Peter Lynn

February 2009

Peter Lynn himself gets a website

It had to happen, couldn't be delayed any longer:

Until now I've been coat-tailing on the websites of Peter Lynn brand licensees, but not all the publishable stuff I have is appropriate for these sites.

There are technical papers- like the most recent one on the stability of single line kites (a work in progress for 30 years)- which are relevant, but a lot of kite history material has little connectivity for them, and my 'other life'; mechanical engineering history(S.O.E's for short*), has none.  Nor do my 'occasional' (daily!?) rants about political and economic issues.

Where appropriate there will be links to the businesses and organisations I'm connected with, (and here's a good place to make these relationships clear).  They are:

Peter Lynn Kites Ltd, Ashburton NZ, proprietors: Jenny Cook and Craig Hansen, principle Peter Lynn brand licensees for single line kites.

Vlieger Op bv, Den Hague, Netherlands, proprietors; Herman and Jeannet Bredewold, principle Peter Lynn brand licensees for kitesurfing, buggying and traction kite products.

The Ultimate Kite Show (UKS): A new business to test the viability of doing towed kite shows.  Proprietors: Al Farsi family, (Kuwait), Paul Reynolds (London) and myself.  Our operations manager is Stefan Cook.

Gomberg Kite Productions, Peter Lynn Kites Ltd agent for North America and Peter Lynn brand licensees for a selection of single line kite designs.

Lynn Historical Woodworking Museum, at "The Plains", Ashburton NZ, the world's number one collection of 19th century ornamental turning lathes (my father's life's work).

On this new website I will publish the various technical articles on kites that I've written, including "Why Kites (don’t) Fly- Single Line Kite Stability" from last month's newsletter.  There has been A LOT of positive and useful response to this analysis.  Hopefully it will soon have diagrams to make explanations easier to understand.  I will also update these articles from time to time- making additions and corrections (humbly confessing to all the things I get wrong of course, unless I can wriggle out).

There are also some other projects that I'm involved with which are of general interest.

The 18th(?)century Dutch pear-top kite is one.  This kite was discovered in Leyden (near den Hague, Netherlands) in the early 1980's and is in flyable condition- but I promise I won't, if Scott (Skinner) promises he won't also.  The date 1773 and the initials RB and TB are written on it- which is no guarantee of this dating of course- but the materials, construction and it's known provenance (so far) don't discount this either.  Currently it's in the care of Drachen Foundation in the USA.  They are coordinating specialist study of its various aspects.  I will link with Drachen's site on this project and publish regular updates.

Another project that I have going (from my 'other life', not kites) is the development of a hot air/Stirling engine (after Scottish inventor Robert Stirling, 1816), to power a replica 19th century fantail steam launch which was built for me by Nop Velthuizen (who is something to do with kites) when he and Michele came to visit last summer.  We have called this launch Piwakawaka, being the Maori name for a cute little NZ bird called (in English) the fantail, and additionally that waka (well, whaka if you're being pedantic) is the Maori name for boat.  I've had some professional (engineering) association with the design of Stirling cycle engines, and have been working on this particular engine design during long flights for many years.  The first prototype engine, completed last December, has now run for more than a hundred hours and goes really well.  One of its possible applications is to generate a KW or so of electricity using anything that will burn: wood, agricultural waste, dead books even.  And, in case you're wondering which books are the most powerful when judged by the Rev Robert Stirling's engine, no it's not bibles or similar, nor even encyclopaedias.  No, indeed, it's Mills and Boon style bodice rippers- because of their unclayed paper.  In addition to generating electricity this engine can also simultaneously provide for cooking or water heating- or anything else that needs heat.  I probably should publish the plans, but don't have any (it just grew), and then there'd be endless impossible questions to answer anyway, so maybe I'll  just 'move on' each prototype when I've had my fun from it, and suggest people copy it- seems to work for kites, even without the suggestion!

Also on this website there will be a "for sale and to give away to a good home" section.  After 38 years in the kite business there is a mountain of stuff (kite and kite related) that sort of accumulated.  Elwyn and I have donated most of this to the ASEAN kite council to support local (ASEAN) kite makers, but there are some things that aren't really suitable for ASEAN, mostly prototypes, demonstrators, superseded products and left over materials except for fabric and tubing up to 12mm or so.  I expect some kite fliers will be interested.  Things that have value (but sometimes not much) include; new wetsuits (mostly small sizes), larger carbon and fibreglass tubing, 900 or so back packs (over-ordered), new and used kites of many (outdated) styles, superseded T shirts, and about 1000 rolls of double sided tape.  Things that don't have value include various prototype kite sailing boats (many!).  I'll list everything as I get time to do inventory and descriptions, but if there's anything you think I might have that you could be keen on, please send me an email (  What about a 13m x 9m Edo?  Carrying the Exel logo (carbon tube makers) and built for the 1998 Scheveningen kite festival, it was never flown until Nelson (NZ) the week before last.  Weight is about 120kgms, 40kgms or more of which is bridling!  The structure is 88/2.5m long 22mm OD fibreglass tubing.  Anyone interested?

Robert van Weers (Blenheim NZ), kite designer (of reef fish renown) has kindly offered to organise this website for me.

These Newsletters will continue to come out via Peter Lynn Kites Ltd, but will also be on my new website.

*Elwyn's re-naming, just to prick a possible pretension here; S.O.E's, ='s Smelly Old Engines.

Peter Lynn, Ashburton, 1 February '09

PS  What's the new website to be called? of course!





Peter Lynn Kites Ltd
105 Alford Forest Rd

Ph: +64 (0) 3 308 4538
Fax: +64 (0) 3 308 1905