A somewhat rambling blog of thoughts from the creator of Jordan Air Kites, an aoxomoxoa centered company thought up by dean jordan in 1988 as a way to fly kites full time.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The making of Sippy Bird!
So this is a story of kite passion and how it manifests in this world of chaos and disaster to help put the perma-grin back on our faces.
All names are the same to protect the guilty.
So this friend of mine gets together with this guy in Malaysia named Ceewan. They design a kite.
Now Jon fly's this beautiful kite at a kite festival and Scott sees it there and is blown away! Scott thinks, 'how can i get this kite, i must build one of these kites' and has a minor brain fart and tells Jon, 'hey, you know wouldn't it be a great idea if all of us built one of those, and we could all swap each others kite and each end up with two really cool kites!?' .....and that's exactly what is happening.
I just finished my first one and wow, i can't say enough about it! What a fun project! I'd seen Scott's and Jon's out in the desert about a month ago, and have been working on my one since before that even. In fact i'm going to put some pictures up here that tell the story of the build. I've never done this before so this is also an exercise in blog building which Telverston says is good for me to do. So be it.
For some reason i had this idea to do a bird, maybe inspired by Scott Skinners awesome Ivanpah Owl kites, of which there are two known in the world. I knew i was going to be in some stiff competition for this and wanted something simple and doable since i was using basicly scrap icky from long ago and building the kite in between real work.
I started this in March! Drew a half dozen sketches, all in scale and put down on the floor a full size outline. Using pieces of cloth from back in the day of Jordan Air Sport kites, and old cloth from various projects i managed to piece together what Ruth now dubs, Sippy Bird!
This was sewn on my original garage sale singer, bought for $100 in 1989 that has sewn and been used to teach numerous people to sew, all sorts of kites big and small. Still kicking!
I initially tried to put it together inside, once it was all sewn, but that proved to be impossible, so i took some rods out and headed outside, there to be interrupted by passing motorist that wanted to know what it was. "Is that a wind surfing sail?" Then the phone started ringing, and next thing you know i have to leave to meet Chef Carl, and head Blade 2 Blade guru to get my check, go to the bank, get lunch, and man, am i ever gonna get to fly this kite???
By the time i made it to our secret kite field in the center of our town, Gainesville, Florida, it was the heat of the day. The clouds were mounting for the afternoon thunderstorm(remember when you could set your clock by these?)but i was determined to get this up. Assembly was pretty swift, following Jon's instructions, though some of my tolerances are a bit tight(looks good though!).
I actually took a picture of the kite as it left my hand with my iphone, though i don't include that here as i called Tim E. and he came by in what seemed like minutes with his very nice camera and took all of these outdoor pictures, thank you Tim!
The kite ascended nicely on the very swirly, squirrelly wind, found itself up in a low level and just planted itself there! I wanted to sit, and knew i had a chair with me, so looked for something to tie it off to, could only find the weeds, did that, went to the kite van, got chair, drink, and hat, and sat down for an afternoon of flying.
Tim and Ruth along with Tommy and a passing friend all seem to show up at the same time, and hung for about an hour. The kite was stable as all get out, sometimes flying straight over my head, but always behaving well.
Finally the storm from the east moved in behind me, the wind came up big, broke the top center spar, though the kite didn't seem to mind. I got it down as quickly as i could, had a bit of trouble taking it apart, as now the wind was gusting big and all over the place, but managed to take it apart without ripping it, get it in the van, and blast off to Tim's and get these photos.
Pure Aoxomoxoa! If you'd like to buy one of these kites, contact Jon or Marianne at SkyBurner kites! http://www.skyburner.com/ tell 'em i sent you!
This just In!
I just found a number of super good photos of Scott Skinners entry: Scott actually completed his at NABX this year, with the help of Jon.
Here's Scott checking out the bridle and tension on the sail. You get a sense of how big the kite is with this. Also here with the new Dave Culp looking on.
So now how does it fly? It was amazing and the first time i'd seen one fly. Just glued itself to the sky. I can't wait to see some more of them. It's going to be interesting to see who comes up with what, and where they end up. I really think Scottie's got something going here.
Wonder if this kite has a name? I can see some butterfly's and
wonder if that's a bird i see in there? The work is incredible, and just makes you sort of take a deep breathe and wonder when Scott sleeps. Nice work Skinner-san.
I'll try to get more photos up from around the kite globe as they come in! Stay tuned.
and here is Jose Sainz stunning entry into this little party! Way to go Jose'!