Imaginative 'line laundry' items
Imaginative 'line laundry' items
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
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
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.
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.
Here's a better look at that UFO kite...
When 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.