This page links to old pages and videos. Occasionally somebody remembers and wants to see an old design. There are also odds and ends here that don't fit anywhere else.
Back to Air Surf main page.
Back to sciencetoymaker main page.
Here's why I switched from paper gliders to foam gliders.
The first pages about making tumblewings are here and here.
My very first fixed wing walkalong based on Mike Thompson's design. Made of paper, crazy difficult to tweak, crazy fast, but oh what fun!
Here is the origami hang glider. There was a lot of interest and paper is ubiquitous, but it's very heavy compared to foam and it becomes limp in humid weather.
The very first foam mosquito glider! Those were very exciting days.
This index page shows the earlier designs with foam gliders.
And here is a later version. I had to abandon these videos because I started using lighter, less-dense foam. Overall, that was better, but it changed the building instructions.
For people who insist on using paper as walkalong glider material (heavy, but some people are stubborn) this Big Mouth Tumblewing is a better one to start with.The pattern PDF is here.
The only bad thing about the new very low-density foam is that it's so light that it doesn't work for making the Spinney Bug. But some people have the old heavier foam left over, so here.
Here is another page from the earlier series: the forerunner of the Mosquito glider was the Baby Bug, and this page has a cool way to use the scrap from cutting the shape, to make another glider called the Ben Bug. I had to change the name because the Baby Bug was made with heavier foam.
The final section of that series was the earlier Mama Bug.
In yet an earlier iteration of foam gliders was this series. Part 1). Introduction;** Part 2). Overview and and early Magnus Effect glider;** Part 3 Thompson Jagwing; **Part 4). Baby Bug, etc; **Part 5). Advanced flying (dog fighting and hands-only flight);** Part 6). Early hot-wire cutting; **Part 7). Mama Bug; **Part 8). Miscellaneous Stuff
For people who want to cut their own foam.
I don't make walkalong gliders much with paper anymore because paper is so heavy and makes for very fast gliders; and that's hard for beginners. My niche has become getting people started with ultra low density foam. That said, there is a magical alchemy of taking something so common as phone book paper and turning it into a mysterious flyer. On this page you can get started on my "origami hang glider" plans.
Phil Rossoni has designed a paper walkalong glider. You need
a board to fly it (not hands only) but you might find it easier to build than
In fact, Phil's website is full of amazing walkalong glider projects. He calls it controllable slope soaring.
There's a commercial product of 3 gliders sold for $15 US and $5 postage that you can see here. They take a couple of weeks to ship from Hong Kong. There are good things and some less desirable things about this product. This design came from Dr. Tyler MacCready, who invented walkalong gliding.You can see Tyler flying it in this old Scientific American Frontiers clip. And you can see him talk about how he manufactured and sold the gliders in the second video here.
Tyler MacCready sold the design. It was sold by Wow Wee for awhile. Here are their instructions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POsb4FtHmW0
Tyler eventually sold the design to a toy company in Hong Kong
and if must have changed hands again. I bought the package (3 gliders). They
are beautiful, have great airfoils and they are much stronger. They are also
much heavier than the indoor ones my students make. So there's a design trade-off.
The heavier Wind Riders fly better outdoors. But they are much faster flying,
perhaps not so good for beginners. Phil Rossoni has a good tutorial for reducing
the weight a little.
I think it's possible that they are using a little heavier foam than when Tyler made them because I had to add front weight beyond the adjustment and I (old man) can barely keep up with them.
This is the link to the paper instructions that I put into packages of gliders that show how to fly. It's not meant to supercede the video and more detailed instructions, but it does illustrate some of the most important things to remember when starting to fly. The weird layout/repetition is because I print both sides and then cut into quarters. It's a Word document, 125KB.
All about the interesting history of walkalong gliding here
The Flight of the Gossamer Condor movie on Youtube. Damaged film resulting in poor video and audio, but you'll be swept away if you look beneath the surface. You can see the origin of walkalong flight at 21.35. High quality DVD of the same here.
Just for fun: the biggest, heaviest and most destructive tumbling wing http://i.imgur.com/t3X3zb4.gifv
Old instructions for making the "Mosquito" (now the Baby Bug) Here are video instructions for Making the Mosquito Glider on YouTube and here is the text explanation of the video. If YouTube is blocked, try this 12MB MPEG file). This text only page explains in detail what is going on in the video.There is also a print-friendly illustrated guide as a PDF document. And here is the Mosquito Pattern (no shrink to fit page)Mass-Producing Mosquito Gliders Tools and techniques that make mass producing lots of gliders quick and easy.
Back to Air
Surf main page.
Back to sciencetoymaker main page.