• Walkalong Gliders

    90,617 views 6 years ago
    This is text to explain the video. I cannot fit it all here. The full text is here. https://goo.gl/PGFdAn

    But first, the beautiful music—"Willow Girl", "The Field in the Forest" & "The Windy Hemlock"--is by the trio Crowfoot.
    They are playing at the Institute of Musical Traditions

    Much more information about Walkalong Gliders/Air-Surfing and links at https://goo.gl/JUHoUS
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    I did not invent walkalong gliding (AKA air-surfing)— the activity of mysteriously levitating gliders with deflected relative wind. The concept has been around for a generation,
    yet it remains almost unknown. There is a reason for that. Although walkalong gliders are not difficult to make and fly, getting people through the FIRST STEP has been difficult.

    My obsession for the last 5 years has been to get my students' heads into the sky with their feet on the ground--flying as a hands-on science activity. We started with paper gliders but switched to very thin foam, recycled from packaging, which has superior strength to weight ratios. Then we found foam that was even lighter. Finally, we have gliders so efficient and slow-flying that people can be flying within minutes. Almost all the people in the video had not known how to fly 5 minutes earlier.

    The best way to start is to buy a box of foam that also has a couple of ready-to-fly gliders. It's not only that you can start flying very quickly; knowing how the gliders are made and flown then makes it easier to make your own. The proceeds from the sales go to a nonprofit Physics Factory https://goo.gl/PpjT9x

    1.) The numbers correspond to the numbers at the top of the screen in the video.
    2.) The easiest way to start out is buy a box of foam which includes some ready-to-fly gliders. Open carefully and save the box for protective storage and transport.
    3.) This is special very low-density foam which is unbelievably lightweight. It is recycled, originally used to cushion imported furniture. We hotwire cut it on a homemade robotic CNC machine to perfect half millimeter slices. It is also very delicate to handle. You can wreck it without trying.
    4.) Although the gliders have been tested and are ready-to-fly, we have to bend the front wire weight flat for shipping. Just bend it 90 degrees, but be very gentle as you handle the glider. If you don't bend it forward, the glider will probably stall rather than fly forward. If the glider still seems to stall too much, you can bend it forward even more. This shifts the "center of gravity" (balance point) forward in the glider. Opposite, if the glider dives, then you can remedy diving by bending the wire backward, which shifts the center of gravity backward.
    5.) For launching, make sure that you are holding the glider right side up: the wire bends down. There is a little downward bend at the front of the wing. This front wing bend is called camber and it creates an airfoil shape for more efficient flying. At the back of the wing are 2 flaps that bend 45 degrees up, called elevons. They keep the glider from diving.
    You hold the glider gently from the back. Notice that there is a thumb and finger below, and just one finger above the glider. This keeps the glider wings slanting up just a little. This upward slant of the wings is called "dihedral", which all airplanes have for better stability.
    Caution: some people unconsciously hold the glider in a way that makes the wings droop down (anhedral). If the glider wings do not spring back to dihedral, then the glider will not fly.

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