Magnus Plane (The Cup Flite)

Introduction: Magnus Plane (The Cup Flite)

About: ! Error 404 !

The Magnus Effect :

the force exerted on a rapidly spinning cylinder or sphere moving through air or another fluid in a direction at an angle to the axis of spin. This force is responsible for the swerving of balls when hit or thrown with spin , which results in the curve effect seen in football matches and baseball matches !!!

Based on this principle lets build our glider :

This plane is fairly simple and very easy to make and takes only few minutes to build and with very less items required(they may also be laying around your house).


  • Paper/Plastic Cups
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun(Optional)(Amazon)
  • Rubber Bands

Step 1: Joining the Wings

  • Take a Cup and place it inverted on a table and add a small amount of tap and invert another cup over it and tape it , so that the opening are facing away from each other.
  • Add enough amount of tape or hot glue it to make it stiff so that it does not come apart.
  • Make sure they are in a good symmetry and not irregular in shape.

That's it your plane/glider is almost ready !!

Step 2: Preparing Your Ruber Band Engine :)

This part may seem trickier at first but it's simple too...

  • Take 2 rubber bands and place one rubber band below the other.
  • Next pull the inward rubber band towards you.
  • Now the inward rubber band should go inside the loop that is formed and pull each other so it forms a link and continue till you have pretty long rubber band chain (I made about 5-6 rubber band long).
  • This serves as the thrust for your plane.
  • If you didn't understand this step check out on google how to link rubber bands!!

Step 3: Time to Fly

Now lets test our plane :

  • Find a mild breezy spot so your plane can last longer in air!
  • Begin by holding the cup in your left hand and rotating the rubber band with your right hand around the center of the cup where you typically taped the cups together(clockwise).
  • Then face the plane or cup away from you and bingo launch the cup in the air!!
  • If you didn't get something see the pics above!!
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    Question 2 years ago

    It appears the cups are whole. Would it make any difference if the bottoms were cut out so air could pass through? Also, how do the rubber bands connect to the cups? friction?
    Thanks for a great, easy, new airplane idea.


    Answer 2 years ago

    Hey you can surely try out(but that may cause imbalance in the cups as it would not glide well due to no magnus effect) actually I had experimented with different cups and the coffee day or kfc krushers cup were pretty good and of course it's because of the friction the rubber band stay in contact with the cup and later when you release it , the cup swirls and create that magnus effect !!
    Happy to help you , any other queries ? Fell free to ask! !