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UFO and Rotor Kite Information

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Rotor Kites are to me are one of the most fascinating kites. They don't even fly like a normal kite but are constantly rotating in some way, often producing wierd secondary effects, like light flashes, noise, or strong line vibrations. [photo]

While this kite has three main classes (See Rotor Kite Types), it is the UFO style of rotor that I am interested in (See photos throughout page). I must have built more than a 100 of these, over the last few years and they never cease to amaze me. [photo]

The spinning surface offers scope for some animation with two images or patterns flipping rapidly from one another. A favourite pattern of mine is a couple of red dots, flipping from one position to another. From the side a spiral pattern can produce an interesting effect.

The vibration the kite produces on the kite line is always a big surprise to people who have never flown one before. And the silver mylar UFO's, flying in sunlight, can send splashes of light in all directions and act like a beacon visible from 10 Km away when all other kites have long shrunk to invisibility. [photo]

The photo right shows my nephew who never bothered to look up and see the kite. But he was fascinated by the flickering shadow of the kite on the ground, in the noon day sun.

Simon Harbord had this to say about UFO kites...

Baffling thing flashing in the sky, put a mini torch on the line just below shining up at it in the dark, and wait for the UFO reports to pile in. The rotating mylar sail is too wierd to be a kite.


UFO Rotor Kite Information Found Here...

Rotor Kite Types (UFO, Autogyro, and Rotating Box)
Modern UFO Kite (including ringed UFO's and UFO trains!)
Kenneth Sams (RIP) (Inventor of the Modern UFO, and UFO book)
How does a UFO rotor kite fly?
UFO Construction Photo Page
Classic Meattray Rotor Kite Plan
Hornbeam Rotor Kite Plan (PDF) or from Hornbeam Rotor (PDF) from Dracken Website
Rolloplane - a Plan for a 1940 Balsa Rotor Kite
Airplane with Rotor Wings (Discussion, notes and ideas)

Other UFO Rotor Kite Information (elsewhere)...

Construct an UFO rotating kite -- Leo Commandeur's UFO building notes
Virtual Kite Zoo - Rotor Kites (including gyroplane kites)
A.Kinsman Rotor Kite Designs (another rotor kite enthusiast)
SkyBow (or Rotor Arch) Home Page (long, thin, and noisy)
Magenn Power Floating Wind Generators (giant rotor kite, for power generation)
UFO Sam Patent (US Patent 4779825)
Another Sam Rotor Patent (US Patent 4848704)
Rotary Flyer Patent (US Patent 5954297)
An Older style S wing rotor Patent (US Patent 4012017)
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Commercial UFO Kite Pages...

Cochranes of Oxford, UK
Prism Kite Technology A very tough commercial Ringed UFO (see image right)
SADIÇ Toys, Istanbul A foam UFO, detailed photos, and film!
Invader Turbo-Kite Foam styrene rotor "Science Kit"
Gunther - Turboplan German Toy Company, Plastic airplanes with rotating wings (great looking but wear out fast!)
Reel Wings, UFO rotor kites that are being used as duck decoys!

Related Rotor (non-kite) Pages

* Spinning Blimps -- a glider which uses the same principle as a UFO rotor, I made these at school using a small pebble to throw the glider (fish) up higher.

Created: 8 October 1998
Updated: 29 September 2011
Author: Anthony Thyssen, <A.Thyssen@griffith.edu.au>
FYI: How did I create the UFO animation
WWW URL: http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/anthony/kites/rotor/