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, 17 September 2016

3' Stunter triple-stack

Some time ago, I posted on our new Skyraker, which we managed to get from the US. Well, this kite didn't cross the pond on its own; there was something more in the package ...

But let me first give you a bit of background. In the UK, Peter Powell Stunters all came in the same size: with a 4' wing span. In the US, this was also the case originally, but then the US arm of Peter Powell Kites started producing larger and smaller versions. The larger 6' version was called 'The Monster' and we have one in our collection. The smaller 3' (82cm) version didn't appear to have a specific name other than 3' Stunter, and that's the kite that accompanied the Skyraker in its voyage to the UK. Or, to be more precise, three kites linked together: a 3' Stunter triple-stack.

The stack came without original tails, and I thought we'd just try to fly it like that. Big mistake ... Highly unstable, extremely twitchy and almost impossible to fly. We didn't bring any official Peter Powell tails with us, but we did have several Premier transition tails in the team bag. To see whether that made a difference, we first attached a single 50' tail to the lead kite of the stack. That definitely made a difference, and when we then attached two further 25' tails to the other two kites, we had a stack that was actually flyable!

The Premier tails weren't made for these kites, but they do match well, and the two different tail lengths create a nice unusual visual effect.

Even though the tails most certainly tamed the kites, they remain more difficult to fly than 4' Stunters, whether old or modern. Nevertheless, they're a welcome addition to our Peter Powell Kites collection.

Update: this blog post was originally published under the title 'Junior triple-stack', based on information suggesting that these smaller PPs were marketed under the name 'Junior' in the US. After some more research, there appears to be no hard evidence that the name 'Junior' was actually used in the US; these kites were simply referred to as 3' Stunters. A Junior Peter Powell did exist in the UK, though.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Round Table PP

Not long after a Queen promo Stunter appeared on eBay, another branded Peter Powell popped up. This time it was a white one, featuring a Round Table logo.

Paul was not aware of the existence of this particular branded Peter Powell kite, but he did mention Peter being an invited speaker for the Round Table, so the kite may well be connected to such an event. The kite was listed with a buy-it-now price of £80, which was just too high for me to bite. The kite didn't sell in its first listing, and was relisted a few times, after which it disappeared from eBay. So I assume someone did feel it was worth it!

There were definitely more branded PP Stunters around in those days. Paul remembered a green-and-yellow one made for BP. If I ever come across this BP kite, or at least a picture of one, or of any other branded Peter Powell kite, you can be sure I'll post a bit about it here. And obviously, if any of you reading this has more information on this Round Table kite, the BP kite, or any other branded Peter Powell, please get in touch!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

New PP routine music

The 2016 festival season for Flying Fish has come to an end. Although we have a pair of custom-made Peter Powell Stunters to fly displays with, it wasn't until our final kite festival, Exmouth, that the conditions were such that we could think of flying them in the arena. On Sunday morning, after a Saturday with very light winds, the wind had picked up enough for us to get the PP Stunters ready (with Keith and Vee of the Airheads team acting as ground crew).

Previously, we had always flown our Peter Powells to 'Adiemus', but for this festival season, we had decided to change the music for our Peter Powell routine to 'Heart of Courage'. We felt the way PP Stunters fly through the air match this piece of music really well; have a listen, and see whether you agree.

As we launched (me first, with Irma joining me about 15 seconds later), the wind was still strong enough to fly the Stunters.

Unfortunately, however, the wind gradually started to drop, causing us to struggle more and more. Despite frantically walking backwards, the kites dropped out of the sky about 30 seconds from the end ....

So sadly, we couldn't complete the official debut of the new Peter Powell routine music all the way through. Still, there's always next year!

Picture credits: Marian Linford & Valerie Hancorn