Updated: 1 MAR 07 



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Here's plan for a small Hand Launched Glider. It has a 14" wingspan but has proven to be a great HLG for young people and older ones, too. It was designed for my oldest boys when they were pre-teens and they won the awards show below. Just a few years ago, a retired guy in Ohio said he built this glider for his RC club's annual HLG contest - and consistently won!

Actually, to say I 'designed' this glider is not really correct. It was modeled after the Sweepette 19 designed by Lee Hines!

More recently, the glider has been adapted to catapult - and that's easy to do. Add a hook made from large paper clip wire about half-way between the front of the wing and the front end of the nose. The hook should be attached by bending its tail up and forcing it into the bottom of the body. To ensure that it will stay on, wrap the joint with thread and glue.

Make the hook to that shape, about 1/2" long with the hook part about 1/4" high. The tail part should be about 1/8" long.

Also for catapult, make the tail of the body longer so it extends past the stabilizer 3/4" so you will have a place to hold the glider.

For a catapult, the 'official' rules allow a 9" loop of 1/4" rubber. Tie the rubber to the end of a piece of 1/4" dowel or the eraser end of a pencil, so you'll keep your hand clear for launching. Most grown-ups cannot use that much of a loop made from modern Tan II rubber strip because it stretches too easily and full power cannot be developed. Most will be happier using a about a 6" loop. For kids, start with ordinary office-type rubber bands about 1/8" wide X 3" long. Use one or two to start but get the plane to glide well from a gentle hand launch first, before trying to catapult it. The glider will act about the same with the catapult as it does with a hard throw - and it's a lot easier on the arms and shoulders!

Within the last few months, Ben Nead in Tucson, AZ has been using a variation of this design with a group of school kids. It was amazing to see 10-12 pre-teen kids at the Phoenix Model Airplane Club's monthly contest in December '06 ! You may want to contact Ben to learn more about his experiences.

Ben Nead

Here are the files you'll need: HLG1 through 3 are how-tos and pictures; HLG4 is the plan. These files should print OK on a PC. If you're using a MAC, you may have to print them and then go to a copier and scale the prints so that the half-wing pattern measures 7".






Email questions or comments to AL