Author Options:

What do i consider while making a flying machine? Answered

For a while i've been studying, designing, and building hang gliders. To my great disapointment however, none of them have even glided. I am starting to think there are more things to consider than just center of gravity, balance, and the over all "lightness" of the craft. Are there more things i should consider? I have also pondered upon the idea to make a Ultralight Helicopter, or somthing along those lines. What are some things i need to consider beond what i've already mentioned?



Best Answer 8 years ago

well, if you want to start on a hand glider, might i suggest, rather than have a mouse fly a model one, go and build a quick , yet massive, tarp kite, and see how big you can get it, and fly it, (a standard 4mX4m will lift you up if the frame doesnt snap), and see how it can be improved, how it flyes, and basically study it in action, then try and shape it more like a hand glider, and soon youll be flying a childrens size handglider on the end of a string, then simply build another bigger, and whammo, its done.

a word of advice

make the wings larger than they need, and basically try and copy the idea for pre-existing ones, theres no use trying to re-invent it , as its already been made. lastly, make sure its areodynamic, if it flapps and flops in the wind, its never going to fly, remember the kite idea.

im certain mythbusters built a gliding car, and it worked to breifly befor eit broke, or perhaps it was scraphead challenge, anyway, look into it, and size it down.



8 years ago

The most important thing to consider for human flight is that it only takes one failure for you to hurt yourself, and that having survived one flight is no guarantee that it, or you, will survive the next. (Stress can do progressive damage...) Never push a homemade vehicle higher or faster than you are willing to fall or be thrown, and remember that safety equipment (including someone else who can call 911 for you) is NOT OPTIONAL.

(If it sounds like I'm trying to discourage DIY flight... yes, I am, unless you are working with folks who have some expertise in this area. In which case you should be asking them rather than us.)

More directly to your question: Remember that the wing has to actually produce enough lift (not just drag) to counter its weight plus that of its payload. If you're counting only on drag, what you've got is an undersized, rigid, and badly designed parachute. Simply making a large kite won't do it unless you plan to fly only in hurricanes and only while tethered.


8 years ago

You might find it enlightening to look at some of the old films that were made around the turn of the century (19**) . There were a lot of people who decided to try just what your talking about. I always liked the one of the guy who strapped a rocket to his back while on ice skates. He set his butt on fire, what a surprise.
When we learn from those types of mistakes we make improvements. Its way better than repeating them.


8 years ago

The shape of the wings in cross-section (the "profile").

Look at the profile of existing hang-gliders, as well as rigid-wing gliders and birds.

If your profile doesn't match theirs, at least approximately, then you're not going to get lift.

Plus, gliders need longer, narrower wings than powered craft.