Introduction: Card Stock Sport Glider II
This agile little glider is great for a park or open field. You can throw it with considerable force, and the wings will hold up. It's a great one for loops and dynamic turns.
The Sport Glider II takes about 45 minutes to build. The ability to cut straight lines is a requirement. A basic knowledge of airplane flight, such as the function of a rudder, is recommended. Then again, maybe this is as good a plane as any for learning such things.
-Sheet of card stock (8.5" x 11", preferably 65 lb.)
-No. 1 paper clip
Step 1: Download and Print
Print or photocopy the plans onto card stock. Use any color you like. To achieve a more unique look, print onto two sheets of complementary color and mix the components.
Step 2: Cut Out the Shapes
A pair of quality-made, sharp scissors will serve for this. A hobby knife will come in handy for the short 45-degree cuts at the wing roots.
Step 3: Body and Nose
Get the two main pieces, which comprise the fuselage and wings. Make the creases that define the wings, using a ruler to get a crisp, straight line. Apply glue to the fuselage. Be careful not to get any glue on the wings; you may want to use a scratch piece of paper to mask the wing when applying the glue.
Glue the two main pieces together. Make sure they are will align before apply pressure. Once you've set the bond by lightly pressing down, put the pieces under a big book.
Glue together the pieces that make the sides of the nose. Make sure the printed windscreen is facing outward. You may want to shade in the windscreens at this point.
Step 4: Make Creases
Use a ruler again. The creases of the wing-top braces should be very mild (and are actually over done in the photo). The creases of the horizontal stabilizers and the under-wing braces need to be well defined to allow a 90-degree angle.
Step 5: Strengthen the Main Piece
Remove the main piece from under the big book.
Glue the nose pieces in place. This is a step where you may prefer to use liquid glue, but keep in mind that it will make the glider a little more nose heavy (not necessarily a bad thing) and takes longer to dry out (meaning the glider may seem very nose heavy for a couple hours).
Glue the skinny strengthening pieces to the sides of the fuselage.
Step 6: Strengthen the Wings
Using a glue stick, apply glue to the large wing-top brace and set it in place. The wing may seem to wilt a little due to the moisture in the glue, and you may need to periodically pull them straight. As the glue dries completely, the wings will tend to curl up a little (especially if it is a warm, dry day).
During this process you will establish the dihedral of the wing, with each wingtip being about 15 degrees above horizontal. Sight down the nose of the glider to try to keep the angles symmetrical.
Glue the small wing-top brace in place, and the under-wing braces. Make more adjustments to the dihedral as needed.
Step 7: Construct the Tail
Use liquid glue for this step. Apply glue to the small tab of either of the horizontal stabilizers. Glue it to the end of the tail, so it rest on the upper ridge of the skinny strengthening piece and is flush with the end of the tail. You may want to use a small tool, such as a popsicle stick or plastic card, to help press the glued areas together. Allow it to dry for a few minutes.
Apply glue to the portion of the stabilizer tab that is exposed, and attach the vertical stabilizer. The stabilizer rests on the spine of the main fuselage piece. Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes before attaching the second horizontal stabilizer.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
Give the wings a slight undercamber by repeatedly pinching along the leading and trailing edges.
Check the glider from all angles. Make sure there are no twists or warps. For example, when looking at it from the front, the wings should have identical silhouettes. If desired, cut a thin piece of paper to cover the area between the windscreens, and glue it in place.
Slide the paper clip onto the nose, allowing it to protrude about 3/16".
This glider is a small and light craft, so minor changes affect the flight significantly. When adjusting the rudder or elevators, make tiny adjustments—hundredths of and inch!
Conduct some test flights indoors, or outdoors when there is no breeze. Throw the glider gently, straight and level. If it consistently pitches up, lower the elevators a bit and/or position the paper clip further forward. If it noses down, slide the paper clip backward and make sure the elevators are slightly above level. If it drifts to the left or right, check the wings for twisting, and try to fix any asymmetry. If it continues to turn one way or the other, adjust the rudder a little. Adjusting the rudder to the left will counter a tendency to turn right, and vice versa.
CAUTION! This glider could cause injury to the face or eyes. Throw in open spaces. Advise bystanders, if present, when you're going to throw.