80's Plastic Helicopter Kite

by John
(New Zealand)

Q:

My brother and I have been struggling with trying to find any information regarding, as best we can describe it, a plastic helicopter kite.

It is something we owned waaay back in around the early 80's.

This thing was a mean machine and quite dangerous for anyone unlucky enough to be anywhere near it as it came close to the ground. However, this helicopter was awesome! And it sounded awesome as the blades whirred away.

The helicopter had 4 rotor blades on top and we believe 4 blades on the rear... but may have been two.

The kite was yellow in colour. It perhaps measured about two foot in length and a just under a foot wide for the body. The blades were perhaps 3 foot tip to tip and maybe 5 cm in width. The body of the helicopter was just a frame. It was entirely made of plastic and was very rigid and strong. No tubular sections that I can remember. All the plastis was long flat rectangle shaped parts. Oh, it did have a plastic looking seat in the middle of it.

It would usually take two people to get this thing off the ground in good winds. It was controlled by the use of four strings. Two strings held per hand and attached at four separate points on the helicopter.

The second person would hold it in the air until the blades were screaming away and would then give it a lift and off it went. It was very stable and flew like a dream. This toy was the most unusual and memorable thing we owned at around 9 years old! It was damn scary :-D

We want to know if it can be bought today. If not, at least to find images of it for memories sake. Any help in identifying this fantastic kite will be so appreciated with huge smiles.

A:

After some extensive image searches, I have failed to turn up anything that exactly matches your description. However, you can easily double-check by typing "gyro kite" (including those double-quotes) into Google Image Search. This particular search turned up the biggest collection of relevant images.

Regarding whether this gyrocopter kite would be for sale - I very much doubt that, due to its sheer age. Even eBay is not of much help since it mainly carries 'new' items these days. I did check though.

All I can suggest is that you join some kite forums online and ask around. Someone, somewhere is likely to know more about your kite! Perhaps they even have photos of their own.

In particular, try 1 or 2 relevant sub-forums in this collection of forums...

http://kitelife.com/forum/

Hope you eventually track down that elusive whirring flying machine!

Comments for 80's Plastic Helicopter Kite

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Feb 04, 2017
Plans for the copter
by: John

Hi there. :-) I just got back from NZ. From Levin. :-D

I went to my fathers straight away and straight into the garage to see if I could find that lost gem.

I remeber I stored it above my room when I was young. haha.. fat chance of finding it there but you havent seen that garage. Dads a bit of a hoarder for old things. Sentimental I guess.

But alas, I was only to find that the garage has had some changes and all that was stashed above the ceiling, is now gone!! :-0 There was so many gems up there. Even a bag full of tom thumbs, double happys and rockets.. :-)

I am not sure if I am allowed to drop an email here but its 3am and I am tired. So heres a temp email I made up just so you can send me the plans. :-)

audreyagile at gmail dot com.

Marsie... as you have all the original parts do you think you could take pictures of all the instructions and plans too as well as all sides of the box? That would be awesome. I dont know if I could remake it but I'll give it a good go.
3D modelling is becoming more accessable these days.

Feb 04, 2017
Helikite
by: John

Guys. I had a loan of one of these back in the 80's and I made some plans of it from which I later built one. Lots of fun to fly. We took it to a kite show once and everyone was amazed. It's still around but the blades are missing. If there is some way to attach a photo I would gladly do it.

Mar 28, 2016
I had one years ago as a kid
by: Ron

Searched & searched on Trade Me, finally one came up, in box with a spare set of rotors... I'm too scared to fly it now lol.

Mar 04, 2016
Have found the heli kite kitset in storage
by: Marsie

Reading from the instruction sheet...

ROTOY Distributors in Palmerston North supplied these to shops around Aotearoa- NZ back in the 1980's.

Not sure if I want to sell this. It really is a genuine NZ antique of sorts.

Even more amazing for me, and my not glittering storing stuff away ... Everything to make the heli kite is all still in the packet and intact.
The instruction sheet is A3 or A2 sized.
And double sided print.

Jan 21, 2016
80's Plastic Helicopter Kite
by: John

Whoa, whoa, hold up there.

Hi Marsie from cold, windy blustery Wellington! :-D

You have one of these in a box somewhere!? :-D Do you wish to part with it? :-) I've half a scrum here with me whom I'm sure it would scare the heck out of! Haha .. no no .. my children can stay well away but as for myself.... I'd love to see one of these fly again. Scary stuff... :-D

Would love to see the pictures to see if its the same one. Thanks for the adrenaline rush just thinking of it.

Looking forward to the pics.

Jan 21, 2016
The Heli Kite of the 1980's
by: Marsie

I still have one of those... unmade and never flown.
Stored away somewhere.

If I can find where and which box I put it in, I'd be pleased to take some photos and share them among you here.

I am resident in the capital city of Aotearoa (NZ)
When I bought it so many years ago and read the how to assemble and make it fly instructions I knew it was outside of my skill-set at that young age.

Feb 21, 2015
Heli-kite
by: Darren

I had one too. Hard plastic orange or red body (it was a long time ago) and yes quite dangerous because it realy cranked on a windy day. I remember it was called a 'Heli-Kite'.

Mar 14, 2013
Still Searching ....
by: John

Hi Ric, yes, you got it. It was the best thing I have seen forever as well. Dangerous it might have been but damn it was great xD Scary for an 8 year old though. lol. Especially if you were the one holding the thing aloft till the blades caught enough speed.

If you find anything about it, please post here. I always check every now and again to see if anyone else has any idea about it. It makes these new Gyro helis look extremely timid and basic. :-)

Mar 13, 2013
Gyro Kite
by: Ric

Hi. What you describe sounds like the gyro kite my children had which I bought in the late eighties and were fantastic. I used a fishing rod and line to unleash the kites up to several hundred feet of air no problem.

Now I have grand children and want to buy several for them but cannot find them. The one that I had were yellow box frame but they had a single rotor with a small stabilizer at the rear of the kite. The string was attached on each skid to centre the gyro kite.

I have never seen one since and this was in NZ and have spent many an hour trying to track one down because these are the best I have ever flown.

Feb 25, 2013
Still Searching
by: John

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I had searched far and wide but have come up short. I kinda figured that might be the end result as it was a looong time ago. Though I am not ready to give up the search just yet.

I'll try the kite forum you linked too. And this time I'll even draw up a sketch of the Heli.

When searching images I tried Google but the results were quite poor. Then I tried another search engine Ixquick and the results were dramatically different. Just thought that might be of interest for searches.

And so the search goes on...

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