Yikes! You are surfing a paper airplane on an invisible wave of air that you create with a piece of cardboard. With practice you learn how to levitate the origami hang glider using only your hands to create the wave.
Note: I think foam gliders are much better for beginners: easier to adjust, lighter weight so you have more time to react, not affected by high humidity (makes paper limp). Check out foam walkalong gliders.
New Twist: an origami expert in Taiwan, who goes by the moniker "Ponder", has modified the Origami Hang Glider design. My friend Phil Rossoni in Boston made it and thinks it's an improvement over the original. As Phil wrote, " I think the new design by Ponder does bring some origami expertise to the old hang glider design. I think the transition from mountain to valley folds couples the elevon to the airfoil folds such that if either flexes the other is strengthened. So if the glider stresses it would fly slower as the flexing in the airfoil would translate into an increase in the elevon angle and slow the glider down." You can see the links to Ponder's pages, some pictures and YouTube flights Phil did with the design, here. And check out the rest of Phil's site and his book about walkalong gliders.
- EZR Origami Hang Glider Pattern (PDF)
- If you would rather start paper walkalong gliding with an easier to build project, try the tumblewing instead. (Foam walkalong gliding is much easier)
It is not clear in the video, but the center of gravity marks are only starting points. You can add tape if it stalls or cut off tape if it dives.
How Origami Hang Glider Flies
Here is a video that shows how our origami hand glider flies using the same principle as big hang gliders.