18 Oct 2014

Taranis - A kite is born.

It was toward the end of the last century, an image in an airbrush magazine caught my eye, very strong, very powerful and I imagined how much better it would look on a kite.
Many thoughts went into how this should be constructed, how the appliqué should be done, and what size the finished kite would be to accommodate the necessary detail.
The image was scaled up using a grid, square for square it was enlarged,
until…
I envisioned a kite made out of three circles containing ten panels, this design being something completely new, at least for me…Having cut out and sewn two of the panels,Taranis went into hibernation… the time was not right, other things took priority.

Now, it is the year 2014…resurrection, time for Taranis to come out of hibernation, the moment is right!



Having found all the drawings, and then getting an overview of the thought processes that I had at that time, I found that the enlargement from days gone by were not complete. This is something to be considered at a later date, there was still enough to begin.

Colours to be cut out…

Pieces to be put together…

Pieces to be sewn…

… and the back cutting…


Panels have to be joined…

Getting the missing drawings completed…


more sewing…


... and…
a bit of sleeving…

... almost done, just a few tails to be sewn…


... and the date is… 05.09.2014!
 
Tomorrow, Gayle and I drive to Dieppe, Capital du Cerf-volant, one of the world’s largest kite festivals. Okay… "Bound to be able to find some corner to get the rest done"… I thought, hopefully.
After a nine hour drive, we met up with friends in Dieppe, got our hotel room sorted, had a few beers and a bit of chill time. The Sunday started, after The Full Croissant, with the parade of the kiters through the streets of Dieppe.
The Monday… it is as it was… I found a corner in the Kite Village restaurant and sat down and got the sparring cut to size.

The Tuesday… got the spars fitted…


… and on the Wednesday…

….time to get the bridle sorted, many thanks to those who put up with my presence in this tent, robbing them of their exhibition area, for me, a perfect area in which to work.



This is all that was left of 100 Meters of bridle line…


...and then, all of a sudden, it was Thursday.

All hands on deck…….Flip-Flops a running….
camera on the go…


Thank you to Barry for the footage, here is the maiden flight from Taranis.

Best watched in full screen & HD



An incredible experience, the years of accumulated knowledge of kite building, the perseverance to get a job done well, the love of the sport that we share, a kite builders dream was fulfilled to the utmost on this morning of the 11.September.2014…


but the story does not end here…



After a successful maiden flight, admittedly with almost zero wind, the bridle had to be tweaked to gain more stability in the higher wind speeds forecasted for the rest of the day in Dieppe…

… and for the forthcoming competition “la luminescence".

Due to the strong gusts, which had already caused a few minor damages to Taranis, it was decided not to fulfil the criteria for said competition.

That did not hinder François from Cerf-Volant Club de France from presenting Taranis with the title:
"Coup de coeur".

Well, Taranis does pack up into a neat package to travel with.

Did I mention travel?
Three and a half hour drive, nine hour flight and another six hour drive and we are in
Nag's Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina...Yeah!!
Hosting this year's American Kitefliers Association Grand Nationals.
Taranis is to be a part of a kite exhibition held in the ballroom of the Comfort Inn...

... also participating in the competition for "Bowed Kites" and has to undergo the scrutiny of the judges...

... which also includes a flight demonstration at a height of 100'.




A perfect Ground Crew: Gayle, Steve and Cass helped with the launch, dodgy at best, because the wind speeds had caught up...



... and it was either fly or fold!
The 8mm horizontal spars had been replaced with 10mm and extra tails were added to compensate for the higher wind speeds...

Perfectly commented by Kevin: "The kite was anchored for the full height and then staked again at the bridles. The ground crew held it steady for initial launch. Then when Christian was ready he unhooked the bridles and allowed it to climb. It was a good plan for limiting damage should the wind prove to be uncooperative".
Taranis rose to the occasion and also raised the bar of my achievements.

Best watched in HD

AKA Kite Making Special Awards:
2014 Craftsmanship – Christian Baden Powell – Taranis
2014 AKA Grand Champion: Christian Baden Powell – Taranis

4 comments:

  1. Excellent blog...most interesting...looking forward to learning more about Levitor!

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    1. Thank you Sarah...set the bar higher.

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  2. It was amazing to see Taranis fly - even more fun to chat with you and listen to you share your process in detail. Thanks Christian. What an amazing display of artistic ability, craftsmanship, kite flying and character. Can't wait to see your next project.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mike, next project....we shall see.

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