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The Kite is one of the few fortunate inventions by Leonard of Quirm that got a succinct rather than descriptive name. It also has the distinction as Leonard's only successful flying machine. It is constructed by teams of artificer apprentices on a flotilla on the way to the Edge of the Disc. The Kite is made of very well-varnished wood that does not catch fire, and sufficiently air-tight to go into the void space. Its main components are:

  • part shaped like a giant eagle, with wings that can be winched inward and folded up; the crew's cabin is contained in this part.
  • the dragon pods associated with this part.
  • part shaped like a giant salmon in the grasp of the aforementioned giant eagle, containing more dragon pods.

The Kite is powered by, yes, swamp dragons, the very explosive animal. Leonard has managed to feed them a diet that gave them very hot flames without even a tiny burp.

As each module is used up, the dragons inside are released and allowed to flutter/glide/drift unhurt back down to the Disc. It is understood that Lady Sybil Ramkin insisted on this as her price for providing the dragons in the first place.


A Discworld take on the Space Shuttle and its fuel tank and rockets, together with some of Leonardo Da Vinci's prototype flying machines.