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.
I blogged earlier about our 6' Peter Powell 'Monster' and wrote that I was hoping to convince Mark and Paul to make me a blue-pink-white custom tail for the kite. Well, they were happy to do so, and here is this custom-made tri-colour tail; thanks guys!
Because the kite is around 50% larger in height and wing span, Mark made the tail also longer, to keep it roughly the same length relative to the kite.
And the extra-long tri-colour tail looks really good on the kite, I must say (but I would say that, wouldn't I?).
There's just one downside to flying kites with extra long tails ...
Got her via Ebay, a Mk I Stunter with fibreglass frame, and she arrived with battle scars: two long tears, repaired with tape. As I was setting her up in our usual flying field for her first flight with me, another tear appeared. She's clearly suffering from BSS (brittle sail syndrome), a common problem with old Peter Powells. Another length of repair tape, a quick field fix, and she was ready to take to the air.
I launched her with a hefty dose of apprehension. The wind was quite strong and blustery, and that's not ideal for an old girl with BSS ... But off she went and crossed were my fingers (at least for as far as the line straps allowed me).
She seemed really happy, riding the gusts as if nothing was wrong.
I kept expecting to see another tear appear as she was flying around, but no, all went fine! Battle-scarred and wounded though she was, she was enjoying herself, diving, rising and looping to her heart's content. I will need to treat her with caution, of course, keep a close eye on her sail for any emerging tears, and repair when necessary. But 'brittle sail syndrome' is progressive and incurable, so the day will come that her sail tears beyond repair ... But until that day, this old girl will remain a welcome part of my collection.
While searching the internet for information on US-made Peter Powell kites, I stumbled across a mention of an "evil PP for the Japanese market", which, allegedly, "even Peter himself didn't like". Any attempt to pin down exactly which kite this was fizzled out into failure ...
Keep in mind the Japanese connection, and look at this ad from 1991 in the magazine Stunt Kite Quarterly.
Look at the kite featured in the lower right of the ad. It's a Skytoy, said to be "a big hit in Japan" ... Am I jumping to conclusion by adding 2 and 2 to make 4? Is a Skytoy indeed this "evil PP"?
The Skytoy was Peter Powell Kites' attempt to create a miniature stunt kite. It had a wing span of 86 cm, and weighed just over 50 grams. It was meant to be flown off two fingers, and was said to be very fast. Further attempts to get more information on the Skytoy, or even another picture, again fizzled out into the earlier mentioned failure, so if anyone knows more about this tiny PP kite, please get in touch.
And needless to say, but if anyone, whether in Japan or anywhere else, has a Skytoy for sale, please do let me know, ok?