|Successful Tumblewing Flying|
This year I tried to introduce the “tumblewing” walk along activity. It is very inexpensive, quick to build, and lots of fun when it works properly. It does however take some fine adjustments and mastery of the technique to make it work properly. With many years of experience adjusting model airplanes it took me some effort to get a tumblewing flying successfully for any length of time.
|Proper Way to Launch|
The tumblewing is just a piece of lightweight paper cut in a rectangular shape with the edges bent up in a manner that it will spin around a horizontal axis. You launch it to start the spin and then approach with large flat piece of material such as cardboard or foamboard and push a wave of air to keep the tumble wing spinning in the wave of air only a few inches away from the board.
|FPG9 Glider Works Well For Almost Everyone - I Start With This|
To make this work the tumble wing needs to be bent properly, you have to launch it so it is spinning, and then you need to approach with the board just so as not create too much turbulence yet maintain the wave of air needed to keep it flying. At this point you need to adjust your walking speed and tilt the board to control the direction.
|Cutting Out FPG-9 Gliders|
One student was getting the idea but most just could not make it work, became frustrated, and quit. I was not able to help them fast enough to head off the frustration. It was a good lesson to me that even though I can do an activity, being able to teach it effectively is much more difficult. I need a better idea of what is not correct and how to fix it.
Being able to master a difficult task through a process of figuring out what needs to be corrected and then making the small corrections is one of the most useful skills that I can think of. Any form of model aviation no doubt will require this to master. I plan to bring in a couple of very lightweight foam walkalong gliders today to give the students a chance to try to have some success. I plan to have them try it one at a time so I might be able to offer individual assistance.
Walkalong Glider and Foam Store - many options available to purchase foam or gliders even RTF proceeds go to The Physics Factory
Science Toymaker Website - Slater Harrison
Walkalong Gliders Book - Phil Rossoni
Darcy Whyte - Inventor/Artist has done much with walkalong gliders
Related Blog Posts
Walkalong Gliders and Indoor Flying
Thermal Soaring a Walkalong Glider
Update from 7/15/2014
Students did much better with foam gliders made from very thin foam.
This glider sent to me by Slater Harrison is so light you can walk at a crawl speed to keep it flying.