Every year, I’m offered the privilege of participating in with the indoor kiting exhibition at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on the mall in Washington DC.
No fans are used; we generate pressure on the sail by walking backward or manipulating the line. Since I build and fly fighter kites, I’m flying on a single line and I can use my feet as well as line manipulation to fly the kite. My flying style is very kinetic; I tend to use faster music to fly to, and more modern music than most. Usually our indoor flyers prefer slower music that keeps a steady pace; many of them are on fixed lines. I like to be a change of pace, moving constantly and quickly.
The photo is courtesy of Andrew Albosta.
The kite itself is my own indoor design. I use a bamboo spine and a graphite rod as a bow. The sail is made of Orcon, with a curved trailing edge. The kite I used this year (2017) was built the week of the event, and I tuned it before the museum opened and the actual demonstrations began. The photo above was shot at a downward angle from a stairway, but above my head are a few drone aircraft that we had to be careful not to tangle our kites in, and because my line length was always changing, I had to be particularly careful. While this let me fly over the heads of the crowd, it also limited the space I had to work with. It was still a thrill to do. The NASM has been supporting this event for years, and I’ve participated since 2006. It may be threatened by budget cuts eventually, but I find it a unique and pleasurable event to attend, and to say that I’ve had the opportunity to do such a unique thing as fly a kite between the exhibits at a national museum is a rare delight.