Kids Home Made Glider Using Depron Foam

Introduction: Kids Home Made Glider Using Depron Foam

About: I've been tinkering, making, designing, building, drawing and doing other creative stuff since I was a kid. These days I own and manage 2 website design and online marketing businesses in Australia and still m…

This glider is a very easy toy to make and fly's jolly well. The idea behind it is kids can learn some basic craft/build skills, appreciate the awesome feeling that comes from making things yourself and can have fun flying it once built! Dad's and Mum's can help their kids make this too (it is recommended to be done with adult or older child supervision permitting they know how to safely use and handle a knife).

In the photo you'll see I had to do a few repairs to the fuselage -- I made this glider for a 6 yr old and a 2 yr old -- the 2 yr old eventually got the hang of how to launch it, but broke it a few times while learning. If it breaks, a few cut pieces of cardboard and sticky tape works a treat for quick repairs.

Step 1: What You'll Need

- 3mm thick Depron Foam Board (purchase from your local Hobby Store)
- Pencil or Pen
- Sharp Knife or blade
- Steel Ruler
- Cutting Board
- Blue Tack
- Sticky Tape
- Glider pattern:

Step 2: Trace and Cut

I don't have time right now to take photos of the entire tracing and cutting process, nor shoot a video. Have just taken one quick photo though. As per any simpler project, just print out the PDF pattern on A4 paper, cut out the pattern then lay it out and trace around it onto your sheet of Depron Foam board. I used lead pencil for this rather than a pen just so there would be no pen lines showing up once cut. This step is also a great one for the kids to be involved with. You'll be able to easily help guide them.

Tips when cutting: If you're a kid and have never cut something like this out before here are some tips: Make sure you cut onto a cutting board (not directly onto your desk, kitchen table or floor, else your parents will be very upset) and use your Steel Rule when needed.

If you've never free-hand cut curves before the trick is to be confident with it, to always look at the line ahead of where you are cutting, rather than where you're actually cutting at that time. Your hand/ the knife blade will always go to where you are looking. By using this trick you'll learn to cut quickly and end up with nice cut curves. You can also use the scoring technique to cut around the objects with light score mark cuts and then keep repeating this till you've cut all the way though the Depron foam material. When cutting Depron Foam this is not really required but if you're new to this then you may want to use scoring rather than cutting all the way through in one go. Up to you. I recommend experimenting with different types of cuts on some scrap Depron first. Practice makes perfect and learning how to free-hand cut curves is a good skill to learn as you'll use it throughout your life as a Craftsman.

Step 3: Assembly

I won't have time to take assembly progress photos atm but I have taken a few photos of various angles and detail shots that you can refer to to easily assemble this glider without additional instruction.

If though you're a kid and/or have not done something like this before here are the basic steps:

  1. Cut out each part of your glider from the Depron board (refer to the previous step for cutting tips).
  2. Once each piece is cut out then start dry-fitting the wings to the Fuselage. You may find you need to cut the slits/holes for the wings slightly larger if the wings don't slide in fully (they should be a snug fit but not too tight nor too loose). Take your time doing this step (be gentle) else you may break it.
  3. Once dry-fit assembled, measure each wing length to make sure each side of each wing is the same length. If they are not just tweak/ adjust then till they are.
  4. Once dry-fit assembly is complete, sight through from the front and back of the glider to check that the wings are perpendicular (at 90 degree angles) to the Fuselage. Adjust them with your hands if they are not.
  5. Next cut small pieces of sticky-tape and gently tape the wings to the Fuselage (make sure you don't angle the wings out of their 90 degree alignment (referring to step 4).
  6. You now have an almost assembled glider. Go ahead and try and fly it ;)
  7. Ok, now that you know it won't glide yet you have probable seen in the pics that you need to add Blue-Tack to the nose (roughly equal amounts on each side) to weight the glider correctly so it will glide. Experiment with the amount of Blue-Tack you use. With just the right amount of Blue-Tack the center of gravity will be directly under the middle of the wings. Do test flights as you go and modify (add or remove Blue-Tack) accordingly till you get good straight flight our of your glider.
  8. Add a Rudder and Ailerons if so desired. Just cut and score them into the wings and tail. This step though is not required.

Step 4: Fly It!

Just hold and release it as you would any glider or paper airplane. Have fun!

Note: You do need to be a bit gentle with this glider as it will break if treated roughly. Mostly though repairs are easy to do and of course it's also easy to cut new parts if for instance one the wings snap.

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    2 Discussions

    Ooo what an awesome use for foam, and it looks like it will glide really well! I love that you thought to point out that this is a kid friendly craft! Welcome to instructables!

    Making stuff - fun and practical
    Making stuff - fun and practical

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks heaps MsSweetSatisfaction :). If you make this little glider I'd luv to see photos of the finished product. I was thinking too that little kids would probably enjoy decorating their glider.