Balsa Glider

picture of balsa glider

The balsa glider plane is made out of thin pieces of wood that are very lightweight. It's an ideal flying toy. The most popular gliders are powered by rubber bands that are wound up, and when released they turn a propeller which pushes the glider through the air. Some people make their own gliders, which is certainly very doable, but as a kid I always bought the kits used to make the gliders. I went through many of them, as they usually didn't last very long. Their lightweight and thin materials don't make them durable. But their low cost makes them worth the buy.

Check out a video of a glider:



Since the glider is essentially a miniature plane, it obeys the same basic principles of flight as a regular plane. You need wings, a body, and a tail section to enable flight. The motor makes the plane fly farther and faster. But even without a motor, a plane can always glide for some distance before landing. This is due to its aerodynamic shape.

If you want to make the glider fly farther you can give it an initial throw. You can also point the glider straight up and see if it will fly straight up. This means that the propeller power is strong enough to lift the weight of the glider.

If you want to be creative you can join two gliders together and make a twin engine glider, like this man did:





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