Build and Surf an Origami Hang Glider on a Wave of Air (revised August 22, 2010)

Good News! I have completed (July 2011) instructions for foam gliders, which I think 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). To check out foam gliders, go here.

Shortcut to the EZR Origami Hang Glider Pattern (PDF)

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.
https://sites.google.com/site/controllableslopesoaring/Home/paperairplanewalkalonggliders/modifiedorigamihangglider And check out the rest of Phil's site and his book about walkalong gliders.

If you want to know more about the history of walkalong gliding, there is great new material, including interviews with the pioneers of walkalong flight.

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. Check back soon to see foam gliders

 

I started walkalong gliders with paper. It's ubiquitous. But I have moved to thin foam now. Paper is much heavier and not as strong as .5mm eps foam. Paper is tricky to adjust (trim) and affected my humidity (becomes limp). Now I use thin foam that flies much more slowly than paper giving people time to think and react as they fly. Phyics Professor Makarius e os Alunos Gilvane sent this video of flying his paper EZRglider in Brazil. Notice that it flies quite fast and it can be tricky to adjust the glide. He is flying it very well, but I cannot recommend this as a design for beginners.


If YouTube is blocked at your school, try this SchoolTube equivalent link Part 1 Here are some still shots from the introductory video. If you would rather start walkalong gliding with an easier to build project, go here to the tumblewing instead.

If YouTube is blocked at your school, try this SchoolTube equivalent link Part 2 Here are some still shots from Part 2, the construction video.

 

If YouTube is blocked at your school, try this SchoolTube equivalent link Part 3 Here are some still shots from Part 3, more construction.

If YouTube is blocked at your school, try this SchoolTube equivalent link Part 4 Here are some still shots from Part 4, adjusting and flying. 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.

Part 5: Advanced Flying (with your hands)

If YouTube is blocked at your school, try this SchoolTube equivalent link Part 5 Here are some still shots from Part 5, flying with only your hands

Here is a video that shows how our origami hand glider flies using the same principle as big hang gliders

 

Here is the SchoolTube equivalent

Here is a video about the Walkalong Glider History and New Directions. Here is some text explanation for the images.

 

Here is the SchoolTube equivalent

Finally, here is great clip from Scientific American Frontiers. The program was mostly about Dr. Paul MacCready, the inspiring pioneer of human powered flight. However, this was a segment about his son, Dr. Tyler MacCready, and his foam walkalong glider (commercially available, see YouTube text box). Also, check out this preview of excellent video (it won an Academy Award for best short documentary) about the making of the human-powered Gossamer Condor. You can see a teenage Tyler both test piloting the airplane and flying a walkalong glider.

How did the project go for you? Contact me

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