"Puffer" blow up air kite

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Jeffrey C. Bur » Mon, 29 Sep 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

>Some 20+ years ago on the shores of the sea near Athens, Greece, I
>purchased a "Puffer" kite.

Ah, beloved puffer kites.  I had quite a few of them as a child, over 20
years ago.  They're all gone now.  The last time I saw a "real" puffer kite
was at ECSKC earlier this year.  Someone had a vintage kite that they'd
gotten from a friend (boss?) who'd come across it cleaning out the attic.

That said, it seems someone tried to bring back the puffer kite this year,
a company called Big Time Toys.  They produced 'em, complete with full
packaging and what not, and sent out samples to kite/toy stores, only to
have someone suggest to them that gee, maybe making kites out of
metalicized mylar wasn't such a great idea.  The company then sent out a
letter telling everyone who received a sample to destroy it.

Thanks to some devious folk at the Kite Loft, and Bill Goodwin for quitting
his counter bids, I picked one up last weekend at SunFest.

It's a lot smaller than the orginal Puffers, has a lower aspect ratio,
bigger wings between the arms of the T, and a tail.  It also has a two
point bridle, and does not need the ring/band to stay inflated.  And, of
course, it's bright silver.  ;-)  If anyone's curious, I'll have this
beastie at AKA...maybe even fly it in the soft kite ascension...

I've no idea if the company has plans on bringing out a kite in a safer
material, but you can contact them and find out:

Big Time Toys
2820 Columbine Place
Nashville, TN  37204
615-383-2888
615-383-1048 (fax)

Quote:
>Does anyone out there know where I can get another Puffer kite or some
>kind of a blow up kite which I can fly from a boat?

Other than the Wipika power kite, I can think of anything inflated,
off-hand.  My dad flies a T-16 flowform off his boat whilst anchored if the
wind's up.  He also has a miniature cody he flies in light winds.  I've
also flown a Rev II off the stern (not the easiest thing to do, given
shrouds all over the place).  

(I chose a Rev II because I could unwind my 13' lines at my feet and just
throw the kite to launch it.)

jeff
--

|http://www.cqi.com/~jburka | at the new digs...now up and running!    |

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by joez.. » Mon, 29 Sep 1997 04:00:00

Some 20+ years ago on the shores of the sea near Athens, Greece, I
purchased a "Puffer" kite.  Since then I have been enjoying flying the
kite from our boat.  It is very nice as it will sit on top of the
water when it comes down and does not sink and act as a Sea Anchor!

The Kite is about 60 cm by 40 cm in a "T" shape.  It has wings filling
in between the top of the T and the tail of the T.  The kite is made
of plastic and can be blown up by mouth then a ring and ***band
will keep the air in the kite.  It flys from a single line attachment.

In the past few years my kite has been losing air and will stay up for
only about 15 minutes at a time,  after which it does not stay aloft
correctly.

I have tried to find a source for Puffer kites and even wrote to the
address on the patent.  I have not had any response.  None of the Kite
store I have visited or called in the USA have never hard of the
Puffer kite.

Does anyone out there know where I can get another Puffer kite or some
kind of a blow up kite which I can fly from a boat?

It is a nice pass time on the lake and I would like to be able to
continue to enjoy it.

Regards Joe



 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Andrew Palme » Wed, 01 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> They produced 'em, complete with full
> packaging and what not, and sent out samples to kite/toy stores, only to
> have someone suggest to them that gee, maybe making kites out of
> metalicized mylar wasn't such a great idea.  The company then sent out a
> letter telling everyone who received a sample to destroy it.

Excuse my ignorance, but what is the problem with metalicized mylar?

If I had to guess, it might be something to do with radar reflectivity.

    Andrew

************************************
* Andrew Palmer                    *


************************************

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Peter C. Hugge » Wed, 01 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> Excuse my ignorance, but what is the problem with metalicized mylar?

Do you remember several years ago during the summer Olympics in LA when
the TV transmission was interupted during the opening ceremonies? It
seems that during the opening MANY metalicized mylar balloons were
released. Some drifted several miles into a power transmission station
and knocked the power out in a fairly large area.

I also heard a story about someone doing this same thing with a kite
release at a funeral service. Sounds pretty funny now.

PCH

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Perry Farm » Wed, 01 Oct 1997 04:00:00


-> >
-> > They produced 'em, complete with full
-> > packaging and what not, and sent out samples to kite/toy stores, on
-> > have someone suggest to them that gee, maybe making kites out of
-> > metalicized mylar wasn't such a great idea.  The company then sent
-> > letter telling everyone who received a sample to destroy it.
-> >

-> Excuse my ignorance, but what is the problem with metalicized mylar?

-> If I had to guess, it might be something to do with radar reflectivity.

->     Andrew

Andrew,

I work for a power company - http://www.pacificorp.com .

I can tell you that metalicized mylar balloons are not a welcomed site
near power lines, the same probably goes for kites.

Perry

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by SANANDA » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Dear Joe:

You said:

Quote:
>The Kite is about 60 cm by 40 cm in a "T" shape.  It has wings filling
>in between the top of the T and the tail of the T.  The kite is made
>of plastic and can be blown up by mouth then a ring and ***band
>will keep the air in the kite.  It flys from a single line attachment.

>In the past few years my kite has been losing air and will stay up for
>only about 15 minutes at a time,  after which it does not stay aloft
>correctly.

>I have tried to find a source for Puffer kites and even wrote to the
>address on the patent.  I have not had any response.  None of the Kite
>store I have visited or called in the USA have never hard of the
>Puffer kite.

>Does anyone out there know where I can get another Puffer kite or some
>kind of a blow up kite which I can fly from a boat?

I do not know where you can buy such a kite, but it may be repairable. You need
 ot figure out a way to trap it under calm water (e.g. under a table in a
 swimming pool) blow it up, and see if you can find one or a few places where
 it leaks (i.e. where are the bubbles coming from). If they are identifiable,
 there are many repair kits on the market for vinyl, nylon, etc.etc, that would
 allow you to put little patches on these leaks that probably would not affect
 the kite's flight.

If you don't know the material, I would suggest trying a vinyl repair kit - -
 they are designed to be airtight...

Good winds.....

RbER

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Mat » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Joe,

Our local store sold about 500 of those puffer kites before the large
recall.  Too bad, they get a great spark when thrown in an electrical
line.

8r

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by David Forsyt » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> -> If I had to guess, it might be something to do with radar reflectivity.

> ->     Andrew

> Andrew,

> I work for a power company - http://www.pacificorp.com .

> I can tell you that metalicized mylar balloons are not a welcomed site
> near power lines, the same probably goes for kites.

But I fail to see how a thin film of metal on mylar can affect power
lines.  Sure, you'll get a small spark as it vaporises the metal on
cantact, and that spark will be EMI on the power lines, but surely not
much of a thing?  TV's in the area will not even flicker!

Please explain some more aobut this.

--

        David Forsyth                 webmaster A-T Iwr.Ru.Ac.Za
Keeper of the listserver for South African Railways fans
Part time railmodeller, kiter, photographer, woodworker etc etc
http://www.ru.ac.za/departments/iwr/staff/daf/welcome.html
For reduction of advertising mail , my return address is invalid.
Read the address above and figure it out please.

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Andy Wardl » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
>But I fail to see how a thin film of metal on mylar can affect power
>lines.  

Presumably because the Mylar shorts the individual power lines.  A small
kite wouldn't span the gap but a bunch of ballons (or a kite line) would.

A

--

Signature lost in transit.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Goodwin » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

I just so happen to have two puffer kites that I picked up somewhere.  The
 packaging looks likethey came from the 60's.
They are orange in color and in two different sizes.  Give me a call if you are
 interested and I can tell you more about them. (206)632-6151.  Yes I have been
 around for a while.
Kathy Goodwind

rec.kites

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Robin Haa » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Are you around David Gomberg?  I think this one is for you!!!



Quote:

> > Excuse my ignorance, but what is the problem with metalicized mylar?

> Do you remember several years ago during the summer Olympics in LA when
> the TV transmission was interupted during the opening ceremonies? It
> seems that during the opening MANY metalicized mylar balloons were
> released. Some drifted several miles into a power transmission station
> and knocked the power out in a fairly large area.

> I also heard a story about someone doing this same thing with a kite
> release at a funeral service. Sounds pretty funny now.

> PCH

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by LETH' » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Mylar balloons have been known to take out power lines.  They don't just
"vaporize" and go away with no consequence.  They short circuit the line
causing an outage, and costing a few thousand dollars per incident.
--


Quote:

> > -> If I had to guess, it might be something to do with radar
reflectivity.

> > ->     Andrew

> > Andrew,

> > I work for a power company - http://www.pacificorp.com .

> > I can tell you that metalicized mylar balloons are not a welcomed site
> > near power lines, the same probably goes for kites.

> But I fail to see how a thin film of metal on mylar can affect power
> lines.  Sure, you'll get a small spark as it vaporises the metal on
> cantact, and that spark will be EMI on the power lines, but surely not
> much of a thing?  TV's in the area will not even flicker!

> Please explain some more aobut this.

> --

>         David Forsyth                 webmaster A-T Iwr.Ru.Ac.Za
> Keeper of the listserver for South African Railways fans
> Part time railmodeller, kiter, photographer, woodworker etc etc
> http://www.ru.ac.za/departments/iwr/staff/daf/welcome.html
> For reduction of advertising mail , my return address is invalid.
> Read the address above and figure it out please.

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Steve Batema » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> Are you around David Gomberg?  I think this one is for you!!!




> > > Excuse my ignorance, but what is the problem with metalicized mylar?

> > Do you remember several years ago during the summer Olympics in LA when
> > the TV transmission was interupted during the opening ceremonies? It
> > seems that during the opening MANY metalicized mylar balloons were
> > released. Some drifted several miles into a power transmission station
> > and knocked the power out in a fairly large area.

> > I also heard a story about someone doing this same thing with a kite
> > release at a funeral service. Sounds pretty funny now.

I saved David's old post on this, here it is:

---
Re: Kite destruction, still tops for stupid! Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997
04:19:45 -0800


 > >Thanks you guys for sharing your mishaps. So whats the story

Quote:
>>on this cold hot tub?

 Oh boy...
 Well, it's a story about Jack VanGuilder really. Jack was a
 president of the AKA who lived in the Seattle area. After he
 passed away, there were memorial flys all around the northwest.
 At the time, I was the organizer of a large event here in Lincoln
 City, and we decided to do something appropriate in Jack's
 memory.
 The plan was to fly a white Eddy out of site and cut the line loose.
 I got the kite, had a new spool of light nylon line, and even picked
 out some fitting music. At the designated time, I shared a few well-
 chosen words over the microphone to the crowd of about 10,000,
 and then put the music on. But just then, the wind started to come
 up, and I had to find a tail for the eddy *fast*. Someone handed
 me fif*** feet of mylar, and I lofted the kite into the breeze.
 Everyone turned to watch it...
 When the wind comes off the ocean in Lincoln City, it usually
 generates some turbulence as it passes the dunes and then the
 hotels. "Jack's" Eddy was lifting well, but when it reached the sky
 over the hotels, it became a bit unstable. "My God", I thought. "I've
 got this whole crowd watching, and the damn thing is gonna
 crash."
 Well, the kite didn't crash. Instead, it looped down toward the
 power lines that served the hotels. "Even worse", I thought. "It'll
 get hung up in the lines and sit there for months as a withering
 memorial to Jack." But Jack had other ideas. The kite looped
 around, nose up, and then suddenly dropped backwards.
 Backwards toward the three transformers on one central power
 pole.
 I've never seen an electrical explosion before.
 Not just a few sparks, mind you, but an EXPLOSION - like a really
 good fireworks show and a loud BOOM! Ten thousand mouths fell
 open. The sound system went dead. The lights went out. Traffic
 screeched to a stop. Everyone stood fixated on the kite --
 everyone except for Susan who, knowing her husband was on
 the other end of the line, was straining to see through the crowd.
 Luckily, the line I was flying was brand new, clean, and dry. In
 other words, it wasn't very conductive.
 The kite was a different matter. It turns out, you see, that the mylar
 tail I was handed was actually computer tape made of mylar-
 coated copper ribbon. I couldn't have picked something more
 conductive. It landed in the middle of those transformers and
 evaporated in a flash that made a bright sky in the background
 look gloomy.
 A micro-second passed -- or maybe three of four minutes. I'm not
 really sure. Then the showering sparks subsided and we all
 realized that the kite was still hovering there. Without the weight of
 a tail, it started to lift again. Too shaken to think, I just kept
feeding
 it line.
 I remember a fellow standing near me with a video camera.
 "Damn!" he said. "Wish I gotten that!". Then, suddenly, there was
 another explosion as the last of the tail caught the remaining
 transformer. "Damn!" he said. "Missed it again..."
 With the second explosion, the lights and sound came back on.
 The music resumed and the kite drifted out of sight. The crowd
 sighed.
 I like to think that the whole episode was just Jacks way of having
 the final say, or getting a bit of attention. When I rewound the
 music cassette, I discovered a two minute blank spot in the middle
 of the song. I never figured out how that happened.
 Anyway, the end of the story is that Susie and I were staying in
 one of those hotels that night. After a long and stressful festival,
 we skipped dinner and headed for the Jacuzzi. But when we got
 in, we discovered that the water was only the slightest bit warm.
 The manager noticed our discomfort and offered a quick
 explanation. "We just got the heater back on" he said. "Some idiot
 with a kite blew out the power on the whole north side of town".
 I gave Susie a quick, guilty glance, and muttered "Don't say a
 word...."

 -- > * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * > Gomberg Kite Productions,
International > >

--
Steve Bateman    geokite at sprintmail dot com
5.2m^2 sputnik4 for sale, Icarex and spectra, $275+shipping.
You might have to remove the blue from the return address to respond

           Eye boogers.  The great social equalizer.
                                                         Opus

Check out the San Diego Kite Club at
http://SportToday.org/

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Gary W. Gerf » Thu, 02 Oct 1997 04:00:00

On Wed, 01 Oct 1997 13:44:41 -0700, Steve Bateman

Quote:

> "We just got the heater back on" he said. "Some idiot
> with a kite blew out the power on the whole north side of town".
> I gave Susie a quick, guilty glance, and muttered "Don't say a
> word...."

> -- > * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * > Gomberg Kite Productions,
>International > >

ROFL!!!  And I thought my son had a penchant for screwing things up
with the best of intentions!

Gary

 
 
 

"Puffer" blow up air kite

Post by Perry Farm » Fri, 03 Oct 1997 04:00:00


-> >But I fail to see how a thin film of metal on mylar can affect power
-> >lines.

-> Presumably because the Mylar shorts the individual power lines.  A small
-> kite wouldn't span the gap but a bunch of ballons (or a kite line) wo

-> A

-> --

-> Signature lost in transit.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Actually a typical kite will span a typical residential set of lines,
something many larger birds are well aware of.

However it doesn't have to even touch the lines to trip it.

All it has to do is come close enough to cause a phase to phase trip of
the line which can be deceptively easy to do. What will get the kite
flyer may not be the initial trip at all, but the action of the
recloser.

Remote lines typically have a recloser action (lower voltage only as a
practice) that will reclose the line after a preset time period and
with a preset limit. This allows a tree limb to fall through tripping
the line initially with the line reclosing, tripping, reclosing, etc.
until the condition clears.

Problem is that a flyer may assume they are safe to continue to tug on
the line only to get clobbered by the action of the recloser.

Perry