Those store bought balsa gliders are just too flimsy, especially when in the hands of a 6 or 7 year old. This awesome glider will only take 15 minutes of your time to build! I have made quite a few of these little gliders, and done crazy things to them including: ( I don't recommend you do this) throwing them into the ceiling fan, trying to hit it with a tennis ball while in flight, etc. Surprisingly most of them are still airworthy and pretty good looking.
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Step 1: Gather your supplies.
2. zip ties (optional)
3. paper clips
4. BBQ skewers (optional for leading edge reinforcement)
5. block of hard balsa wood
6. hobby knife
7. duct tape
8. foam board
Step 2: Cut a slice of balsa about 1 inch wide by 8 inches long.
Step 3: Cut out the wing. About 7 inches long and 3 inches wide at its widest point.
Step 4: Cut the foam down the center of the wing (but only half way through!) for the dihedral.
Step 5: Squirt some glue in the crevice that you cut previously.
Step 6: Before the glue dries, bring the sides slightly together, and hold the 2 sides at a 5 degree angle.
Step 7: Put a some glue on the middle of the wing, right on top of the seam you just glued.
The wings should angle slightly UP toward the top of the plane, not the other way around.
Step 8: Glue the wing on the fuselage.
Step 9: Cut out the tail feathers to the dimensions described below.
The vertical stabilizer should be 3'' tall and 1-1/2'' long at the longest point.
The horizontal stabilizer should be 4'' long and 1-1/2'' wide.
Step 10: Glue them together.
Step 11: Glue the tail assembly to the fuselage.
Step 12: Detach about 5 inches of tape and stick 8 paper clips as shown.
The purpose of this is to add weight to the nose of the plane.
Step 13: Stick the tape/paperclip assembly to the nose of the plane.
Step 14: Add the optional zip ties.
This keeps the weight on the nose of the plane, even under insane flying conditions.