Thursday, June 13, 2013

Big Foam Glider Makes Headlines

Yesterday I noticed on the MSN homepage was a video clip of one the big foam gliders launched too hard causing a loop which ended by hitting the person launching it in the face. The gliders are lightweight and fly rather slow so he was not injured and everyone thought it was funny.

Link to "model airplane test flight fail"

Glider Launched by Towline Method

Through basic aerodynamics we know that in the Lift Equation velocity is squared. This means the lift is going to increase by a large amount with a fast throw causing a loop. Many people have put electric motors and radio control in these gliders but I thought maybe it could be launched as a "towline" glider with no control. Towline gliders are launched much like a kite flies but the line detaches at the top of a launch. I really went the quick and dirty route on this making the towhook from a paperclip glued to a craft stick.

Rails for Launching

There almost needs to be another person holding the glider as it is launched except I came up with launching rails made from two dowels pushed in the ground. This worked pretty good and I could launch the plane by myself using kite string and a kite reel to pull it with. It never got real high for me but the glide was slow.  This is the article I created about what I had done.  Big Foam Towline Glider

Kite Reel Pulls Glider Up

There is a short video segment of the glider flying in my video Fun With Foam Gliders.

Bill Kuhl

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