Learn how to build a super glider to prove the movement of invisible waves of air and have a good time to boot! (See the super glider diagram in the image gallery.)
Bob Kornegay, who's in charge of MOTHER's Self-Reliant Homestead project, designed this aircraft years ago when he was a youngster competing in glider contests.
It's a high-performance glider capable of traveling several hundred yards under the right conditions. It can provide you with hours of fun, as well as insights into the way air currents move, and you can build it for just a few dollars.
SUPER GLIDER CONSTRUCTION
Follow the dimensions shown on the grid very closely; this project requires precise work if the aircraft is to fly well. Even a few degrees of deviation in the position of the vertical stabilizer, for example, will send it into a spiral. The construction sequence is as follows:
It's probably best to leave the wood unfinished, because any liquid applied to the balsa tends to warp it, and even a small tweak will ruin the glider's flight characteristics. You can seal the wood with a mixture of baby powder and sanding sealer, however.
To fly your glider, you need a large open area with nothing for the glider to run into. (Small trees are particularly hard on the wing's leading edge.) Winds should be blowing at less than 8 mph.
First make sure that you've got the fore and aft balance right by launching the glider very gently. If it tends to nose up and descend repeatedly, you need more nose weight and should add a little clay. If it plunges to the ground, sand some material off the pod.
It's going to take time and practice to get the most from your glider. The trick is to get the glider up in the air just before a strong puff of wind arrives.
Aim the glider about 10 degrees away from the approaching puff, and tilt the wing closest to you up slightly. The aircraft needs to get some altitude before the wind picks up; then it can twist around and ride the breeze.
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