RAF Rocket Kite

May 2012

In May 2012 I received this note and photo from Paul Knights:

I saw the image of the Arctic Mail kite on your website. I have found a kite of similar construction, but it appears smaller and the aluminium poles are spring loaded. It was wrapped in a light ribbed case and the tether has a split pin attached about every foot or so.

I was going to ask your advice on the pic attached, but have since identified it as an RAF Conyne design emergency antenna lifting kite here on Billboyheritagesurvey's Blog.

A little Googling on "rocket kite" yielded more hits, an article "The Rocket Kite" and a photo from the collection at The Drachen Foundation.

Now Charmayne and Bob's Arctic Mail kite is bigger, but clearly they're very similar. It has aluminum struts that appear to be hinged, etc. Scott Skinner at Drachen thinks it may also be a rocket kite, despite the size difference.

If anyone has more references on rocket kites, please send them on to me by email!