For all of us, the world is now a different place and in ways, to quote the Irish, predictable only in hindsight.
Unity, a heightened sense of community- who would have expected the extent of this effect? And, fuel prices- dropping?! Nor did I expect flying by aeroplane to become easier and quicker- but it has. I've been traveling a lot- to the US (Sacramento festival) on the first connection after flights were re-instated, and, last weekend, to Taiwan (Taipei festival).
Airports are half empty, planes are half full, staff are prompt courteous and very helpful. There are hints of cheaper fares to come. All changes for the better, if they last. Security seems no more in evidence, no hold-ups. Oh, dinner trays come with plastic knives instead of steel and I must admit to speculating as to what difference in intimidatory value there is between a sharp fork and a blunt knife. About the only negative is not being able to take my kite fixing kit as carry on - no more knives to sharpen and duct tape to play with during long boring flights-, possibly adjacent passengers won't see this as a negative. Anyway my principle of never taking flights that leave before 10am has been vindicated. I do take it all a bit personally though, particularly that kite flying is an arrestable offence in Telaban Afghanistan.
Will the kite market drop?, or rather, will growth slow a bit?- by how much and for how long? Could be time for some welcome consolidation, to catch up on some things. Actually, on account of our being a bit ahead of ourselves, research and development-wise, with quite a few new products waiting to be set up for production we (that is, us various house pets otherwise called the r. and d. dept.) had already started focusing on some longer term goals. It's a welcome change from the usual diet of intractable problems, solutions that aren't, great mysteries, panics and crisis.
The boi (boss of incrementalism, otherwise known as Chris) and I, with suggestions from Robert, Lachlan and Pete, have been doing some fundamental thinking about Arcs. We're like the current balance between power, stability, steering, reliability, ease of flying and power control for the standard range and have no plans for significant changes but are asking the question "what will the best KS kite be like in 5 years time?"- our answer is that it will have Arc ease of flying and reliability, the L/D of the Hi Arc- (hard to see now that ANYTHING can improve on this), snappy steering,- and it will have HUGE de-power. We have all the bits now individually and in various combinations but some of these criteria tend to be either-or's.
With the time and resources now available, it's a dream challenge- probably solvable but difficult enough to be immensely satisfying once accomplished-. Makes it a delight to wake up each , er, afternoon. Oh, and maybe we can catch up on some of the little things- like why kites fly for example- this could be useful. Not that not knowing this has prevented our making some that do. Maybe like when Michael Faraday was asked by the British PM of the day what use his discovery of the relationship between electricity and magnetism could be he supposedly replied- "Perhaps one day sir, you can tax it." So on that gloomy note: Peter Lynn, Ashburton 3 October 2001.
New things? Cats- to answer the currently most asked question, yes we will make in special colours but NO we will not be attempting Tabbies, Tigers, Leopards, or Maine Coons until we are a little more caught up. Long Hair's?, never! And PS, the Morris Marina is finally dead- answer's the helm but is stuck on half speed ahead- don't tell Ron , when he arrives this season, we want to sell it back to him before he notices.