By Lee Toy
Vol. 3 No.5 – Sep. – Oct. 1980

3rd annual aka convention – seattle

Welcome to Seattle in 1980: The Washington Kitefliers Association will host the 3rd Annual Convention of the American Kitefliers Assoc. in Seattle on October 2,3,4 and 5 1980. Headquarters will be at the Edgewater Inn, on Seattle’s water front, meetings will be held at the Pacific Science Center, and the AKA International Kite Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the new Warren G. Magnuson Park.

To help in planning all AKA mem¬bers who are interested in attending should innediately write for the package of information on Seattle and the convention, and reservation forms. Address you request to: Convention Information, AKA/WKA c/o Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Avenue N., Seattle, WA. 98109 Or contact AKA Regional Director: Dave Checkley (206) 284-5350.

marina green kite fly

KITE FLYER Fun Fly at Marina Green Sept. 28 1980 12 noon

We have had several out-of-towners respond to our announcement in AKA News, so let’s show them what kite flying in S.F. is all about. This will be a celebration of our ‘Summer’ so bring the kids and a pick nick lunch (don’t forget your kites) As this is also the day for a “RUN” expect to find several thousand joggers to be on hand to watch you fly your kites: We hope to see some of our Sacram¬ento friends Sam, Nancy and Dale hope you can make it.

meanwhile back at the ranch. . . .

Mr. Lee had a busy summer with a show of his kites at the Serramonte Shopping center down the peninsula. He also finished up a centipede kite called the TEN COMMANDMENTS which flies quite well, perhaps he got a little help from Him.

In keeping with the Chinese spirit he also made a perpetual calander showing the 12 Chinese Zodiac symbols and what each one symbolizes. This kite is a flat kite that is in two parts (two circles) with the Zodiac characters on one of the circles and the descriptions on another. They are moveable such that the correct figure and description are in the primary positions when flown. This kite should be useful through the year 2880.

Tom Henry was busy at his sewing machine with producing some very quick and manuverable J–10s which he flies like a fighter kite.
Geoffery has been getting time in on a sewing machine too with a new stacked delta design which he hopes to refine some day. He was also seen with a small TISSUE paper parafoil which he whipped up one foggy afternoon. Keep at it.

Long line Joe is up at it again trying to send off kites to Berkeley with the help of Tom and George. You have to watch out for those sailiors….

Your editor was out with a few of his Japanese kites which included a number of kites with hummers and boy do they hum.

vliegers zen maken


Harm van Veen, Pub. Uitgev-erij Cantecleer bv. No price available.

This book, printed in Dutch, is destined to become the new universal kite book, A niche well and durably filled until now by David Pelham’s ‘KITES’ . Full to the brim with constructional ideas, although low on theory, it covers the making of a range of kites from very simple to very complex. Even though the language might seem to make it useless to other nationals, it is still surprisingly easy to follow All the kites have been tested and the book contains many photographs and plans.

“Highly recommended” -Nick Laurie

This book review was taken from the European Kiteflier Vol.1 No.4

nishi’s book is here

For those of you who wanted a copy of Nishi’s kite book, it is now available thru Kite Flyer at $4.00 per copy plus postage.
Copies will be available at the Sept. 28 kite fly if you want to save on postage.

what goes up…must come down.

by Bob Ingraham

It has now been 16 years since the first upsurge of kiting interest took place after 70 or more years in which which actually very little kiteflying was done. It is now interesting to note the current status of kiting which I can only observe through the sales volume of mu own kite products rather than through the eyes of a kite hobbyist.

Having failed to hear from several formerly good dealer customers this year, I.have to conclude that they fell by the wayside because of over extending themselves and failing to generate the business they thought was to be had for the asking. One, I am certain of. A Dayton, Ohio dealer fell from grace with a loud crash leaving thousands of dollars in unpaid accounts–a rather size¬able one of mine included.

Those who approached the business as a business and not a hobby have done rather well and seem to be prospering this year. They are not
many, however, but are becoming well known in the kiting world. One thing we have noted is that the average inquiry from would be kite store operators has failed to gen¬erate a single item of business.

All want our catalog and prices. None ever place an order or are heard from again.

The recent promotion by a large model retailer magazine, likewise failed to generate anything for us although we are certain about others
although we are not certain about others. After submitting a $40 kite for an advertising photo and paying $74 for a tiny ad, we answered nearly 100 inquiries but have yet to get a single order from them. The lesson learned is that kites just don’t sell in the average hobby shop. You have to specialize. Oh yes, the kite we shipped was carelessly torn to bits by flying it into a light pole during the picture taking. Net loss including postage, envelopes, etc. for answering inquiries and the like was exactly $131.15. We can stand this sort of thing once and put it down for a good experience but that isn’t what really teed us off, In replying to a letter we wrote to the magazine (griping) we were told that we were suppose to “phone” the inquirers and not reply by mail with catalog and prices.

Now we are wondering what would have added to the caust….

Now we are wondering what that would have added to the cost. One hundred long distance calls?

So at this time and date we would say the kite business and interest is at a favorable level. Many of the fly-by-nighters and overly-enthused have dropped out, leaving the ones with know-how and under¬standing in a much less crowded field and likely to go on for a long time. As for just plain kitefliers, this office still gets inquiries everyday concerning mem¬bership in AKA and subscription to Kite Tales (Kite Lines). Many must be reading the magazines in doctor’s offices.

smile you’re on cod volant’s camera

It’s not too late but you must act quickly to enter the Cerf Volant Club de France’s KITE PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION. Briefly: They are interested in seeing what you can photograph from a kite. You must submit 3 to 6 B&W or Color prints 18cmX24 cm format. One of the photos must show the flying line in the photo. Deadline: Sept. 30 1980.

Also a sworn statement that the photos were taken by a kite-carried camera and were taken during the period of the con-test.

A brief report: place, date and approx. height from which the photographs were taken.

And a brief description of the equipment used ( kite, camera carrying device and anything else of interest)

The following prizes will be awarded 1st- 300 francs, 2nd- 200 francs, 3rd- 150 francs and 5th- 50 francs. also 5 awards of a subscription to the Cerf Volant’s Newsletter will be given out.

Send in your entry today… Cerf Volant Club de France 17 Rue de Lacharriere
75011 Paris, France

pier 39 international kite festival

Pier 39 Kite Extravaganza.

We didn’t get to press by the time Pier 39 ( a shopping complex in San Francisco) held their Inter-national Kite Fighting Contest.

A big hand goes out to Warren Simmons in sponsoring what was probably the best funded festival to be held in the Bay Area.

Kite personalities: Nishibayashi, Peter Powell and the Braswells were flown in to participate in the festivities. Local boy and kite entrepreneur :Gordon Teekel took third place for the American title plus some cash. While Steve Edeiken received a cool grand for his preformance with his ‘RAINBOW STUNTERS’ in a dual line contest.

Paul Walker was asked to help judge some of the contest and said it was one of the best organized and enjoyable festivals he has had the pleasure to be in.

For details of this event see the latest issue of the AKA NEWS. Red Braswell did a great job of reporting what went on.

back again

It looks as if Nick Laurie is back in the saddle after a close brush with publisher’s cramp. Usually fatal, we are happy to report that the current issue of EUROPEAN KITEFLIER is available, although probably not in the U.S.

If you do catch a glimse of Vol.1 No. 4 you’ll see some kites of the KITE FLYER staff: Lee Toy and Tom Henry. There were several very interesting looking geometric kites without a lot of details. They appeared to be spin-offs of Prof. Waldof’s Star Kite and look like an interesting addition to anyone’s kite stable.

The kites sketched below are those of John Spendlove and he calls them: TETRACAIDELTADECAHEDRAL KITES.

what’s up

If the lack of KITE FLYER in your mailbox left you with nothing to do this Summer, it certainly didn’t stop George Ham from doing what he does best.

On my first Sunday back at the Green I was treated to , not one but three new Delta-parafoils George had made this Summer.

The Delta-parafoil is one of Dom Jalbert’s experimental kites which combines the areodynamics of the parafoil with that of a delta shaped wing. The results were first seen in late December or early January last year , although Dom has been experimenting with the shape for years, he has never produced any of these commercially. Perhaps the reason being that since the cells are radially arranged each piece of this kite is unique and there are few standard parts.

George has scaled down a 50 sq. ft. down to 25 sq. ft. and then scaled one down to 111/2 sq. ft. if that wasn’t enough he did a smaller one yet at 6-1/4 sq. ft. Each of these kites are a gem in the sky and they can fly like a dream. George’s secret is to scale down the entire kite piece by piece and with a lot of patience he gets a good flying kite.

George has just finished up a kite that has 105 sq. ft. which he admits was quite a chore to construct as the faces took up so much room in his house that he couldn’t lay out his construction lines without great difficulity. Knowing George’s expertise I’m sure we’ll be seeing a 105 in the air over the Green in no time.

a tail of two cities

What does Shirone, Japan have in common with a Community College in Washington state U.S.A.?
They both want to build and fly the world’s largest kite.

On March 20 1980 the Shirone Kite Team flew a kite that was 2950 Sq. feet in area. (63.3 ft.X 46.6 ft.) It broke the Guinness record.

Mr. Osborne, Director of the Needle Trades Dept. of the Edmonds Com-munity College in Lynwood Wa. is heading up the Kite Team which hopes to break that recently established record. The kite they are building is a Giant Parafoil approx. 50 ft. X 70 ft. (3500 sq. ft.) The attempt date is to be during the week of the AKA Con-vention, so those of us attending may witness a Guinness entry.

kite flyer progress 7??

Many of you may have wondered where your KITE FLYER has been. Well it’s been a busy Summer for most of us and the Editor:Lee Toy was in Japan for three months checking out kite festivals and eventually working in a city called TSU, which can only be described as a not very fun place. But he has returned and is busy typing away to bring you another thrilling episode of “All of My Shogunsflaka Kite Flyer Sings the Blues.

By way of standard reference–KITE FLYER NEWS is available six times a year (weather permitting) at the minimal cost of a trip to Doggie Diner–$5.00 a shot. Send all money, trading stamps or gold bars to 861 Clara Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94303.