Homemade Hang Glider




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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.



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    12 Discussions


    Question 4 months ago on Step 4

    Hello, a friend and I are trying to build a hang glider this summer with a similar design! We were wondering, where did you get your aluminum tubing? All the places we've looked are pretty expensive.

    1 more answer

    Answer 4 months ago

    @AnnabelleP5, Metal warehouses are normally expensive aluminum, you could check scrapyards and old dumps, but if you cant find anything I would suggest using bamboo, and if you do use bamboo, I would be welcome to hand you plans of a bamboo version of my glider.


    7 months ago

    Soo cool, but I don't think I would trust something i built.


    1 year ago

    I'll see your running with scissors and raise you a homemade hang glider. This is so cool. Well done!


    1 year ago

    kudos for enthusiasm young man, bravo, you have true diy spirit..maybe you could insert some drawings of assembly with specs

    desposito adinolfi

    1 year ago

    A little advice.... Be very very carefull! Running on a slope is very dangerous whith gliders, couse you are at the point closest to the ground. You have to be trained and you have to warm your muscles, just like before doing any sport.
    I break my ligaments whith a little jump on the grass, while practicing paragliding, very very easily. My legs was cold and untrained! It costs me a surgical intervention and a lot of pain. Train your legs, because they are the first to come into contact with the ground.


    1 year ago

    this is fantastic.


    1 year ago

    The very best to you! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm.


    1 year ago

    Great Idea...BUT...save your money and buy a good used modern glider, get proper instruction and enjoy the sport. You are to be admired for starting way back at the beginning of the sport but that is not at all necessary - if you really want to fly. To actually get into the air and enjoy flying for a few hours you will need proper equipment and instruction. Good Work.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    I have taken hang gliding classes, it was fun, but nothing beats homebuilt flight!