Instructables

Sling-O-Plane: V.1.0 - Instructables Launch It! Challenge Entry

Welcome to the Sling-O-Plane project.

In this instructable Ryan (age 8) and Holly (age 11) and Dad ( age Nunya) build a giant sling and Styrofoam plane. The objective: To launch this plane as far and high as we can with our homemade GIANT slingshot and have fun doing it. We have dubbed it the "Sling-O-Plane Project".

You will actually find 2 Instructables within this one project. The reason being, one we had to build the plane (and other plane parts) and, two we had to find something cheap and reliable to use as a sling.

There is something you should know before starting. This project was for my kids so they could participate in the contest, they could get more interested in science, and so we could just have some fun together. There are no high tech gadgets here, this on a younger level so positive reinforcing comments and suggestions are welcome, and yes the kids are reading what you have to say.

There are several videos of various launches for this project, most are successful some are not. Also the video quality is not all that high. My daughter just got a digital camera for her birthday so we are learning to use it still. We do hope you enjoy what we have accomplished.

If you have suggestions on how we can make this better please post them.


 
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lol ''my other left foot''
Mr. Rig It (author)  the gizmoman6 years ago
Thank you for your comments. I'm planning a version 2.0 sling-o-plane. It is going to be with the bigger plane, thank you for the link. I will probably just buy the one at Hobby Lobby, thing is pretty darn big, it might be the same one that you have shown. Yeah I could have taken it through the fuselage and glued the catch down. I thought it would rip right through the foam from the stress of the launch. I got about 20 launches before it finally came out during a launch. The left rear horizontal stabilizer finally ripped off at one point during a failed launch. Version 3.0 will have rocket motors that will engage after it leaves the sling. I just wonder if it will melt on the way up... :)

Way to go... nice project. I myself used to build them when I was around 10 years old :)  I have some easy mods to try out:
1)  Try fitting on one of those small 3 volt electric motor you find in any broken toy laying around and a reasonable well-balanced propeller. I usually used a lightweight main rotor from my broken indoor helicopter but basically anything will do. Fit the prop to the motor directly on the shaft in a pusher configuration (the reson being nose landings: you want the spinning propeller to be as far as possible from impact point) and make sure the motor is not too stressed by the propeller. (Assuming the aircraft is a foamie) drill the airplane from behind and allow the motor to seat comfortably. Pass the wires through and make space for 2 pencil batteries in the forward section of the fuselage to balance the plane out. A good battery holder is one of those used torches which have an included switch. If you can dig in from underneath it will be still streamlined but the batterholder and switch will be easily accessible. Make sure the loaded aircraft is almost balanced by trying to hold it from 1/3 the width of the wing where the camber is. Preferibly the aircraft should be just a little nose-heavy and then correct it by pushing the elevators up. The reason is when the aircraft is going too fast, the airstream would take over and the aircraft climbs but when the aircraft has climbed and slows down the loss of airflow-force the nose starts tilting down and the glider starts gaining speed. This configuration will not make the aircraft sustain it's flight since the motor is not powerful enough but will definately increase flight-time because of increase in power and inertia :D

2) For launches: The aircraft should be between 15 and 35 degrees. The shallower the angle, the more fluent the flight but will fly lower and land earlier but smoother.

3) Just take care with the rockets, they are far more dangerous!

Cheers,
Kyle.

no if you put something like that aluminum tape to deflect the heat off the body and you dont have to sling it into the air if you use rockets to propel it
heres the largest manufactured foam glider you can bye (big isnt it)http://www3.omnimodels.com/cgi-bin/woi0001p?&I=LANA1900&P=0
Mr. Rig It (author)  the gizmoman6 years ago
It's a U2 Spyplane! yeah that is big. Now you got me really thinking. I will have to use some of the others as X-planes before I go that big. I have been thinking/designing all night about mounting the rocket motors. The Hobby lobby was closed today or I would have bought the big plane and sling launched it. So I just went to Michaels instead and checked out what they had (no foam planes). Did have the rocket motors though. Hmmm. the bigger the rocket motor the better? Or will it just rip the wings off? I may just have to figure out the math on all this and/or build a plane from scratch. I am thinking X prize; sling launch it and when it gets up in the air engage the motors. This way it doesn't spend half its energy getting up. Thank you for the link, what a great idea!
First let me congratulate you are your kids and you taking an interest in them. Anyone man can be a father but it takes a real man to be a Daddy. Anyway I see that the thread has entered rocketry's realm. This is where I has some knowledge. A few years ago I was a member of Tripoli and was certified level 2 high power. Anyway. I had remembered that aerotech had at one time made special motors for gliders and so I searched and found the following links. These motors are reloads and as such you must buy the reusable hardware also. they are designed with a low thrust and long power curve. If you have not worked with rocket motors then let me explain the designation. The Letter is a range of total power in Newton/Seconds and each letter is a doubling of the power. So an
A = 2.5n/s Maximum
B = 5.0n/s Maximum
C = 10 n/s Maximum
D = 20 n/s Maximum
E = 40 n/s Maximum

The number is the average thrust in Newtons. So the first motor in my link is a D-7 the maximum power is 20 n/s and the thrust is 7 newtons for just under 3 seconds. A newton of thrust can be converted to a pound by dividing it by 4.45. So our example of a D-7 would have an average thrust of 1.75 lb for 3 seconds. I hope this will help you with you trials on a rocket assisted glider and I do recommend the reloadables because one - you get more motors for your money over the long haul and two - you have many more choices with the reloadables.
Steve

where to buy hardware

Motor reloads

Aerotech 24mm motor hardware
Mr. Rig It (author)  apburner6 years ago
Thank you for the complement and all of the great information!
You may also wish to use surgical tubing to make the slings. That is what RC glider enthusiasts us. their slings are a bit too long for your uses but I think that a well stocked hobby shop should sell the tubing by the foot. And the is no other rubber band that will touch that stuff. Just go to a hobby shop that has a big supple of RC planes and the like and start asking questions and tell them what you intend to do. They should be happy to help. Steve
Hey no problem. Been watching for when I could help. And when this thread started it was a natural. Glad I could help. Steve
if you are puting the rockets on the wing put as close to the fuselage as posible and get those diy rockets for the motor mounts wich you glue to the airplane( this way you can take the spent motors out & yet get the strenth needed to keep the motors from shooting off the airplane)you can order just the motor mounts http://store.heavenlyhobbies.com/01-049-0001.html
Cubie25 years ago
Ummm. no offense but that is slightly boring... i put a 2000 rpm engine in mine and turned it into a rc glider by dremeling it to fit servos and a receiver, and, of course, the engine. :P
Mr. Rig It (author)  Cubie25 years ago
Well it's not really a glider then now is it? :-P
Yeah I guess so... Still fun though!!! (Thos gliders are pretty cheap I landed mine corectley AND I still managed to break it in half. :P
Exp10siv35 years ago
very cool I will try this with my kids... GREAT idea
lil jon1686 years ago
im going to put an engine on 1 of those
Wait, it was already made? I thought you mage it yourself. Still like it though.
really like it had a plane like that bad part car couldnt stop in time so it went bye bye lol
the legs on the catch or hook as i call it(the two ends that are in the fuselage)could be longer as in almost through the fuselage. then glue the wire that runs parallel to the fuselage for additional strength
fuselage is a technical term for an airplane's body in case you didn't know
Great instructable!! I wish I could see the videos. I think you need to set the videos to "Public" though. Thanks
Same here, JoeJoe. I couldn't view them either.
Mr. Rig It (author)  Bigdawg6 years ago
Thank you. It should work now. Please let me know if it doesn't.
Mr. Rig It (author)  joejoerowley6 years ago
Thank you. It should work now. Please let me know if it doesn't.