Picture of How to Make Hand Gliders
In this instructable, I will not only show you how to make a hand-thrown glider of these proportions:
Wingspan: 20 inches (50 centimeters)
Length: 20 inches
Height (including vertical stabilizer): 7 inches (18 centimeters)
Weight: 98 grams (3.45 ounces)
but, with the ratios I will give you, you can make whatever size glider you like (within an acceptable hand-throwing range of size).
If you have any questions, about the ratios, or the building of the plane featured here, or your own, (or whatever else you can think of, as long as it has to do with hand gliders)  feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll get to them as soon as I can.

For this instructable you will need the following items and materials: (look at photo 2) You will also need a protractor for step 6.

If you just want to make the plane: Just look at the pictures and all explanations in BOLD font in the following steps. If you want to build a plane of your own size , follow all explanations in regular font  and some of the pictures (as directed) in the following steps.

I chose cardboard to build this plane because it is cheap and readily available, and i had plenty around. However, if you want to  make this plane, but you don't have enough cardboard (you need a piece with a total area of about 375 inches squared, with the minimum dimensions of 25x15, so you have enough room), if you have enough styrofoam of the same thickness, use that.

I strongly recommend that you use a sharp knife, such as an exacto, to cut out all parts of this plane or any other you may build for the following reasons:
- scissors can be bulky and use leverage to cut, which may cause a risk of bending the cardboard, resulting in a floppy, almost useless wing or fuselage, that fixing will only add weight which is the last thing you want when building these hand gliders.
- knives tend to be sharper than scissors and their thin blades can cut clean edges, are easier to handle than scissors, and are more accurate, which makes all the difference in factors of flight such as drag, wing area, and weight.
For the right cutting technique, refer to photo 3.
Cut the first two layers of the cardboard, then bend open the cut and slice through the last layer. As I said before, be very careful when cutting, you don't want to bend the cardboard, this weakens it immensely, and you end up with a floppy piece of junk.

For the two important terms that you will need to know when building this glider or your own, refer to photos 4 and 5.

All dimensions I give are measured in inches.

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Amitjangra094 months ago

I want to make 5 ft to 6ft glider with help of thormacol or cardboard Pls wirght down dimensions

pk20145 months ago

I want to make a glider of max-3 feet.

Can I make it with Styrofoam?

How to shape Airfoil?

Please can you give me the ratios and suggest it's size.


Please help me.

With Regards,


prayag nao9 months ago

i think it dnt wrk

delonzo11 months ago
How do you make that
My wing dimensions are 24*120 cm square
My horizontal stabilizer dimensions are 16* 36 cm square

Could you please tell me if the following distances are correct?
1st distance:
The distance from the front of the fuselage to the front of the main wing: 24 cm
2nd distance:
The distance from the back of the wing to the front of the horizontal stabilizer: 48 cm
Do you have a video for the launcher? I can't really get the idea of it
It's so COOL.Thank you i'm going to promote this glider to my friends.
divad135 (author)  Avengers BanDit2 years ago
No problem
muz_5012 years ago
Did it fly ? If yes, what was the maximum flight time it has achieved ?
divad135 (author)  muz_5012 years ago
Yes. I didn't measure the time, but it should stay up for a long time, depending on how accurately you build and balance the plane.
yapoyo2 years ago
I see that you have canadian currency. Can i use american money?
divad135 (author)  yapoyo2 years ago
Yes that will be fine, You just have to find the right balance by taping on the weights and using the "finger axis" technique, and then glue the weights on when you find the right balance.
rimar20003 years ago
Very good and complete. I don't know if you said it, but plastic cardboard sheets are also good for this.
divad135 (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thank you. Yes, plastic cardboard would make quite a strong wing/fuselage and make less glueing necessary. It will also waterproof the plane. Thanks for the suggestion.