Julia Long

How To Make A Paper Glider

Before making something difficult, one should practice his skills on simpler things, especially doing modeling. Let's make a paper or cardboard glider. Well-adjusted model can fly up to a six-meter altitude and for a 25-meter distance. The altitude and distance of flight depend on cardboard thickness, cargo weight and assembly quality.

To make a paper glider you need:

  • cardboard (preferably thick);
  • white craft glue;
  • clay;
  • scissors;
  • pencil and ruler.

We should start with a drawing. Picture 1 shows all glider’s details and their size (dotted lines mark folds, dot-dash lines-gravity axis). Once you’ve traced the glider’s drawing on cardboard keeping to the original size, you should get four details:

  • wing;
  • stiffening rib;
  • fin;
  • fuselage.

Now fold the dotted line on the wing’s edge (detail 1) and put some glue on it. Then press so it stuck well.

The next step is fuselage assembly (detail 4). The assembly sequence is as follows:

  • bend the stabilizer to 90 degrees using dotted lines (it’s on the tail).
  • put some glue on both sides of the stiffening rib (detail 2) and on the ventral fin (detail 2) as shown on the picture 1.
  • Insert the rib and the fin in their places, and fix the fuselage with pins for all the pieces stuck well.

The next stage is to connect wings and the fuselage. The assembly sequence is as follows:

  • bend at 90 degrees wing holders (on dotted lines);
  • apply some glue to the upper sides of the wing holders;
  • connect the wing and fuselage and let them stuck well.

Once all the glider’s details are glued, you can proceed to the final step — setting the glider’s center of gravity. In order to do this, you need to apply the cargo to the fuselage as shown on pictures 5 and 6. Then take your glider with your index and thumb and verify the location of the center of gravity.

If the center of gravity is shifted from the gravity axis’ center toward the nose, the glider will sweep down. If the center of gravity is shifted from the gravity axis’ center toward the tail, the glider will somersault in the air and won’t fly. Therefore, the best center of gravity position is located under the wing of the glider. However, a small shift is allowed.

To fly your glider, hold it under the wing between your index finger and thumb and throw it forward. As practice shows, the first flight path is likely to be straight.


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