Morpho Gliders

WindFire Designs

Morpho Glider kites designed by Tim Elverston and painted by Ruth Whiting.  Flown by Ruth Whiting and Cameron Richardson at anastasia beach FL

Tuned in to whispers

Morpho Glider

Clean, efficient, refined, beautiful, and simple, the marvelous light wind Morpho Gliders have undergone more generational development than any other design in our collection.

In essence, they are a hybrid mutation of two classic designs. When compared with a standard delta, their frame is stretched outward to achieve maximum span and surface area with minimum rod length. Their unique radiused leading edge, elevated at the nose, shows roots in fighter kite design. Their lack of a keel means Morphos are free to spin flat—crucial for control during a glide.

Flexibility. Other gliders, with essentially stiff wings, are modeled after wings that have pilots on board. Unique among gliders, the Morpho frame is not only balanced but also flexible and adaptive. This allows remote teasing options, and also the ability to ride common invisible nuances in the wind without falling out of the glide.

Air currents flow in all directions, and the divisions between turbulent regions can often be at a scale which is smaller than the wings themselves. Thus it follows, that allowing the wings to move independently from each other is a major advantage when surfing nearly still, but turbulent air. While the Morpho is in glide mode, the two wings adapt fluidly because their pivot, defined by the spreader position, is perfectly balanced.

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ColorWing Morpho Glider over the Gulf of Mexico, flown by Ruth Whiting, photo by Tim Elverston
Morpho Glider made for Jose Sainz by WindFire Designs

Gliding light

Oil painted morpho glider kite - front light

The colors of each kite in our painted series are chosen specifically for their ability to handle light.

Oil pigments are applied to a spectra reinforced film. They must both reflect, and refract light gracefully.

morpho glider kite - with oil painting and lit from the back

Colors on the wings

Ruth Whiting painting a test for a colorwing morpho glider

Individuals in a series

As WindFire Designs ColorWing and LaceWing kites are made, colors are applied by Ruth Whiting. The graphic design is aligned with the relationship between our handmade technologies, and the natural world.

Archival decisions

Fit and finish determines so many aspects of the experience. To build and pack, to adjust and tune, to dissapear, and to gracefully remain faithful through time and conditions, these are the demands our fittings must answer. Hand-formed stainless steel is elegant, beautiful, and remains solid and unchanged for life. It's also incredibly light and small.

Morpho Glider with stainless steel kite fitting design by Tim Elverston
Cuben fiber and paint detail by Ruth Whiting at WindFire Designs

Materials that know each other well

We've tested, adjusted, and balanced the interface of sail material and pigments. The combination is unlike any we know of. As the color is applied, it becomes part of the spectra laminate substrate.

Cumulative intuition

Creating is always a conversation. Designing our work at every scale provides us with the freedom to quickly adopt superior methods.

Tim Elverston and Ruth Whiting looking over kites in the colorwing series
ColorWing Kites being sewn by Tim Elverston

By hand

Hands. They may be our greatest asset. Highly skilled hands of any trade captivate our gaze. Every Morpho Glider reperesents hundreds of steps, all done by hand, that add up to an object which looks clean and effortless.

Making ColorWing Morpho Gliders

A short film by Tim Elverston and Ruth Whiting


Ruth Whiting walking with a ColorWing Morpho Glider kite at anastasia beach florida

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