Brian Reed created some cool flow analysis simulations for the Baby Bug and the board that deflects the air upward. On the glider simulation, the vortices at the tips—caused by higher pressure air under the wing moving to the lower pressure on top of the wing-- really stand out. More of Brian's simulations here.
For several years Dr. Jérõme Noir has been reinforcing theory in his Fluid Dynamics course with hands-on activities, including walkalong gliders. He and his students at the ETH Zurich University Institut fur Geophysik in Switzerland made a really fun, silly video of their flying. More about walkalong gliders here.
The easiest way I have found to start flying walkalong gliders.
These are exciting times! On one hand our foam sheets are much better than ever before: 45% thicker without any added weight. The sheets and gliders are still thin, but it's not like handling soap bubbles anymore! On the other hand, the instructions for making the gliders have not kept up. Better directions are in the pipeline. So if you have flight experience or are a repeat customer, I think you'll love the new foam sheets for making gliders. If you are new to flight, then you might want to stick to ready-to-fly gliders--which are better than ever--until I can finish the new instructions. GOOD CHANGES COMING SOON!
We're working out new technology to make stronger foam sheets without adding any more weight. So the foam store is closed until early July. We are also trying to finish a new instructional video for making and flying gliders.
It's not science toy, but it is science. I just aced PA motorcycle road test. This is what I learned.(including the dreaded figure-8)
Dr. Tim Swait is a UK aerospace and composite materials engineer as well as a passionate hang glider pilot. At events he uses sciencetoymaker.org walkalong gliders to interest young people because both walkalong and hang gliders levitate the same way. Now Tim wants to secure the future of the UK’s only hang gliding manufacturer. Check out his amazing video and check out walkalong gliders at sciencetoymaker.org.
Doc Mécano, AKA Philippe Moisan from Québec City, is a master of other-worldly ramp walkers and other mechanical toys. He works to interest kids in science and tools through programs in schools and libraries. I thought ramp walkers would be very hard, but he says simple ones can be made from common bendable materials. Check out his other videos, too.
I have been working on windup helicopter designs for a year: one that you make
the propeller out of a 2-liter bottle that goes much higher than tall trees (above);
and an easier kind for young kids. Find out more here.
I learned so much from the Science Online videos and I'm sad that the force behind them--Wayne Campbell--has passed. My favorites are the historical invention ones such as Faraday's first electric motor and Bell's photophone. Wayne did not just talk about them; he showed us how to make them! All of his videos are treasures.