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Big Mouth Tumblewing: Make and Fly

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Uploaded on Nov 29, 2011

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There is an easier-to-make paper glider than this one now, here https://goo.gl/fcakDE

The PDF pattern is here
https://goo.gl/2IeGhI

You can see Jonathan Beutlich's Science Club flying this kind of T-wing here https://goo.gl/utnYZ6
More air surf gliders made of thin foam (much lighter than paper):
https://goo.gl/FS1qgB

More science projects:
https://goo.gl/qAXzlg

This video is about making and flying spinney big-mouth tumblewings, which can be made out of ordinary phone-book paper or even newspaper. Mysteriously flying or surfing them on invisible waves of air is sometimes called walkalong gliding.

Tumblewings are a good way to start air surfing if you do not have thin-sliced (1/2mm) foam. It's how I started. Mind you, that doesn't mean it's easy. You have to follow instructions, then you'll have to experiment. Learning how to adjust and fly will be frustrating. You won't get skilled at this in just one day. But when you get it, It'll be worth your time and trouble.

We live at the bottom of an ocean of air. Normally we can't see air, but when an object moves through, the air goes up and over. By deflecting air with something flat you create a wave of relative wind that goes up and over. Just as you can surf on the leading edge of a wave of water, so too you can surf lightweight gliders on the air wave.

There are other forms of air surfing and you can use other materials, like foam. Some are so efficient that you can keep them up with only your hands—and lots of practice. https://goo.gl/FS1qgB

I developed the Big Mouth, inspired by the experiments of a German Technik teacher, my friend Thomas Buchwald. I think this Big Mouth is the easiest to make, but I might be biased. You can investigate the classic, original T wing, invented by another friend, the Paper Airplane Guy, John Collins.

Even after you learn how to launch the Big Mouth Tumblewing, most people only manage an extended glide at first. The trick to keeping walkalong gliders flying is to keep the board pretty steep and near the top of the board. The glider should almost blow over the top--in fact that's good practice. Notice it rises up just before it goes over the top. So go fast enough/close enough that it is very close to blowing over the top, but not quite. Once you learn to keep the glider high in that sweet spot, you will be able to fly forever and gain altitude.

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