Introduction: Homemade Hang Glider

About: Fun backyard flying stuff!

This is a project I did in less than a week, for around 100$, it is a classic rogollo hang glider, based off the "bamboo butterfly" . This glider flies alright, I did build some things wrong, but it did fly (I am only 15). I am not responsible for any injury.


1.50ft of 6061-t6 aluminum, between .03 or .06 thickness, and one inch diameter to 2 inch tubing. Mine was .05 thickness and 1 inch thick, mine I got were in 12ft lengths, try to get them in 25ft lengths.

2.Plastic drop cloth or tarp. I used a drop cloth 25ft by 20ft on this glider, but on my next one I will use a 30ft by 20ft tarp and sew it on.

3.Gorilla tape

4.string or wire(I used nylon kite string)

5.1/4 3inch bolts (get around 30)

6. eyebolts (get around 10)

7. T connectors

8. Rope and a harness, I used a kiting harness.

9. Bravery

Step 1: Wing

SLEEVING: I had a problem in which I had 12ft lengths of aluminum and I needed a 22ft keel, and I have no special tools, just hand tools. So what I did to connect the tubes is get a 1ft segment of 1 inch steel, put the aluminum in the steel tube and bolt it. I put 2 bolts on each side. (what I should've done to sleeve the pieces is just put a tube on top of the other and bolt it, but I didn't do that) The way I sleeved them worked alright, could've been better.

DIMENSIONS: The keel on mine was 22ft with sail going to 20ft so I had room to connect wiring. My leading edge lengths were 16ft, and my crossbar was 18ft. I put my crossbar at 14ft down from the nose on each leading edge and bolted it. Wingspan is 24.5ft. The nose angle is 85 degrees.

NOSE: I used a t shaped plate I found at the hardware store, and put one on the top and one on the bottom of the tubes so it was strong. I then bolted it in.

SAIL: Lay the frame on top of the sail, then cut it out 1ft away from the frame to give the glider billows. Then either sew on if you are using fabric, or tape on if you are using plastic. (put the plastic under the keel so you do not have to tape it as much)

Step 2: Bracing

Bracing: I did use turnbuckles to tighten the string, but you do not have to use them, just make sure the wire/string is tight. Put the eyebolts on the leading edge 2inches back from the crossbar, and for the keel put the eyebolts 3 inches from the end. You can put a tube sticking up and add bracing on top.

Step 3: Frame

For the bars sticking down from the crossbar they are 3ft long bolted on the crossbar. each tube facing down is 1ft away from the keel. I ran out of aluminum to get to the front of the glider, so I got 9ft segments and made a x out of it, and bolted it on the keel. At the joint between the x strut and the tubes hanging down put a 2ft tube in the corner.

Step 4: FLYING

I had a tiny hill to fly this off of, I still got flights of 40-50ft. You can fly without a harness but it is harder to fly because weight shift and it is harder to lift off. Walk, jog, run. You need a good 10mph wind to fly this thing. If you do not have wind you are only going to get small hops. The glider only flies at around 20mph, you also need a steep hill. I am going to rebuild another glider that has a larger wingspan and more bracing.