Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Millennium are now available!

This is a blatant commercial plug, but you've been asking, and though i had to be able to work on this for awhile, to make sure i got it right, i think we may be on to something.

I've not been able to fly these as much as i'd like, but they still fly sweet. They are a tiny bit heavier than the original ones due to difference in fittings and rods, but you know what!? I think it makes them fly better! They sure have no trouble flying in no wind, that's for sure! But in light wind, oh boy!

Now i'm not a Dodd Gross school of kite flying flyer, or Andy Wardley, but i do like to play, and for my old school sensibilities, this is pretty great stuff, though your milage may very. If you do get one, i'd love to hear all about it, warts and all!

I've known Corey Jensen since 1988 believe it or not, and he's been to my house and slept on my couch. He likes my stuff and has been asking me to work with him for ahwile. I made him a couple of Airforms recently, but i've really been itching to go back to my roots, and he was excited to help me out. I've entered into a very limited exclusivity deal with him for a very small number of kites. We'll see if there is any interest. ( contact him to get these! Linked by clicking on title!)
I can tell you that no two are alike, though i may make a few similar to these first three. The way i make them though is, one at a time. It is not efficient, and takes way to much time, but they look pretty good, and you can be assured that you have that rare something not available much anymore, a handmade thing, high tech/low tech, classic touches and for sure some aoxomoxoa built right in!

The name of the kites are this, at the top is the Tomoe, in the middle is the Razor, and here at the bottom is Black Fire. They are signed and numbered by me, and come in a unique bag. They have Sky Shark II's in them, with apa fittings, spectra bridle, along with the original tip tensioning system we first introduced to the sport kite world, as well as the closed leading edge, integrated wing tube system.

These kites are made not just to look at but to fly, and yes they are somewhat fragile, you can't step on them or fly them in high wind, but they are for sure not toys, they are high performance sporting equipment and as such demand to be flown!

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Millennium

So way back in the day, maybe 91 i was contacted by CNN Science and Technology, and even though i thought it was a joke, called them back, at which time i got into a very long conversation with a very nice gentleman that wanted to know about kite buggying. During the course of this conversation, and after we'd agreed to some filming, i mentioned that we also flew kites indoors. There was a long pause on the other end, and the whole thing started again. . .
A film crew did come, and i was shown on CNN buggying, but something that came out of the whole deal, the night before they came was i had to invent a new sport kite i'd been thinking about ever since i heard David Brittain had set his indoor record of having a kite aloft for four hours and four minutes. So, i went to work, and managed to come up with what would later be called the X-1 named after an old time radio show.

It flew great, and never mind that the first time i ever flew it was mic'd up at one of the University of Florida's gyms with the CNN camera's rolling. They would have never known either if they hadn't of asked me that one stupid question. "How often do you fly indoors?" uh, 'this is the first time, actually...'.

I digress. Somewhere along the line, i became aquatinted with Herb Weldon who was a fan, and really liked the kite, but thought it aught to have a different bridle. Herb began bridle development in earnest and sent us all kinds of cool hand made fittings and strange and exotic new bridles, but all the time, urged for a new design that he could fly sitting down in his wheel chair. It seems Herb had a crippling disease and couldn't stand for long periods of time, but dearly loved to fly his kites.

Thus was the Sierra project started, and on September the 16th, 1994 the first kite, named Luna C, or the Clone was made. The name was quickly changed to the Millennium thanks to my friend Dave Arnold of Arlington, Virginia, and a legend was born.

The kite was built using Avia G-Force Skinny's and weighed just over four(4) ounces! It had an 8.5' wing span, and an extremely cambered Leading Edge, with very deep wings and a very shallow nose. It's integrated wing tubes with closed LE windows for the rods was a first for a production kite, and it also had our patented tip tensioning system and a leach line, thanks to Tim Elverston.

Now it's back!

In it's current incarnation it weighs 5.5 oz. due to different fittings, and different rods. I'm going to be playing around with the weight but in general one of the things we learned(and other designers have concurred)is that you can for sure go to light. This New Millennium seems to fly really great. It turns really well, does flat spins so naturally and axles and of course i'm so old school i don't even know what any of the tricks are called.

I don't care, i still love to fly Ultra Light Kites and probably always will. I love to build them, i love to fly them, and i especially love that other people love them. If i can make a few more folks happy about some of my kites, it will really make all this stuff worthwhile.

Since i travel alot and always break my kites down to fly(on planes)i made the bags for these collapse as well. I hope that is something people will use, i'm already using mine!