Introduction: DIY Micro Rc Dlg Glider
Hi and welcome to my instructable on how to make one of these cool little micro RC dlg gliders. If your reading this and don't know what a dlg glider is its basically a glider that is launched like a discus (discus launch glider). To launch them you hold onto a peg located at the wingtip or just the wingtip, in this case, spin around and launch the glider like that. They are used for competitions etc.
One problem with dlg gliders though is they tend to have a big wingspan which can be a bit of a pain for storing and transporting and they are also very expensive due to being handmade out of materials like fibreglass and carbon fibre.
So in this instructable I'm going solve both of those issues by helping you make your own micro dlg glider so you can see if the hobby is for you without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars/pounds.
what you will need:
Balsa Wood - 1/32" thick 3 x 36" x 2, 3mm thick 3 x 36" x 1
Carbon Fibre Rod - 3mm hollow x1
Small Piece Of Heat Shrink - x1
Super Glue - x1
Craft/Modeling Foam - 100 x 60 x 60mm x1
Servos/Receiver AIO Board - x1 (I used a flysky one)
Small Metal Rods - 0.1-0.2mm x 1
Tissue - 1 sheet x 1
Toy Drone Propeller - x 1
Plastic From Packaging - 20 x 20mm x 1
1s 100ish Mah Lipo - x1
Tape - x 1
Needle Nose Pliers
Hot Glue Gun
Rasor Blade/Craft Knife
Philips Screw Driver
Step 1: Making the Wing Pieces
The first step is to make the 4 wing pieces. The reason there is 4 is because the wing is made with 2 layers and it is made in two halves that will be glued together later on.
You need to measure out 300mm for each half to make a total wingspan of 600mm and then draw the shape of your wing onto the 1/32 thick balsa wood to cutout. You can design/draw on a computer or just paper your wing shape but I decided to just wing it : ). Once you have made one wing shape use that wing to trace onto the balsa wood and make 4 in total.
once they are all cut out you need to use two pins to hold all 4 of them aligned together and then you need to sand them all to be the same shape.
Then you need to cut 2 strips (about 1cm) out of the 3mm thick balsa piece leaving enough balsa for the tailpieces of the glider. (I would make the tailpieces before cutting these two strips).
Then glue the two strips together as shown In the photos to make a wing spar. This spar will help make the aerofoil shape. Then you need to glue and cut the spar into the wing 2.5cm from the leading edge/front edge of the wing and 3.5cm from the right/left edge of the wing.
Then finally after you have done that you can sandwich all the layers together and join the two wing halves with a slight tilt to add some dihedral for better flight stability.
Step 2: Making the Pod/Fuselage
For the fuselage you are going to want to cut a piece of foam in the rough dimensions you want the fuselage to be and then you want to draw out the shape you want it to be. Then you should start cutting and sanding it into shape and along the way you should keep checking that all the electronics are going to fit. Eventually, you will have a finished fuselage shape and you should then hollow it out for the electronics and battery and make a hole in it to glue the carbon fibre rod into with hot glue.
Step 3: Making the Tail Pieces
The tailpieces (elevator and rudder) should be made out of the 3mm balsa piece and they should be about 10-14cm and similarly to the wing they are drawn, cut and sanded into shape. But with these, you need to sand an aerofoil shape by sanding the edges at a slight angle.
Step 4: Reinforcements and Attaching Wings + Tails
A quick note for this step: I for some reason when making this glider decided to attach the tail pieces before cutting the flaps and adding the hinges to them so make sure yo do this before atteching/assembling them. (This is done in the next step).
For this step, you will need to use the left over bits from the wing spar to make mounts for the wing and elevator. In the photos, you can see how i have cut small pieces of the spar and then cut like a triangular shape out of them so it can be glued onto the carbon fibre rod more easily. But if they where just attached like this they would easily break off so you have to use some tissue paper to reinforce them by soaking the tissue in super glue and moulding it around the mounts to give them extra strength.
For the ruder tailpiece a cut needs to be made for the carbon rod to go into and then it is glued and reinforced with tissue paper and super glue as described above.
Step 5: Adding the Control Flaps
To be able to control the plane it needs to have flaps fitted to the tail pieces. They are then moved in flight via rods and servo horns/control joints to controll the plane.
First, cut the flaps out of the tail pieces and then add a control joint made out of a micro drone propellor but I have made them in the past out of small bits of wood etc. Then to reconnect the flaps to the tail pieces i used some thin plastic that you can get from things like the plastic containers that fruit and veg come in or even some thin water bottles. This creates a strong hinge and they are slotted and glued in to keep them together in flight.
Step 6: Final Assembly
Finally, all that's left is to fit the control rods and electrics. All that you have to do is cut and bend the ends of the rods into like a z shape with the needle-nose pliers as shown in the photos and slide them into the control and servo horns. Then to permanently fit the electrics you just need to put 2 blobs of hot glue, one on either side of the control board to hold it in place and run the battery lead down through the fuselage to connect the battery up to. The control rods are also run through some heat shrink tubing that thas been cut into small pieces and glued to the carbon fibre rod and this is t stop any flex in the rods on laucnch.
Now all you have to do is set the centre of gravity which should be about 1/3 of the way back from the front of the wing and go for a flight in some hot weather.
Thank you for reading and if you have nay questions just post a comment and I will reply ASAP.
Participated in the
Make It Fly Speed Challenge