Walkalong Glider Inventor's Interview Page and New Directions

If you scroll down you'll see embedded videos of other innovators and their exciting work


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If you believe, as I do, that walkalong gliding will become as common a science activity as dropping Mementos into Coke, then it makes sense to sniff out the creation stories of how it began and branched. When students learn how to surf a glider on a wave of air they can also discover the fascinating stories of real people as they experienced that spark of invention. Just as importantly, they can see the foundations upon which discoveries are built, how people who make great discoveries tend to be interested in lots of different things, how they communicate with experts, how serendipitous accidents happen, and how years can pass before an idea reaches fruition. This is good stuff!

Joseph E. Grant invented walkalong gliding in 1950. And now we can learn from his daughters and son about this facinating man. Click here or on the picture. At the age of 13, Tyler MacCready invented walkalong gliding again in the late 1970s and manufactured gliders. click here or on the picture . Michael Thompson invented very thin, very slow-flying foam walkalong gliders. Click here or the picture. Phil Rossoni invented a paper walkalong glider and has shown how they work and how to fly. Click here or the picture.
       
John Collins, AKA The Paper Airplane Guy, invented the tumbling wing branch of walkalong gliding. Click here or the picture. Thomas Buchwald, a Technik teacher in Germany, has innovated bionic gliders, materials and processes. Click here or on the picture Mitsuhiro Nagamatsu invented and wrote a book about thin-sliced foam for whimiscal gliders in 1996. Click here or on the picture. David Aronstein invented planes with tails that fly as walkalong gliders. Click here or the picture.

 

 

Ben Shedd created the Academy Award winning Flight of the Gossamer Condor effort and documented the first walkalong gliders that Tyler MacCready flew. Click here or on the picture.

Back in the 1980s Gordon Pollock made and sold the Wonder Wing with a brilliant canard. Click here or of the picture.  

Here are some other great innovators from around the world. Perhaps we will have an international gathering sometime and I will be able to interview them.

This video from Germany still looks like magic Here's some more great work from Germany (and some joking at the very end)
From Taiwan making beautiful flying butterflies from foam This primary school teacher named Chen Wenhwa is doing interesting things with foam gliders that look like birds and insects
Here is an English cellist named Thaddeo Andre who made a walkalong plane from phonebook paper, raw carbon fiber and superglue. Thomas Buchwald, a teacher in Germany showed me a new way to make a tumblewing, the quickest and simplest I have seen.

Daryl Yeh from Taiwan has a wonderful YouTube channel with many beautiful videos of people flying "indoor kites"--lightweight, slow-flying, powered by hand. Here he plays a joke. It's a walkalong glider...no, wait? It's an indoor kite! Funny yes, ingenious too. Perhaps this is a way for walkalong glider people to experience indoor kite flying.

Here is Thomas Buchwald again with a smooth flying foam glider with a V tail.
Nyle Steiner  is blurring the boundary between walkalong gliders and levitation with static electricity. Note that static electricity projects go better in cool, dry air. Alfredo Ramirez of Columbia sent this video of his impressive flight in the Red Bull extreme paper airplane event. Using Thaddeo Andre's desine as a starting point, it has good size (= greater efficiency). And I like the dihedral, which might give better stability than my design.
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

Here are a few links to videos of other people doing amazing things.

This primary school teacher named Chen Wenhwa is doing interesting things with foam gliders that look like birds and insects http://www.youtube.com/user/wenhwa888

This video from Germany still looks like magic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akdlnJsDDDU

Here's some more great work from Germany (and some joking at the very end) http://www.youtube.com/user/fauli66#p/u/9/WTSU6OmP38A

From Taiwan here's the inverse of what Phil Rossoni has done with flying real butterflies, foam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTgL4cEqE2E