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.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Omni

Were you aware that the US arm of Peter Powell Kites produced a quad-line kite? Well done if you were, but did you also know they produced two different quad-line models? If not, read on; and if you did know, you might as well read on, because I'll be testing both against each other at the end of this blog post.

In 1989, Peter Powell brought the Double Diamond (or "Double D" for short) on the market. Essentially two Stunters side-by-side, with their joint cross spars forming the leading edge of the quad. This design created a problem, as it was deemed to be too similar to the new Revolution quad, and Peter Powell Kites were forced to take the "Double D" off the market within two years of its introduction.

In 1991, they came back with an alternate design, named the Omni. The two Stunters were rotated 90 degrees, and positioned tail-to-tail, such that their joined spines now formed the long cross spar of the quad.


Needless to say, I had to add an Omni to my collection, and I'm happy to announce that I have succeeded in that. Meet my green-fluorescent-and-black Omni! Its previous owner lives on Hawaii, so a bit of a shock for the kite to find itself out in the British winter ...


So how does it fly? Well, it turns out to be a very twitchy kite, and it took me quite a while to get it under control; it tends to oversteer a lot. But with the 'arrows' on the kites, indicating which side is 'up' and 'right', it's certainly a striking kite in the sky!


Having managed to get one of both the Peter Powell quads, we of course had to try them both together. Not with the aim of a pair routine, but simply to compare their flight characteristics in the same wind conditions (4-10mph).


Besides the general shape, the Omni is also smaller (1.83m wing span) than the "Double D" (2.16m wing span).


Even though the Omni was advertised as an 'improved version' of the PP quad line kite in a 1991 catalogue, I must say the earlier "Double D" handles much much better. Far less twitchy, much more stable, much easier to control. It is a coincidence that the kite more similar to a Rev handles much better?

By the way, I doubt many pictures exist showing a Double D and Omni together in the sky!

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