Balsa Glider Project Essay Example
A glider is an unpowered aircraft that rises naturally in the atmosphere. It is designed to fly for long periods without artificial propulsion . Gliders could be used to carry loads of varying weights depending on their design and purpose. They are mostly used for recreational purposes whereby people hang on to the gliders and jump from high points to give the glider enough time to experience the upward the upward air currents with the load attached. The essay discusses the dos and don’ts of constructing a balsa wood glider. The balsa wood glider in question should be one that can be launched indoors using a catapult. The tuning determines the reaction of the glider when it is launched using a hand-held catapult. There are also toy gliders that are designed for fun uses. Such are designed to fly within a certain height range when launched . They usually don’t go too high.
When constructing a balsa glider, there are the basic aerodynamic procedures and rules that have to be followed. They include the balancing of the two halves of the balsa glider, the size and weight of the wings in comparison to the overall weight of the glider and the intended flying technique. The weight of the glider does not matter, as long as its center mass is kept at a quarter of the chord. The heavier the glider, the faster it flies . The lighter ones tend to fly slower. For this project, a lighter glider could be important for the purpose of holding the glider up in the air for a long time.
The wings of the glider should be wide enough to allow the effect of the air currents on the glider. The design of the glider should cater for the stability of the glider. The more stable a glider is, the higher the chances of staying in the air for long. Unstable gliders are not sustained by the air currents and depending on the extent of the irregularity, the gliders could vary from those that cannot fly at all, and those that fall as soon as the momentum force is over. They behave like a propelled arrow.
The glider in question should be constructed using balsa wood, any type of glue and modeling clay. For the sake of small identifications and distinctions, ink is recommended. However, unnecessary paintings are discouraged, especially if they are for decorative purposes. The balsa glider project requires that the glider be designed and constructed by the contestant. The contestant should also be responsible for its repair and launch that shall be done during the competition. To enable the launch of the glider using the catapult, the glider should be constructed with a hook beneath the fuselage. The weight of the glider is the designer’s choice, so is the size. The details of the competitor such as their school should be indicated clearly on the glider. For the launching, only the catapults provided should be used. In addition to that, gliders that go beyond a release of six feet shall be penalized. The launching allows for the glider to be released towards any direction from the point of release.
The failure to comply with the use of the materials that rare laid out for the construction of the glider amounts to immediate disqualification. Construction of a flush notch on the fuselage’s underside is prohibited. The hook should be constructed as a separate structure from the fuselage. Modifications should not be done after the submission of the glider for judgment.
All gliders use the same techniques for construction. The glider project has standard requirements for every glider to ensure uniformity and ease in judging. Toy gliders apply the basic skills of aerodynamics. They are designed to work within the confines of a room. The project has specifications on the materials and methods that should be followed to avoid being disqualified.
DSGC. (2015). What is Gliding. Retrieved Feb 24th, 2015, from DSGC:
Krishanderan, K. (2015). Design of a Model Glider. Retrieved Feb 24th, 2015, from
The Basics of Toy Glider Physics. (2015). Retrieved Feb 24th, 2015, from Gliderphysics:
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