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The ten best kites of all time??


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So what kites do you think are the 10 best kites??

 

Not just today's kites, but the ones that have got us here as well.

 

Here's some I think should be in the list, or considered for the ten.

 

The Cody box kite. 

Used for man lifting. 

Cody even sold this system to the British Navy to use as aerial observation.

But his biggest claim is in the first manned flight in England, and further advancement in the manned flight area.

He made use of Lawrence Hargrave's kite designs as a basis his first aircraft wings.

 

The Hargrave box kite

Sir Lawrence Hargrave's work was before Cody, and even before Alexander Graham Bell's kites as well.

The Wright brothers even used his research, so was he the father of artificial flight?

And he was an Aussie!!

 

The Peter Powell.

He might not have been the first to make a two line steerable kite, but he did market it right, and it sold, up to 75,000 kites a week!!

 

Flexifoil Stacker/Blade?

When you say Flexifoil to me, I can't not think of both these kites, both have a huge following, and are well known.

 

The Wipika.

The two French brothers who took an idea for a rescue device and turned the kite world on it's head with the Wipika!!

You now see their pump up kites on almost every beach.

Even the C kite is one of the brothers work.

 

The NPW or Rogallo wing.

A NASA engineer by trade and maker, with help, from his wife, of the Rogallo wing.

Was in the running to be used in the Mercury and Gemini space capsules, but parachutes won out.

 

The R-Sky.

This has been the standard for many years in the two line trick field.

 

The Hawaiian team kite.

Another kite that set the pace and tone of those that followed.

 

Peter Lynn.

But which kites??? ARC's, C-Quads, Peel's, the Vapor??

Is it the huge single line display kites which crowd the air at almost any kite festival around the world? 

Or is his best work the reinvention of the kite buggy?

 

Flysurfer.

Their Speed series might be the most known?

 

Ozone.

I can't help but think of their stable, and ubber gust eating kite, the Access.

 

So now it's your turn.

What do you think should be in the ten??

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Peak hater ^^^ ?? A truly depowerable single skin power kite that packs incredibly small and light. For that I do think it was the first commercially available. Unless you count lei which I don't

So what kites do you think are the 10 best kites??   Not just today's kites, but the ones that have got us here as well.   Here's some I think should be in the list, or considered

I can only talk about my favourite kites. 2005 10m frenzy. lift! tones of lift! Its the reason I continued to kite rather than going back to mountain bikes.  AIR TIME. ozone manta. you took

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Great topic and I was going to respond, but it looks like you covered all the ones I thought of and then some. :-)

I don't know if it makes top ten, but I think the Peak is a completely unique kite that has a cult following.  I would compare it to the arc's as far as being a unique kite and being able to carve out a significant piece of the market while still not being for everyone at the same time.  Like the arcs, there is no middle ground.  People either love em or hate em

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Great thread idea.

I think without Flexifoil or Peter Powell (both started in 1972) this forum may not exist.

My all time top ten best kites are as follows. Flexifoil Stackers, Blade 4.9 & 8.5

Long before that ghastly American showoff Cody came along we had already invented the worlds first kite buggy called the Charvolant by Englishman George Pocock in 1825.

I uploaded a TV programme (filmed using a potato) to YouTube all about his invention and included some interesting facts in the description.

Pffff Buffalo Bill. 

George Pocock is my hero. In 1824 he used a 9m kite with a 'chair rig' to lift his daughter Martha over 270 feet into the air and also flew her over the Avon Gorge to the amazement of assembled crowds.

*cough* On the down side he also invented a spanking machine that could spank several boys at once. (He was a school teacher)

 


   

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Nigel, just a small correction is needed, Francis Rogallo was a degreed engineer, therefore you would refer to his line of work as a professional engineer, not as a trade. ie see his training record:

Francis Rogallo earned an aeronautical engineering degree at Stanford University in 1935."

I would definitely agree that Francis Rogallo is a pioneer and formed the inspiration for the foil kites we fly today. As for Peter Lynn, I would say his kite buggies would have to be the biggest and most influential contributions. Actually his approach typifies the Kiwi spirit of having a go and small beginnings for the backyard workshop to things bigger and better.

I think we should also thank engineer Claud-Louis Navier and mathematician George Gabriel Stokes, for their contribution to our current understanding of aerodynamics through their famous set of equations, the Navier-Stokes equations. All other simplified models idealising fluid flow and aerodynamics find their roots from this equation.

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Probably the three kites that have inspired me the most would be the Cody Box, The Flexi Stacker and the Hawaiian Team and I'd probably add Peter Powell's stunter too.  Without them, I most likely wouldn't be flying kites today.  Steffen's Nasa Star 2  is the easiest and most accessible traction engine I've ever flown.  The Peak 2 is my favorite depower so far.   hmmm.....four to go.  Probably have to add the Access and perhaps the Vapor as standouts in their respective fields.

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I pretty much agree with Nigel.

The Hargrave box kite would be my 1st choice for a famous kite.:good:

I still have the blue plastic Peter Powell stunter my grandfather gave me for my birthday in the mid 70's when I was still in high school, although the tube tail has long since gone to god. This is easily my favourite kite.

My old original Peter Lynn 3.8 Reactor holds a special place in my heart as it got me buggying and I dunno how many thousands of kilometres it did before I retired it. It's spanked me many a time and not just while learning. The fabric is like a chux wash cloth now it's so soft and doesn't even crease anymore. The bridals are like pipe cleaners they are so fluffy.

Love the stackers too. I take them to our local oval and the kids love to fly them.

My original Revolution SLE 1.5, replaced with 1/4" leading edge, has a bloody lot of hours on it and is so soft and baggy but is still a favourite to let some new chum have a fly of. It has remained in my 4 x4 Patrol all it's life and has been flown everywhere I travel.

Cant ignore the PL Vapors they have a very special spot in my heart too.

Lately I've been well impressed by Ozone's R1 race kite.

Big display kites just make me grin as well.

 

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12 hours ago, nigel said:

Sir Lawrence Hargrave

Even made it on to the old 20

flexifoil stackers 6, 8 & 10', Peter Powell (gnu P.P.), The Peel, Hawaiian team kite. Tim Benson Phantom, Box of Trixs, and Inner Space, the Rev (I don't like it but it did a lot for multi line kites), the Rokkaku and last Asian/Indian fighter kites

Edited by the_hatman OBE
life is change
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A few kites that I would like to see on the list would be...

the flexifoil stacker.

peter Lynn arc. Probably the s-arc which I believe was the first arc sold on mass.

flysurfer speed 3. Was in production for about 5+ years because it took so long to improve on the design. It was the kite that really showed the kite world the potential of closed cell foil kites. 

The wipika. I believe was the first LEI?

the revolution kite. Brilliant stunt kite and hasn't needed to change much since it was first released. 

There are a few others that, as time passes, hold almost mythical status (but may not deserve to be on the all time best kite list)

PKD combat. A bastard to fly, but when on song one of the best race kites ever. 

4.9m flexifoil blade. The widow maker. 

Peter Lynn f-arc. There are better low wind kites now and higher aspect even, but this was the first. 

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My Favourite kite, and certainly at the time in australia it was THE kite to have was the MEFM, Warren made me a custom grey vented version dubbed the 'missile'

i loved that kite, now sadly defunct.

large.kit5.jpg

It is the Grey one in the middle of this pic.

The sail made of heavy icarex, and the vents made from coarse grade screen print mesh. it was a high wind kite, yet sailed perfectly in next to no wind at all. truly versatile.

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I can only talk about my favourite kites.

2005 10m frenzy. lift! tones of lift! Its the reason I continued to kite rather than going back to mountain bikes.  AIR TIME.

ozone manta. you took off like a plane, glided through the air and landed buttery smooth. It wasn't just jumps anymore it was flight.

6m access. high wind stupidity!

13,11 and 10m ozone edges. A sublime wing with ridiculous speed and glide and jump height. Makes a really good buggy engine too.

15 speed 3 deluxe. Took light wind jumping to new heights. literally.

little leis, ozone light, catalyst and reo. Stupid, stupid, stupidly good in gusty shitty high winds and rain!... kiting in the rain! who cares with an lei.

Lastly high aspect race foil Ozone chrono. The ridiculous upwind ability of a fixed bridle race kite mixed with the insane lift if the speeds with the stability of an access.... well not quite, but still bloody good. Simply the next level of kite performance. Particularly for buggy riders.

 

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Agree that Flexifoil Stacker has to be up there. My first entry into power/traction kiting was with two 10 foot Stackers back in the UK. Great innovative kite for its time. I also support the Flysurfer Peak being in the top ten. Another innovation into single skin kites. 

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1 hour ago, Tiger37 said:

Another innovation into single skin kites. 

don't get it 85 to 95% of kites are single skin, only since the stacker have double skins come in to uses for power kiteing, but even then there was the Nasa and Nash!

single skin deltas stil being used up to then

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6 hours ago, the_hatman OBE said:

don't get it 85 to 95% of kites are single skin, only since the stacker have double skins come in to uses for power kiteing, but even then there was the Nasa and Nash!

single skin deltas stil being used up to then

My Stackers were double skin with a thin gauze opening on the leading edge. I won't argue with your fact that 85 to 95% of kites are single skin but as far as I know the Peak is one of the few single skin power kites on the market. May be I'll be proved wrong?

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Peak hater ^^^ ??

A truly depowerable single skin power kite that packs incredibly small and light. For that I do think it was the first commercially available. Unless you count lei which I don't even though they are, arguably. They still have struts. 

They make top ten for me personally but there have been so many great kites that I definitely wouldn't argue with anyone that doesn't have it in "THE" top ten. 

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The PL, C-quad is also a powerful bit of single skin gear and almost decapitated me the first time out of it's 900mm round bag. What a balls up, trying to rebag it at the beach after I flew it the first time.:blush:   Ended up just bundled into the canopy on my Nissan until I got home and watched a you-tube clip to get the bloody thing to lay flat and back into it's bag. It pulled like a truck behaving much like an oversized Revolution kite.

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12 hours ago, Chook said:

The PL, C-quad is also a powerful bit of single skin gear and almost decapitated me the first time out of it's 900mm round bag. What a balls up, trying to rebag it at the beach after I flew it the first time.:blush:   Ended up just bundled into the canopy on my Nissan until I got home and watched a you-tube clip to get the bloody thing to lay flat and back into it's bag. It pulled like a truck behaving much like an oversized Revolution kite.

Your welcome to relive your passion with the C-Quads next time we meet Chooky, I've got 7 of them.:grin:

Just let me know. 

The 6.3 and the 8.5 are the two hardest to pack, as you need three hands to get them back in the bag.

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For its time the Flexifoil Blade 4.9 was legendary, in fact so nostalgic were the feelings it brought back that I've gone on a bit of a bender buying Flexifoil Blade 4.9's. I've managed to purchase the Blade MK1 4.9, MK II 4.9, MK III 4.9 and MK IV 4.9. :dance:  Only missing the Blade V 4.9 at this stage.

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Hq beamer 3.6m. 

OK what am I on about. Here in the UK it is the "starter kite" for most that want to get into kite buggies. Gentle. Forgiving. Cheap as chips. Easy to sell on. And gets most hooked and moving onto other kites pretty fast. 

 

Also..... the fone diablo. Co's it's at the cutting edge of tech and performance and it's the culmination of all that development of other kites. (I may be bias) 

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41 minutes ago, socommk233 said:

Culmination of paragliding tech too. 

Please show me a depower race kite that isn't.....  oh the Aero ;) 

 

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I believe the Peter Lynn aero is a copy of this fone diablo.  

You've just insinuated that Michel Dekker, the designer of the Peter Lynn Vapor that dominated the race scene for the better part of half a decade, also the designer of a number of other kites, and with a stellar reputation in design has now copied someone else's design. That's some belief :pleasantry:

 

Quote

Made in the same factory too apparently ;)

There's probably less factories than you can count on one hand manufacturing foil kites these days.

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