Red Baron Hand Launched Glider

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About: I learn then smile for others, hopefully, to smile then learn.

Intro: Red Baron Hand Launched Glider

"Red Baron Hand Launched Glider" is a hybrid PLA / balsa wood hand launched glider. Weighing in at a scant 11g (.4oz) before balancing, this model features the Mr. Schulz "Snoopy" character at the helm of his flying doghouse and is designed for indoor / calm weather outdoor flying.

The design combines a 3D printed fuselage structure in conjunction with balsa wood flight surfaces in order to minimize weight and increase glide performance. Consisting of only three 3D printed fuselage components, and three 3D printed templates (used for cutting the four flight surfaces from 1/32" balsa wood), this model is pretty easy to print, assemble and fly. I used 3D printed templates for cutting the flight surfaces knowing I had many more of these to make.

As usual, I probably forgot a file or two or who knows what else, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask as I do make mistakes in plenty.

Designed using Autodesk Fusion 360, sliced using Cura 3.4.1 and printed in PLA on both an Ultimaker 2+ Extended and an Ultimaker 3 Extended.

Step 1: Purchase, Print and Prepare the Parts.

I purchased a 1/32" by 4" by 36" sheet of balsa and some neodymium disk magnets (I used two 12mm diameter disk magnets for balance) from my local hobby shop.

I printed one each of all parts at .1mm layer height, 20% infill, and printed "Fuselage, Tail.stl" using a brim.

Using the template parts as a guide, I cut two wings and one each of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers from the balsa sheet. Note the grain orientation when cutting the wings and stabilizers. Once cut, I sanded the edges of the balsa parts using 220 grit sandpaper.

Step 2: Assemble the Tail Section.

Slide the horizontal stabilizer into "Fuselage, Tail.stl" as shown, making sure it is centered.

Slide the vertical stabilizer into the assembly as shown.

Secure both stabilizers in position using small dots of thick cyanoacrylate glue.

Step 3: Assemble the Wing.

Press one wing into "Wing, Root.stl" as shown. Note the photograph shows the wing root thumb grip closest to the camera.

Press the second wing into the assembly as shown.

Step 4: Final Assembly and Test.

Press the tail assembly onto "Fuselage.stl" as shown.

Press the wing assembly onto the fuselage in the approximate location as shown.

Attach the two magnets to the fuselage in the approximate location as shown.

To fly the glider, grip the thumb grip on the wing assembly using your thumb and index finger as shown, then gently throw the glider into level flight. Examine the flight path and if the glider "stalls", slide the wing assembly towards the rear of the glider, if the glider noses down, slide the wing assembly towards the front of the glider. The magnets position and size may need to be adjusted in conjunction with wing assembly movement. Once your glider flies to your liking, fix the magnets and wing assembly into position using small dots of cyanoacrylate glue.

That is how I printed and assembled "Red Baron Hand Launched Glider".

Hope you enjoyed it!

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    18 Discussions

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    pgs070947

    14 days ago on Step 2

    I like it.

    I used to spend hours on these simple "chuck"/"stick" gliders as a kid - no screens to distract then.

    Your design has a lot of potential.

    3 replies
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    gzumwaltpgs070947

    Reply 14 days ago

    Thanks, I'm glad you do!

    I also spent many hours flying the old hand launched and rubber powered gliders.

    I just tried for once to create a simpler design, hope I succeeded.

    Greg

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    pgs070947gzumwalt

    Reply 13 days ago

    I missed the significance of the magnets.

    What a great way to add the balance and adjust it.

    Brilliant design

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    nearboston

    15 days ago on Step 1

    Nice project, very well presented.

    One thing.....Snoopy flew a Sopwith Camel..... Biplane. lol

    5 replies
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    TheOriginalNerdnearboston

    Reply 14 days ago

    No. Snoopy "flew" his doghouse and imagined he was flying a Sopwith Camel. Maybe we can imagine it's a biplane. Seems like there's not much left to imagine. Gzumwalt has made it fly, so we only have to imagine one more set of wings.

    BTW: Gzumwalt, thanks, it's great to see Snoopy and his doghouse flying again!!

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    gzumwaltTheOriginalNerd

    Reply 14 days ago

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

    I mentioned in a previous reply the biplane version was too heavy to fly at this size. The goal was to design a printable fuselage to fit as many printers as possible.

    Thanks again!

    Greg

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    gzumwaltnearboston

    Reply 14 days ago

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

    P.S. The biplane was too heavy at this size to fly.

    Greg

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    dpeachnearboston

    Reply 15 days ago

    Oooh, that sounds great. You want to design it for us? Would be fun to print and fly alongside this one.

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    gralan

    14 days ago

    It is great to see Snoopy flying after the Red Baron yet again. It was my favorite book, bought with my chore money in the '60s. Yeah, I know.

    2 replies
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    gzumwaltgralan

    Reply 14 days ago

    I'm glad it brought back a good memory for you.

    Greg

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    jmcdonald23

    Question 14 days ago

    How much to purchase a kit from you? I do not have access to a 3D printer.

    1 more answer
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    gzumwaltjmcdonald23

    Answer 14 days ago

    Is there a Fab Lab near you? If not, perhaps a 3D print hub?

    Greg

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    wclapie

    15 days ago

    I for one don't care. Great plane! Where could you order the parts? I don't happen to have a parts printer laying around.

    2 replies
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    gzumwaltwclapie

    Reply 14 days ago

    Thanks, glad you liked it!

    A Fab Lab with a 3D printer could help, or maybe a print hub?

    Thanks again,

    Greg

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    gorozcowclapie

    Reply 14 days ago

    There is many places that print those for you just google it and find a place close to you, some places are expensive so check the prices before.

    Gabriel