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Author Topic: Fighter Kites - India Style - When in Rome ...  (Read 361 times)
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asburyparkjohn
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« on: August 25, 2014, 04:47 AM »

Yesterday at the beach there was a great assortment of kites late in the day in Asbury Park, NJ on a perfect 10 weather day. For the first time I saw however a Fighter Kite. I first saw these in Wildwood when Charles Stewart was flying one with a group of other pilots with this type of kite. They were generally flying them on laser pro gold 20/30# test line - somewhat? simple I guess - if it dives toward the ground - give slack - gentle continuous semi-rapid tugs to shoot up - the rest is practice in terms of taking down your opponent. No big deal in keeping it airborne.
So as I approached this India pilot he eventually showed me other hand maneuvers, etc. ... what was interesting and my point ... his entire bridle was made out of packaging line  Shocked Shocked Shocked ... I mean the most bottom end type you can buy and so was his line coming off that spool  Embarrassed ... this was not LPG 20# but this BOTTOM END line ... the CHEAPEST line you could possibly buy to wrap a package ... but when you think about what do you think they use in India? The winds were dead perfect NE/E 5-6 mph  Smiley Smiley Smiley and the kite was flying incredible  Tongue Tongue Tongue ... I did mention to him LPG and he looked at me confused  Sad ... said sorry I was just THINKING of something else  Cheesy ... I flew for 15 minutes ... packaging line WORKS ... India Style Flying ...  Grin Grin Grin. When in Rome ...  Wink Wink Wink

APJ
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 05:18 AM by asburyparkjohn » Logged

In my kite inventory of Dual Line Kites: Benson - Inner Space, Signature Kite of Top Pilots on an Old Style Gemini ; L'Atelier xt.z. ; Fearless-Tatto (SSUL), Fearless - SUL, Light & Light-Vent , Transformer TL's: (SUL & Light), Transformer 2 SUL & UL.
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 05:52 AM »

Actually John, it's "when in Ahmedabad." Fighters there are three for a dime, but they're very well made even though they're from cheap materials. There's simply no point in making a fighter out of anything expensive like Laser Pro, because fighters are designed to be destroyed and lost. Most Indians buy STACKS of fighters, 50-100 at a time, take them up to the rooftops, and fight all day. In my time there, I never kept a kite in the air for more than a minute. You lose one, you tie another one on, you keep fighting. If you can grab somebody else's kite drifting by, you do, slap some tape on any damage, and send it back up. The Indians are doing it right. We're the ones who've made it complicated.
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thief
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 06:50 AM »

Ha ha ha....
I will admit that after being in the kite world for almost 20 years now I had never given a fighter kite a second glance....until my Voice of Reason happened to be out in Seattle just before Kathy Goodwind closed her shop....I sent my VoR over to ask if there was anything special there and to drop my name....and she brought home a beautiful brandy new AstroFighter....
Started flying it and found it to be more fun than i had guessed it could be.....and then pulled out my Stryke fighter that i had gotten a few years before and flown once...and now they are actually sort of fun!

but...3 fighters is enough for me.....

You can find Grandmaster Fighter Kites up on ebay now all the time (as Joe's daughter is selling off his stock) and they are very good quality paper and bamboo fighters that are not the cheapest out there but not the most expensive either...
cotton thread works....waxed line is better though.....
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
ezme6
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 06:54 AM »

fighters are what got me interested in flying kites.....
Saw them in Pakistan, bought a stack and took them back to my ship.
We had a blast flying them when in port somewhere. Never used LPG, just waxed cotton thread.
Whenever I am burned out with sportkites/quads I go fly my Roo and Terry McGill fighters. They bring FUN back into flying where as 2and 4 line kites bring frustration sometimes.... Cool
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asburyparkjohn
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 08:48 AM »

HMMM ... yes ... I believe sone pilots were flying waxed linen lines to avoid any chance of hand line cuts even less than 20# like 10# ... some were very expensive from memory ... built my specialists ... $300 or so  Shocked Shocked Shocked
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 08:52 AM by asburyparkjohn » Logged

In my kite inventory of Dual Line Kites: Benson - Inner Space, Signature Kite of Top Pilots on an Old Style Gemini ; L'Atelier xt.z. ; Fearless-Tatto (SSUL), Fearless - SUL, Light & Light-Vent , Transformer TL's: (SUL & Light), Transformer 2 SUL & UL.
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 12:21 PM »

I've brought back a few spools of line from India. Doesn't really much matter what you fly on, when everyone else is using manjha. As for avoiding cutting your fingers, there are guys who walk the streets there selling antiseptic tape to wrap your fingers in.

Last year I built a different style of Japanese fighter -- called a Tahara -- from a CeeWan plan. Looks like a buka, but has a bowed leading edge AND spine. Nice flying kite, and when you add a tail it flies like a steady SLK, not a fighter. Very useful for all purposes.
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ezme6
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 12:59 PM »

when I was a kid, my dad showed us how to make manjha. We ground up glass and coated the string with glue. But we only used the first 25 feet so we would not cut our hands in battle. And we fly high...200 feet or more before trying to cut the other guys line.  My Mom made the kites out of paper and birch twigs. The kids decorated them.
(btw we were 100% american and did not know of India or other fighter kite cultures)
But somehow my parents knew of manjha and making kites
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"Do what you like"
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