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Author Topic: Paul Shirey Is Alive, But (Aerostar: RIP)  (Read 9457 times)
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« on: March 19, 2011, 12:01 PM »

Although my favorite kitemaker is Ken McNeill....

The best built sport kites use to be made by a tall, quiet, deep-voiced man named Paul Shirey (not Shirley) of Aerostar Sportkites.

While not my particular favorite style of kites, the entire Aerostar lineup from fighters to big sportkites was made with an attention to detail and design only an excellent anal retentive Mechanical Engineer could muster. From doing his panel templates in CAD and having them cut out of aluminum to bringing 5! curved seams to a point (Sano), Paul must have been working cheap.

You could order color leading edges instead of the traditional black.

As often as I use to complain about the ugly designs of the original Spica and the "nose/nostrils" panels of the Sano, Paul and I developed a friendship over the years. We would talk about Photoshop tricks and how to make his kites a bit friendlier to the eye.

I already had a Spica Pro in RWB and a Stryke fighter, both with the Aerostar logo on them. But when George Halpin put up a Sano for auction at KP9....that kite was headed for my "A Bag". Don't know for how long as I never really flew one before. But I knew it would be a perfectly made kite as that is all Paul has ever made.

Just go back and look at the sale in the Swap Meet Paul had. Look at the photos and information provided on the photos directly. I will miss the thought of him making a superbly crafted kite at a more than reasonable price.

If you have any Paul or Aerostar stories or photos, please post them here. Geroge, how about that Sano tuxedo of yours?

Spica Pro (the best built 6 foot kite ever made)

« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 12:55 AM by chilese » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 01:29 PM »

Didn't Paul stop taking orders on Aerostars a while back?  I know that periodically he was posting some stuff to eBay, but has even that stopped?

This was posted on the Aerostar website:
"The AeroStar inventory sale is over and thanks to everyone who purchased building supplies!"

However there was no further elaboration.

Sigh.... there were always a couple of kites on the Aerostar Gallery Page that tugged at my heart strings:

Sano SS Lucky #13 (Black w/Red Accents)
Nora Cromer's Sano SS (Black w/Red Trailing Edges)
Mark Holterman's Sano SS (Black w/Purple Trailing Edges)
Tracy Mossgrove's Sano SSL (Gray w/Red Accents)
Thomas Pietruszka's Sano SS (Red w/Black Trailing Edges)
Kervin Ridgley's Sano SSL (Two-Tone Gray)

Sigh...  Sad


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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 08:28 PM »

Here is a story Paul auctioned off Sano #1 and i won it.A while later Paul e-mailed me stating he was getting close to Sano #100 and he would offer that kite to me as well .I now have STD Sano SS#1 and Sano #100 SSL Both different patterns of RWB.Both kites get flown and they are in my A bag.Wish i also had a Sano SSZ..


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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 08:39 PM »

You might want to re-title this thread.

I thought Paul had died.
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2011, 08:51 PM »

You might want to re-title this thread.

I thought Paul had died.
I agree. I was about to post my condolences.

I fully appreciate the ability of trees to attract kites. They have special powers that way. (Quote by - Charlie Dunton)
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2011, 04:09 AM »

Paul is one of the nicest people, and a true comedian. Here's a link to his story done by Paul in 2008. I wonder where tHe consolation prize is today Paul?.  Cheesy

« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 04:12 AM by bigpappo1 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 10:21 AM »

My Aerostar UL     Grin  Grin


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 10:41 AM »


Once you fly the Sano it will forever remain a fixture in your A bag. Like all of Paul's creations it flies as well as it's crafted. Thanks Paul for being a friend and for building and designing such great kites.

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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 06:42 PM »

There's just something about those shape shifters that is so amazing........a myriad of kites all in one....... can be adjusted so it won't come out of a turtle or won't stay in one.........myself.........I like 'em just inside of center.................and his others (zerostar Sul, etc.) are really cool too......I know people that can make them do things they were designed to do.........unfortunately my flying skills are suspect at best.

Thanks Paul

Kant Fly......might just as well buy!
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2011, 07:36 AM »

One of the best quotes about Paul I've heard is that "you don't buy a kite from Paul, you lease them". Smiley  Paul is always there to help out, offer advice, be a kite buddy, and a good friend to many.  He spends considerable time on the phone talking with his customers.

There are a few custom builders that compete with Paul in build quality and attention to detail, but not many.  He is certainly one of the best.

The Sano does very well in bumpy inland winds and is my favorite 7' sport kite. There is always a set in the truck of my car.  The Sano is the kite that taught me tweaking and testing is a good thing. I've learned much tinkering with Paul's SS standoffs and bridle settings.

I also learned the hazards of kite addiction and total denial of the affliction with an entire bag dedicated to Paul's kites containing sixteen separate gold diamond kite sleeves. I am just not interested in intervention and could quit at any time. Really. Tongue

Paul helped me build my first complete kite using a Sano kit.  Lot's of satisfaction in that and Paul made it happen. Now I regularly terrorize bits of polyester and nylon with the sewing machine. Roll Eyes

A thread of favorite settings and tweaks for Sano owners might be helpful.  I found a bridle change, multiple holes for the inner standoff, and a prototype vent to be very useful. 

Lot's of great color combos out there but I think Paul did his best work in RWB.  Spectrum being a close second. Cheesy  A very biased comment of course.

I feel fortunate to have happened across Paul and his kites in the 'searching for the ideal kite phase'. Thank you Paul very much for your kites, patience, and friendship!

Please click me.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 09:39 AM by stapp59 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 08:18 AM »

Steve, I couldn't agree with you more. And you know we've talked about that many times over the years.

And RWB just seems to be natural on Paul's kites. I like your choice of the 2K5 star, too.  Wink  Cheesy


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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 02:14 PM »

Paul's kites are a perfect match with my flying style, especially the Zerostars for our light summer winds, if you can call puffs winds. Cant' say it better than Steve did, Paul is a great guy and builds excellent kites.

Paul didn't start building the SSZ until after the final orders were taken. I was bummed out that I didn't have the opportunity to buy an SSZ, until he put one on Ebay. Almost missed that SSZ since my bid was beat atleast twice in the last five minutes. Very thankful I wasn't sniped in the last few seconds. Hope Paul comes back again one of these days with some dream kite to save the world.

Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
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