How to Make Hand Gliders

Step 5: Adding weights

The ideal amount of nose weight for this plane is 20 grams. This can be achieved by glueing 4 nickels and 2 pennies in 2 stacks, as shown in photos 1 and 2. If you don't have my currency, or prefer to use less valuable objects as weighting, then just find an object that weighs 20 grams and divide it in half, or find two equal sized objects that weigh the same and add up to 20 grams. A kitchen scale (electronic or mechanical) is handy to have here. Glue them about half an inch from the front of the plane, as shown in photo 3.

Once again, because I don't know the size of the plane you are building, I cannot tell you how much weight it will require to balance it. I can, however, tell you a method that will make finding the amount of weight your plane requires quite easy. I call it the "Finger Axis" technique. How to do it:

Place your 2 index fingers on both ends of the main wing, 2/3 of the way down, as shown in photo 4.
Lift the plane in the air with your 2 fingers, but don't increase pressure with you fingers, just press gently, to allow the plane to swing on your fingers freely.

Of course, if you haven't added weight, the plane's tail is just going to hang down the first time you lift it. This is the point where you keep on taping on more and more weight, testing the plane for balance as you tape more on, until you get the proper balance. Look at photos 3,4, and 5 for reference. Make sure you tape equal size weights to either side of the fuselage. You can choose different things as objects for weight, but make sure they aren't too large, so as to cause drag on the fuselage in flight.

Note: The farther the distance the weight is positioned from the front of the main wing, the less weight is needed for proper balance.
Use this as an advantage for adding less weight and a guide for the positioning of the weight.

Once the weights are positioned, glue them on with decent sized blobs of hot glue to keep them in place.

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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.