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Solved Glider challenge.

#1
Recently in a class I’m taking at school, we’ve been tasked to design and fly “gliders”. The object is to see who can get theirs to go the furthest (an easy design/engineering high school course). The parameters of the project are that the dimensions all have to be at or under 12 inches wingspan and from nose to tail as well. And the planes have to have a wing, fuselage, horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The issue I have with this project is that it’s not really displaying the characteristics of actual gliders due to the fact that we are trying to get them to go as far as possible in a straight line instead of testing them based on the length of time spent in the glide slope in a circular pattern like normal gliders. I’ve tried multiple designs including a swing wing that actually worked quite well but wouldn’t in this application for to the flying straight. (The wings fold out when air pressure from the launch has subsided to the point that they can spread. In order to succeed I’ll need a fast speed for the entire span of the flight).

I think that the best way to go about making a new design that follows the parameters is to launch the glider with as much speed as possible to get it to fly basically like an arrow. Small wings, swept back, like a dart. We are allowed to use rubber bands and whatever we want to launch, as long as the energy stored in the contraption comes from the person launching. Also no propellers. So I can’t use a wind up rubber band thing. 😕

Another option I brainstormed and messed around with was walk along gliders. Basically it’s a piece of paper folded into a glider and the pilot walks behind the glider as it flies with a large flat object like a piece of cardboard, creating basically a thermal that the glider rides on. I got my design plans cleared for this so it is legal in this application. 😁 I haven’t had too much success though with the gliders I’ve been building out of light paper.

If you took the time to read all of this first, thanks you. Second, leave any advice about which direction I should look when building this thing, or any walk along glider designs that are good and meet the parameters mentioned above.
 

quorneng

Well-known member
#2
Mandoman21
Is there any limits on the launch speed, launch height or the plane's weight?
Clearly a good cricketer can throw a cricket ball well over 100 ft. It is not flying in the conventional sense but a small heavy glider could still be thrown/glide a long way.
Most of these sort of competitions do have launch limitations to ban this sort of thing.

If you are sure a 'walk along glider' is legal (but I have my doubts, do the rules state uncontrolled glide?) then that is the way to go as the distance is virtually unlimited and its direction can be controlled too. The big problem is they do have to be incredibly light (0.5 mm thick foam?) particularly at the size set by your project.
A Google search "Walk along glider" will give you quite a bit of information and various examples.
 
#4
Mandoman21
Is there any limits on the launch speed, launch height or the plane's weight?
Clearly a good cricketer can throw a cricket ball well over 100 ft. It is not flying in the conventional sense but a small heavy glider could still be thrown/glide a long way.
Most of these sort of competitions do have launch limitations to ban this sort of thing.

If you are sure a 'walk along glider' is legal (but I have my doubts, do the rules state uncontrolled glide?) then that is the way to go as the distance is virtually unlimited and its direction can be controlled too. The big problem is they do have to be incredibly light (0.5 mm thick foam?) particularly at the size set by your project.
A Google search "Walk along glider" will give you quite a bit of information and various examples.
The competition is very elementary in the fact that there isn’t any specific rules that regulate materials or launch apparatus. And a walk along glider is 100% legal in every respect. It doesn’t matter that it’s controlled flight. I could probably get away with using servos as well. The energy for the flight is still coming from me the pilot. I was looking into the walk along because of it’s indefinite flight capabilities, as you mentioned.

Launch speed doesn’t matter, launch height is as high as I can reach from the ground I’m assuming. I’ll check. And there is no weight limit. As I said before I have a lot of issues with the way this challenge is being structured.
 

quorneng

Well-known member
#9
Is this project judged in any way?
If so then I suspect 'the how' of your solution will carry more influence than just the distance achieved.
In this respect a 'walk along' glider should do well as it involves achieving a particular type of plane (super light) and quite a degree of skill to fly which means testing & practise prior to the final demonstration.
If you really want to wow! the judges keep a record (with pictures!) of what you did along the way.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#10
Recently in a class I’m taking at school, we’ve been tasked to design and fly “gliders”. The object is to see who can get theirs to go the furthest (an easy design/engineering high school course). The parameters of the project are that the dimensions all have to be at or under 12 inches wingspan and from nose to tail as well. And the planes have to have a wing, fuselage, horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The issue I have with this project is that it’s not really displaying the characteristics of actual gliders due to the fact that we are trying to get them to go as far as possible in a straight line instead of testing them based on the length of time spent in the glide slope in a circular pattern like normal gliders. I’ve tried multiple designs including a swing wing that actually worked quite well but wouldn’t in this application for to the flying straight. (The wings fold out when air pressure from the launch has subsided to the point that they can spread. In order to succeed I’ll need a fast speed for the entire span of the flight).

I think that the best way to go about making a new design that follows the parameters is to launch the glider with as much speed as possible to get it to fly basically like an arrow. Small wings, swept back, like a dart. We are allowed to use rubber bands and whatever we want to launch, as long as the energy stored in the contraption comes from the person launching. Also no propellers. So I can’t use a wind up rubber band thing. 😕

Another option I brainstormed and messed around with was walk along gliders. Basically it’s a piece of paper folded into a glider and the pilot walks behind the glider as it flies with a large flat object like a piece of cardboard, creating basically a thermal that the glider rides on. I got my design plans cleared for this so it is legal in this application. 😁 I haven’t had too much success though with the gliders I’ve been building out of light paper.

If you took the time to read all of this first, thanks you. Second, leave any advice about which direction I should look when building this thing, or any walk along glider designs that are good and meet the parameters mentioned above.
Don't know if you have any other limitations but here are two options.

 
#11
Is this project judged in any way?
If so then I suspect 'the how' of your solution will carry more influence than just the distance achieved.
In this respect a 'walk along' glider should do well as it involves achieving a particular type of plane (super light) and quite a degree of skill to fly which means testing & practise prior to the final demonstration.
If you really want to wow! the judges keep a record (with pictures!) of what you did along the way.
It’s not judged in any way, literally I’m required to follow the given parameters and then try to get my aircraft to go the farthest. And yes! I agree with you on the walk along, my teacher had never seen/heard of them before. And no one else is going to attempt a walk along.