Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Gibson Girls

Any kite flyer reading this will very likely have heard of the 'Gibson Girl' kite. A single-line box kite which was part of the survival kit on board war planes during WWII. In the event of an accident, the kite, carrying an antenna, could be launched, and the accompanying radio could then be used to request rescue. More information on the Gibson Girl kite can be found here.

Gibson Girls pop up on eBay quite regularly, often in very good shape, and at some point in the past, I felt I ought to have and fly one. Here's our very own Gibson Girl, on the ground, and where she belongs.

The kite, being quite heavy, needs a good breeze to fly properly, but is very happy especially when the wind goes north of 20mph.

Gibson Girls on eBay vary a lot in their asking price, with some listed for well over £100. I wasn't at all planning to get a second one, but when one popped up with a Buy-It-Now price of £15, my finger decided for itself ....

So Flying Fish now has a pair of Gibson Girls!

Of course, being single-line box kites, they're not suitable for any sort of choreographed routine, but they do offer the option of something different to fly for Flying Fish at festivals, in an appropriate single-line slot.

By the way, in case you're wondering: the origin of the name 'Gibson Girl' lies with the American graphic artist Charles Dana Gibson. The Gibson Girl represented his ideal for feminine beauty, with a strong emphasis on curves.

The reason that the name got attached to the kite was due to the radio transmitter. It had some of the 'hourglass' curves of the real Gibson Girl.

So the name 'Gibson Girl' went from actual women to the radio transmitter to the kite, losing all curves in the process!

1 comment:

  1. Of course even though bombers were equipped with a Gibson girl Kite and and transmitter they still carried two carrier pigeons just in case! As told here by Big Big Train!!!