Very few designs beat the Baby Bat Kite for long-term popularity. Modern versions of this little kids Delta have hardly changed from the original. You can still see it promoted here and there as an ideal starter kite for kids! Also, particularly in the U.S., older kite fliers still reminisce about the timeless Baby Bat.
Which brings me to 2 other related kites from the same company...
I might as well mention them since they are based on a very similar sail outline.
The Super Bat Kite, at 110 cm (50 inches) across, was a little bigger than the Baby Bat, which was (and is!) about 93 cm (42 inches) in span. Also, the Super bat had a somewhat more realistic 'head'. If you could call it that!
There it is, over there on the right.
The other one was the Sky Spy Kite, which had similar
'monster eyes' to the others, except on a plainer-looking white sail. I
guess the emphasis was those ghoulish eyes, hence the name. Spying from
on high, in the sky, logically enough.
Photo by Larry Ewing.
Right from the earliest one, the sail was jet black plastic, with a scalloped trailing edge, to give it that 'bat' kind of feel. As already mentioned, 2 'monster eyes' adorned the nose area of the sail. Complete with livid red veins, which, if you looked very carefully, actually spelled out the name of the company which created them. Some people out there weren't aware of this quite subtle detail for many years, even decades!
A generous keel was intended to keep the Baby Bat kite stable. I suspect though, that quite a few would have swerved into the ground at high speed during enthusiastic handling by child fliers! The standard flying line was generally 60 meters (200 feet) of cotton or twine, packaged with the kite.
The earliest of these kites used dowel rods as spars. It seems this was still the case in the early 80s, but at some point a switch was made to using plastic spars. The very earliest Baby Bats are now worth a lot more than the materials! Apparently, mint condition examples from 1972 and 1973 have fetched close to US$100 when auctioned.
Below - a video of one of my own home-made Deltas, which looks decidedly plain without blood-shot eyes or scalloped trailing edge! Not to mention the sheer visibility of a jet-black sail, against virtually any sky background...
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