you to upload photos to your own albums and then share them in other groups ,etc. Flickr also allows you to add tags to your photos that can be searched on. For example if I wanted to see pictures of Halifax I would do something like this.

Cool huh??

Anyway there is another neat thing that the folks at did. They took the cool and the flickr image community and merged it together. You can add the latitude and longitude as a tag to your images and then you can see where in the world they were taken… Really really cool.. especially for KAP.

click on the picture and then select the geotagged link in the description under the picture