Rotor Kites are to me are one of the most fasinating
kites. They don't even fly like a normal kite but instead fly... err
well... like a UFO! The photo to the right, taken with a slow speed
camera, shows one such rotor kite in action.
UFO and Rotor Kite Information
The definition of `rotor' kite is in itself controversial. It has come to
mean any kite which uses or depends on rotation in some manner to fly.
This falls into some general catagories, basically determined by the
direction the axis of rotation is relative to the wind and ground...
The first of these, the UFO kite, I am particularly interested in, I have
built at least 20, over the last few years and they never cease to amaze me.
Silver UFO's flying in sunlight can send splashes of sunlight in all
directions and act like a beacon visible from 10 Km away when all other
kites have long shunk to invisibility.
- UFO rotor kites which spin around a horizontal axis, parrellel
to the ground and perpendicular to the wind. The top side of the kite
moves with the wind and bottom rotates into the wind. The modern
version of this kite known as a ``Sams UFO'' was first published by
Kenneth Sams in a childrens book called ``Flying Toys'' (see the Modern UFO page). This kite is also patented.
- Autogyro, or gryo glider, which have horizontally rotating
blades, the axil being close to the vertical. These include the Gryo Kite which is
comercially sold and Patented. Note there is no motor as in a helicopter, just the
action of the wind to spin a thin blade into one large spinning wing. A
simular kite is Dom
Mathews famous Windmill Kite.
- Rotating Box or Tube Kite, which is more like a true box kite
(early models were in fact square!) but which spins along its main axis
parrellel with the wind. A typical example is a ``Spinning Jenny'', which
again is patented. The kite is simular to but not the same as a circoflex
(which is a thin ring instead of a long tube) or a spinning turbo tail,
spin sock, or ``turbine'' (which is NOT a kite at all - as it generates
The spinning surface also offers scope for designed which flip from one
image to another. Then the vibration the kite produces on the kite line
is always a big suprise to people who have never flown one before.
To my nephew who never bothered to look up and see the kite, the
flickering shadow of the kite on the ground in the noon day sun was just
irresistable to try and grab.
The rest of this page is devoted to UFO rotor kite information.
Rotor Information Found Here...
How does a UFO rotor kite fly?
Modern UFO Kite (also UFO trains!)
Classic Meattray Rotor Kite PLAN (plain text by Arnie Wool)
Other Rotor Kite Information (elsewhere)...
Rotary Flyer (latest) (US Patent 5598988)
Rotary Flyer (Sams UFO) (US Patent 4779825)
SykBow (or Rotor Arch) Home Page (long, thin, and noisy)
Virtual Kite Zoo - Rotor Kites (including gyroplane kites)
Created: 8 October 1998
Updated: 11 March 1999
Author: Anthony Thyssen,