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, 28 October 2017

Junior Stunter

Look at PP Stunters, whether they're Mk I, II or III, whether they're produced in the UK or the US, and you'll see the same basic design: central spine, leading edges coming together with the spine at the nose of the kite, and cross spars in front of the sail. Of course, there are minor variations in the materials used for the frame (wood, aluminium, fibreglass, or carbon) and for the sail (polythene or ripstop), and in the number of bridle line attachment points (3 vs 5). There are variations in size, with both smaller and larger versions being produced. And the US Mk II and Monster have an extra cross spar at the back of the kite. But despite these variations, all PP Stunters have the same basic design.

Bar one ...

This odd one out is called the Junior, a smaller Stunter produced in the UK. There is very little information on this particular version on the internet. Sleuthing by a member of the Peter Powell Kites Owners Group on Facebook unearthed announcements for prize draws in two comics magazines from 1976 where 500 Peter Powell Junior Stunters could be won.

One in Cheeky Weekly:

and one in Crazy Comics:

The drawings of the Junior Stunter in these two announcements suggest a fundamentally different design for this PP Stunter: no leading edges, upper bridle lines connected to the cross spars, and cross spars behind the sail. 

With thanks to Paul Powell, who alerted me to a Junior offered for sale on Gumtree, I managed to get my hands on this 'odd' Stunter! Wing span is around 3' (92cm), compared to the 4' wing span of a standard PP Stunter. And indeed, the kite does not have leading edges as well as cross spars. A single pair of spars performs both functions, is situated behind the sail, and the upper bridle lines connect to it through a circular hole in the sail.

Time to fly it to see how it behaves in the air. At some point in the past, Mark or Paul mentioned to me that Peter didn't particularly like the Junior; curious as to why ...

Of course, we did fly it with original lines and handles.

The Junior handled well in very blustery wind (mostly 14-27mph). It's faster than a standard-sized PP Stunter, turns quicker, and generally feels nimbler on the lines. 

I honestly can't think of why Peter didn't like the Junior based on its flying characteristics. And I'm very pleased to have been able to add a Junior Stunter to my collection. Thanks again, Paul!

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