A blog detailing our collection of Peter Powell kites, and chronicling our flying of these kites. Plus a bit of PP kite history thrown in. Our collection to date can be seen here. I am keen to expand the collection, so if you have an old Peter Powell kite, whether made in the UK or the US, gathering dust and looking for a new home, why not get in touch? Depending on the kite (does it bring something new or different to my collection?), its condition (is it flyable? how much TLC does it need?), and the price you ask (+ shipping if from outside the UK), we may well be able to do a deal.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Skyraker 'Illusion'

The Skyraker was the first dual-line delta produced by the US arm of Peter Powell Kites. It came in several verisons: 1-panel, 3-panel, 11-panel and with 'Illusion' graphics (plus, it appears, a Jolly Roger version). Although I did get manage to get my hands on a  3-panel, and 11-panel Skyraker, clearly my Peter Powell collection would never be complete without a Skyraker 'Illusion' ...

Took me quite a while, but I did manage to find one!


Like the other Skyrakers, this 'Illusion' version needs a decent breeze to fly well; 12mph at least. When the wind drops away, and at the edge of the wind window, it struggles, especially in turning.



The 'Illusion' Skyraker came in three colours: yellow, green and pink ... the search continues!

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Yet another bag for the PP collection

As I predicted some time ago, the gradually growing collection of PP kites requires a further bag expansion. The American-produced kites already had their own bag, separate from the UK-produced ones, but with the recent addition of the Cayman 6-stack to the collection, it just doesn't fit anymore ... Solution? Yet another HQ Proline bag, again from Kiteworld, and this time in red.


All the Caribbean Kite Company kites now live in this new red bag.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Caicos

When the US arm of Peter Powell Kites became independent under the name Caribbean Kite Company, it kept a small number of PP kite designs and simply renamed them: the basic PP Stunter became the Cayman, the Skychaser became the Tobago, the Skylite became the Mustique, and the Omni quad-kite became the Caicos. Even though the Omni sail pattern was changed, it basically remained the same kite under a different name.

Of course, I'd been looking for a Caicos to add to the collection ... did you expect anything else?


My experience with the Omni wasn't that positive, so how does the Caicos fly? Did CKC make any subtle changes to the bridle to make it a but less twitchy?


Errrm, no .... it flies exactly the same as the Omni: quite twitchy and difficult to keep it stable. Of course, that may say something about my ability to fly a quad, but I have far less problems with other quad kites, such as the PP Double D, and I flew Omni and Double D side by side under the same conditions .... 

No matter how twitchy it is, I'm happy to have added a Caicos to the still-growing collection of Peter Powell kites (#63, if anyone is interested).

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Hamleys PP

I've been able to add a small handful of vintage branded Peter Powells to the collection: Round Table, BP and Poppins. There definitely were more, the most famous of them being a Queen-branded PP, which does occasionally pop up on eBay with ridiculous asking prices.

All these branded PP are Mk I kites, and I didn't know vintage branded Mk II PPs existed until I saw one listed on eBay, promoting the Hamleys toy store. Do I need to say specifically I got it for not very much at all?

The kite came in its original sleeve, judging by the sticker, and it even had the Hamleys price tag still on it. Kite cost £9.50 back then; pity it's not clear exactly when that was ...










Price increases aside, here's my Hamleys PP in the field, ready to fly.


Wind was a bit flaky and variable, but it did manage to take off.


It struggled a bit in the variable wind, but flew as you would expect from a vintage PP, watched by some of Stoney Cross Plain's resident horses.






Monday, 21 October 2019

Cayman 6-stack

I've posted before about Caribbean Kite Company's Cayman kites basically being Peter Powell Stunters with a different brand name. And, in addition to one in the older 'chevron' colour scheme, we also have a pair of Caymans, in the newer colour scheme. So I wasn't at all looking for more Caymans ... but ... a set of six Caymans popped up on eBay, for a total price that made my Buy-It-Now finger get a life of its own ...

The six Caymans came as a stack of three, a stack of two, and a single kite. Rather than keep that configuration, I decided to stack them all together into a 6-stack.


They came without tails, so I got myself six modern white tails to match the central white stripe on the sail.

Flying them in 10-14mph wind was really good fun. They pulled solidly, but nothing we couldn't handle




They look great together, and the white tails really work well; judge for yourself!


Of course, flying a 6-stack of 'Peter Powells' has one big drawback ...


Yep, six tails to flatten and roll up!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Two more PP quads

If you've been following this blog, you may be aware that the US arm of Peter Powell Kites produced two quad-line kites: the Double D and the Omni.

Neither of these two kites are commonly offered for sale nowadays, so when I had the chance to get my hands on a second Omni, for a very reasonable price, and in a colour scheme different from the Omni I already had, I couldn't let the opportunity pass. Especially since the kite came with the handles that the Omni was originally sold with.



Like my first Omni, flight is very twitchy (which may, of course, say something about my quad-flying abilities ...).


The seller also had a Double D, which he was willing to throw in for not very much. Even though the kite had the same colour scheme as the Double D already in my collection (I've never seen a picture of a Double D with a different colour scheme, to be honest), it came with the original Double D handles, so in a moment of weakness ....



Flight is clearly more stable than the Omni, matching my earlier experience flying a Double D.


Of course, having two Omnis and two Double Ds now, I had to fly the two pairs!


It's difficult to fly a quad and take pictures at the same time!




Given the twitchiness of especially the Omnis, it's not very likely we'll ever fly PP quads in a festival routine ...

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Martinique

So far, I've been able to get my hands on several dual-line deltas made by the Caribbean Kite Company: Jamaica, Trinidad, Mustique and Tobago. Obviously, I want them all, but the one I was especially keen to add to the collection was their largest (2.68m wing span) delta, which was specifically marketed as a trick kite: the Martinique.

I'm very pleased to be able to say that I now indeed have been able to get me grubby hands on a Martinique!


Flew it first in 5-8mph. Flight is quite slow in this wind; even though the official wind range is stated as 4-20mph, it really needs 7-8mph to fly well. Once flying, it really looks sleek!


Kite has a tendency to oversteer, and it really turns on a dime. That level of instability suggests it should trick well. So does it? I can honestly say that this is by far the trickiest Peter Powell delta I've ever flown: it loves axels and half-axels; it gives them away for free. It's purely my own limit flying tricks that holds it back.

So yes, definitely the best Caribbean Kite Company kite in my collection by a country mile and more.