|This project started at the Muncie, Indiana American Kitefliers
Convention in 1999. Some time previously, Alice Hayden had given us an
old Jolly Roger Top Flite kite. You know, the little 1950's diamond paper kites
usually were eaten by trees? Normally, they had a
very short life but were so fun while they flew. Back to the Convention, I
was trying to get a double set of Mass Ascension Pins (one set for friend
Anne Huston) and therefore Bob needed a second diamond kite to fly while I flew
my WORLD FAMOUS WONDER BREAD EDDY (not
a Hi-Flier replica, just My-Flier). All we had with us was the old paper Jolly Roger.
it went. Wow!!! It was wonderful! Bob immediately said we need a larger,
ripstop one. The wind was pretty strong for this little kite and it was
brittle and fragile. It earned the pin however high the cost. It has been
repaired with Scotch tape and is now a very nice display kite in our kite
room. And we used it to make it's larger brother. The Indian also was remade in
2000. They were the start!
Since then, our "Hi-Flier" collection now numbers 19 kites. After each addition, we think we have this project complete but over the years it seems to keep growing. Sky Master Top Flite came in 2001. In 2004 we made the barn door style kite, Jolly Boy Folding Kite. "Copter" was made for Bob for Christmas 2005. 2009's addition came after seeing the Alox display at the Kite Museum in Long Beach, Washington. Alox Mickey wa finished in September 2009. It was a graphic used on their 3 stick kites as well as the diamond kites. Below you can see photos we took of the Museum display next to our replica. In 2015 I used this graphic on a Hip Pocket Hybrid, too.
Another addition is Sky Boy. What a complicated project he became! I saw a photograph on eBay, lost the auction but managed to contact the winner. He traded a copy of the photograph for raffle/auction items for his local kite event. Even having a high resolution scan of the Sky Boy photo, it was a difficult graphic. I wanted Sky Boy for Bob's 2011 Christmas kite so I had to enlist the help of Rob Pratt to figure out part of the airplane. A great success thanks to some mother or father with a camera many years ago, an eBay winner who was also a kite flyer, and Rob.
The Christmas kite in 2013 was the Atomic Rocket. This project really seemed to be at the end until 2017. Suddenly it is growing again. Bob's Christmas kites for the next 3 years were "Hi-Flier" kites. 2017 is the second Jolly Boy barn door, 2018 the fabulous P91 Cloud Buster, and 2019 is the yellow and green Alox Rocket Ship.
Many of our "Hi-Flier" kites are actual Hi-Flier replicas but some are inspired by Cloud Buster, Top Flite, Northwestern Kite Company, and Alox kites, too. The photos below have larger pictures "behind" them. Click (here) or on the button in the side bar for the Hi-Flier How-to's and you will see how we make them. And lastly is my composite photo, a panorama of the kites we had flying one day several years ago. It included all 11 Hi-Fliers at that time, my polka dotted Eddy, a parasled and line laundry plus a bat, the yellow Arno Haft bird, Roi des airs, some Rhombs, and a pear top. A glorious day!