Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003

Airbow Kite

Inventor: Andy Wardley

When Andy Wardley first started entering kite-flying competitions back in the mid-1990s, hardly anyone was doing elaborate tricks. Instead, judges evaluated contestants on such technical skills as precision steering and control. Part of the problem was that kites weren't designed to let flyers do things like back spins and flips. So Wardley decided to make his own model, the Airbow, inspired by the tetrahedron-shaped kite invented by Alexander Graham Bell. At once stable and easy to fly, it allows trick flyers to perform stunts like stopping and restarting in midair. "It's like flying a helicopter instead of a plane," says Wardley. It also makes kite flying a lot more fun.

Availability: Now, $325
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