Pencil Eraser Popsicle Plane

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Introduction: Pencil Eraser Popsicle Plane

About: Airplane enthusiast and dream aviator.

I came up with this design in preparation for the DTLA Mini Maker Faire in December, 2019. You can find all the materials at your local arts & crafts store.

Supplies

-Sheet of card stock, 8 1/2 " x 11", 65 lb.

-Pencil tip eraser

-Popsicle stick, 4 1/2" x 3/8" x 3/32"

-Glue stick and liquid glue (white, all-purpose will work fine)

-Scissors

-Metal ruler

-Utility knife / matte knife

-Sandpaper (approximately 120 grit)

Step 1: Download and Print

PDF Document. It should be correctly formatted to print at 100% scale on 8.5" x 11" paper.

Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces

Leave the corners and the v-shape indentations on the sides of the wing in place for now.

Step 3: Fold and Glue Wing

The front section of the wing folds down and under. The dotted line becomes the leading edge. Use a consistent, thin layer of glue. Place a heavy book on top and allow it to dry for at least 15 minutes.

Step 4: Shape the Popsicle Stick

Use the reference diagram in the plans. CAUTION! Using a sharp tool on a small object is problematic. Hold the stick down very firmly and make light passes with the blade. Next, use sand paper to smooth rough edges and remove about half a millimeter of material off the top and bottom. Make sure the top of the stick is flat and straight.

Step 5: Make the Creases

Dotted lines on the horizontal stabilizer, fin, and braces should be creased.

Step 6: Finish the Wing

Trim the corners and make cuts on the four short black lines at the center. Give the wings a little undercamber by sliding the leading and trailing edges over the edge of table while gently pressing down. Use the undercamber reference on the plans. Lastly, use the ruler to establish the two creases at the center line of the wing.

Step 7: Attach the Braces and Assemble the Tail

Use liquid glue for these steps. Attach the wing braces to the sides of the stick. Attach the fin braces to the top of the horizontal stabilizer (allowing a 1mm gap) and wait a minute. Spread the top sections of the fin braces, apply a little glue, put the fin in place, and pinch the braces against the sides of the fin.

Step 8: Attach the Tail and Wing

Use liquid glue for these steps. Apply glue on the top sections of the wing braces. Place the wing in position. Pinch were the braces contact the underside of the wing. Use a narrow object (such as the scrap of the popsicle stick) to press down the tabs at the front and back of the center line of the wing. Make sure the glue has bonded well. It's okay if the middle rises above the top of the fuselage a little bit. Lastly, apply glue and place the tail in position. Keep an eye on it as the glue dries. The tail might wander to the left or right (as seen above) and must be nudged back to a horizontal position.

Step 9: Adjust Wing As Glue Dries

Raise the wingtips about 15 degrees above horizontal, and reestablish the undercamber a little by pinching along the leading and trailing edges. Note that the leading and trailing edges drop below the top of the fuselage.

Step 10: Finishing Touches and Flight

Slide the eraser over the nose and make sure the elevator is raised slightly. Conduct some test flights indoors. Throw the plane gently and level. If it quickly pitches down, raise the elevator a little more. If it noses up too much, lower the elevator a little and/or slide the eraser forward a bit.

When outdoors, remember that even a slight breeze will influence the flight of the plane significantly. When throwing into a breeze extra lift is created under the wings and the plane tends to pitch up. When throwing with the breeze the plane may have additional speed but may also tend to pitch down. Throwing transverse to the breeze can be fun. Try throwing the plane in such a way that it turns into the breeze, which will allow it to gain altitude. As it finishes the turn it will gain a tailwind and speed.

I do not recommend trying to chuck this plane with all your might. The wing roots aren't very strong. Neither do I recommend throwing it at a steep upward angle, unless you're trying to make it loop, which it definitely can do when the elevator is raised.

CAUTION! A wingtip to the eye could cause serious injury. Be careful when throwing. If other people are around, allow a safe distance.

Step 11: Video

Flights and build montage!

2 People Made This Project!

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33 Comments

2
Rede2fly
Rede2fly

6 months ago

I made a number of them and the only real change was to use a 3" dia tube as a form for the wing curvature. Immediately after applying Elmer's to the fold, wrap the wing, longitudinally around the tube, using another piece of card stock and rubber bands as a 'vice' to hold it to the tube. Let it dry and remove from the tube. Now you have a nice wing profile which will generate lift.

0
zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Reply 6 months ago

: )

0
rbridge3
rbridge3

Question 6 months ago on Step 8

I wanted to ask also about the extra wing in the downloaded patterns...but I conclude it is simply a spare, to use if the first one is damaged? Planning to do the project over Zoom: grandpa in Ensenada, Mexico, grandson in New Westminster, BC Canada. Gathering materials now, setting a project date soon, during the Christmas break...rbridge, Ensenada, Baja California.

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zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Reply 6 months ago

Each sheet actually has parts for two complete planes. ¡Dos por uno, amigo! Hope you enjoy the time with family; I also have to do that over Zoom. Thanks for your question.

2
LVB
LVB

6 months ago

This is exactly the kind of project that initially drew me to Instructables. (I'm so tired of all the 57,000-steps-and-need-to-be-an-expert-engineer projects.) Anyway, I will simply repeat what marcdraco said: "That is just - perfect. Not just simple and engaging but darn good fun!" Thank you!

0
zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Reply 6 months ago

Thanks! I'll try to make a few more in this range of difficulty.

0
demosthien
demosthien

6 months ago

Great design, and great intractable. I'm keen to get my kids to make some of these up!

0
zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Reply 6 months ago

: )

1
charlessenf-gm
charlessenf-gm

6 months ago

Well, where does one Upvote for this brilliant bit of shoestring aerodynamics? I had to go all the way up to the top/beginning to find a Favorite button. Seems like that button should be located down here where one lands after reading all the steps - Is Management Listing?

FavoriteButton.bmp
0
zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Reply 6 months ago

'Preciate it.

0
zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Reply 6 months ago

thank you

0
Lev01
Lev01

Question 1 year ago

miért nincs meg magyarul (in eglish: why isn't this in english?)

0
atillakocsis
atillakocsis

Answer 6 months ago

En is aszt akarom tudni.

0
LVB
LVB

Reply 6 months ago

egy kicsit beszélek magyarul (de nagyon kevés). jó reggelt kívánok!

0
Jebedai
Jebedai

Question 1 year ago

My question is what do you do with the other wing? The PDF has 2 wing sections and i see only one wing section being used with the leading edge glued over, which i had assumed would serve as the ailerons but its just for reinforcement i guess, but the other wing section (i assumed it was the bottom) isn't being used or demonstrated. Any clarification on that? Thanks

1
zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Answer 1 year ago

Thanks for your question. There are two complete planes per sheet. So, yes, there are two wings, but also two vertical stabilizers, etc. ... You are correct in saying that the folded-over portion helps strengthens the wing by making it more rigid and making the leading edge more durable. It also helps with fore-aft balance. ... If the plane tends to roll slightly to the right or left, sometimes that is just a consequence of yaw, and a rudder adjustment will fix it.

0
Lev01
Lev01

Tip 1 year ago

The cardboard is A4 size.

1
zdedesigns
zdedesigns

Reply 1 year ago

Not exactly, but A4 is close to 8.5" x 11".