Inflatable Kites In 2008

Adelaide International Kite Festival

What's the first thing you see when approaching a kite festival by car or on foot? That's right, the huge cloud of kites, you just can't miss it. What's the second thing you see? Most probably the inflatables.

Some of the inflatable kites in 2008.Imaginative 'line laundry' items

The biggest and brightest of the inflatable kites in 2008 were captured by our camera at the recent Adelaide International Kite festival. We missed a few, since we couldn't get close to all of them.

The biggest and most complex of these spectacular air creations are real crowd pleasers. That's why they can be seen at nearly all modern Western kite festivals. I'd say more than half the objects in the sky at the Adelaide festival were inflatables of some kind.

Since it was not always obvious from the photos whether each kite was actually a functional kite, the pictures in the gallery further down this page include anything that inflated in the air.

In some photos you can see the flying line continuing upwards towards the lifter kite. In these cases, the inflatable either required some assistance to stay up, or was merely a windsock, not capable of flying on its own. We'll try to do better next year, and separate out the genuine kites from the rest!

Here's a little list, summarizing a few things about the biggest inflatables we saw. They ...

  • are shockingly expensive, costing thousands of dollars each
  • are hand-made, panel by panel, which helps to explain that first point!
  • pull in proportion to their size, requiring flying line with breaking strains in the hundreds of pounds
  • are real kites, now developed to the point of having respectable line angle, wind range and stability
  • are often designed to move in realistic ways, mimicking the real creature
  • are a clever blend of artistry, aerodynamics and engineering

A specific example is the Peter Lynn Octopus. It's his all-time best selling single-line inflatable, now available in 4 different sizes. The largest is 7 meters by 40 meters in size! It's yours, if you have £3700 lying around somewhere! That was 7,300 USD or 8,000 AUD in May 2008.

Inflatable Kites In 2008 - group of large kites.Some of the larger creature kites

Inflatable Kite And Windsock Gallery

The sample of photos below shows the variety of inflatable kites in 2008, at the Adelaide International Kite Festival. Although not real kites, I have to admit some of the 'line laundry' was also interesting to look at!

Some of the larger kites were anchored to heavy vehicles parked on the sand. Others, we noted, used quite large sandbags as anchor points. Why drive stakes into the ground when an empty bag is so easy to carry back home!

That big saucer-shaped kite with red and yellow on the bottom surface deserves special mention. I had a close look, and it was anchored to the beach with at least 2 large sand bags. Known as the UFO inflatable, it hovered over the sand at a very low level, for almost the whole festival. The reason for the low height was that it's shade was often the official commentary area! The commentator sat on the sand in the shade, speaking into a radio microphone.

A collage of the most notable inflatable kites.

Here's a better look at that UFO kite...

large UFO kiteWhen close to the sand, it is possible to walk around inside this kite

That's it for the inflatable kites in 2008. However, you will find plenty more if you continue to explore the kite festival pages on this site.

E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Parachute Over The Roof

    Oct 27, 16 03:22 AM

    Yes, the MBK Parachute kite floated over our roof for a minute or so...

    With the creasing problem fixed, the kite is flying well, though somewhat short of those CAD-modeled foils done by paragliding co…

    Read More


Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

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Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7