This is a simple “chuck” glider, suitable for making out of scrap foamboard in an afternoon. The wing consists of a closed wing made from three flat pieces of foamboard taped together, with camber added by bending and gluing the cut tabs as shown. The tail is of similar construction; simply cut the piece as indicated, then glue and tape the ends together. Build plans are available at the end of this article.
“The Hoop” was designed to be able to use electronics from old coaxial helicopters; this test glider version still implements the deck where the electronics mount – essentially three popsickle sticks that separate the left and right portions of the lower wing and allow mounting of a payload. The glider and does not have a conventional fuselage; rather, two bamboo barbecue skewers support the tail. Twist the pointed ends of the skewers into the formboard tail, then glue them flat against the wing, as shown.
The proper weight and balance for this model will depend on how it is constructed, but most builders will probably find that their glider flies best with the center of gravity (balance point or CG) located about 1/3 of the chord length (width) of the wing, as measured from the leading edge. We used a small bolt as ballast, but almost any small and heavy object would work, provided it can be mounted safely.
You should now be able to begin test flight with your glider. As with most of our designs, flight characteristics will greatly benefit from gentle, straight- ahead tosses, rather than hard throws. Keep adjusting the balance and tweak the wings and tail until you are satisfied before launching your glider from high places for best performance.
Some modelers may notice that the upper portion of their Hoop’s closed wing appears to move or “bounce” during flight. This phenomenon, known as aeroflutter, can be mitigated by gluing in cabane struts (made from light-gauge steel wire and office-tape fairings) between the wings to increase stiffness; in test flights, we were able to fly our prototype far longer with the struts installed.
The option of whether or not to include these struts is still left to the builder, however, and because this is a fairly easy and fast build, we encourage you to add motors and power, cover the model with packing tape, decorate with stickers, or any other modifications or improvements you can think of. Enjoy flying!