Launch It: the Huffin' Hoopster




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So, Launch It...hmmmm...

I've got a simple rocket I could do, or quite a good glider... but, which to do?

I know - I'll combine the two!

See the resulting video in step four.

Step 1: Materials

Not breaking with my track record, you don't need much for this Instructable:

Paper, sticky tape (you can save hands if it's in a dispenser), scissors and a narrow tube of some kind (a drinking straw is perfect).

Step 2: The Fuselage

Cut a strip of paper from the end of the sheet (just a few centimetres wide), roll it into a tube around the straw and tape it in shape.

Make sure it's snug, but not so tight that it can't slip off the straw.

Fold the end of the tube over and tape it. The folded end of the tube will be the front of the Huffin' Hoopster.

Step 3: The Wings.

When the Huffin' Hoopster starts gliding, it is a canard glider - the small wings go in front.

You need two rectangular strips of paper. The exact dimensions don't matter at this point, but one should be shorter and narrower than the other.

Roll both strips into hoops (so Hoopster) and fix with a small piece of tape.

Step 4: Construction and Launch.

Thread the fuselage through both the hoops (make sure the smaller hoop goes at the sealed end) and tape in place. You need to take care with the alignment of the hoops so that the glide-path is nice and straight.

Slip the Huffin' Hoopster back onto the straw, put the straw to your lips, point the HH skyward and blow.

This slightly revised version of the video is ve2vfd's fault...

Step 5: The Science Bit.

Remember when I said that the dimensions of the wings weren't important?

They're not important to make a flying HH, but they're critical to making the bestHuffin' Hoopster.

  • Vary the dimensions of both wings to find the best configuration for a slow glider or a rapid dart.
  • Change the positions of the two hoops to see what that does to the flight.
  • Change the length of the fuselage to see what happens to the stability of the flight.
  • Even change the number of hoops to see what that does.

And remember: if you're doing this scientifically, only change one thing at a time to make sure the test is fair; repeat each test several times to make sure your results are reliable; record everything clearly to make your conclusions clear.



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    26 Discussions


    5 months ago

    This style of airplane is my favorite. I learned of it from "The Great International Paper Airplane Book" written by Jerry Mander and first published in 1967. I once bet 25 cents on it being an awesome long distance flyer. It is plane 18 in the book.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made one of these out of a 5 ft long core ( the cardboard tube left over after the gift warp is used) and some 3 in wide chip board. A paper airplane this sixe can easily fly over a fifty yards.

    3 replies

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Thanks Kiteman !! It would be a good thing to use when my children are home !!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Nothing new under the Sun, as they say.

    Simple stuff like this gets independently re-invented all the time.


    your letting your kids snort crack through a straw!!? oh wait i didn't read half the instructable nor the title lol


    11 years ago on Introduction

    i think pvc would be bettert han a drinking straw. or a pen. or an air gun barrel


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! I'll have to remember that one for an activity for my troop when we restart in sept :) I loved the little movie, would have looked even cooler in black and white or sepia :) slow framerate + b/w + your kid with the welding gogles... would have been pretty nifty!

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I tried your idea, and liked it. See the new version in step four.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool , I will add this to the straw rockets the sixth grade kids get to make


    11 years ago on Introduction

    i don't think those are OSHA rated saftey goggles :P heheh always fun to do stuff with the kids (now where's that rating button...those gremlins need an instructables shirt)