About this Plan
Mini-X. Simple hand launch glider.
Quote: "For the Tenderfoot. Mini-Glider, by John Zaic.
Give your trimming ideas a workout. Cut and try and experiment with these midgets before moving on to larger models.
WITH this fun design, you can learn a lot about making a model fly OK. Quite small, only 6 inches in span, it can be quickly built. Since it will not glide straight if anything is out of alignment, you will discover mistakes to avoid when building models. It can be flown in very small areas. And, it is of interest to budget-tight model classes.
The fuselage is medium-weight 1/8 sheet balsa. Two pieces of 1/16 sheet balsa can be cemented together if desired. Slice and sand to the approximate side-view profile shown on the drawing. The 1/8 thickness is maintained to the very end of the fuselage. Round off the bottom of the fuselage and the top portion that is ahead of the wing. A coat of cement is then rubbed all over the fuselage.
The wing is of lightweight balsa. If the simple, squared-off form is chosen, cut away the excess balsa at the tips to form the taper. Draw the centerline; use a postcard to help draw it square. With a razor blade, nick the leading and trailing edges where they meet the centerline. When the wing is to be cut in half, after the airfoil has been sanded in, these nicks will help relocate its center.
About a 4 inch square of 6/0 fine grit sandpaper is used. To avoid its edges accidentally catching and slicing into the wood like a knife, hold one end of the sandpaper between the little and adjoining finger, and the opposite end between the thumb and forefinger. The sandpaper will curve across your fingers, and the fingertips will act as a soft pad. It is a bit clumsy at first, but you will get used to it. As an added precaution, bend back the edges of the sandpaper about 3/4 in width, so they face up. Sandpaper held fiat will certainly cut a gash into the work.
Lay the wing stock on cardboard. To get the airfoil shape, apply light pressure at the point shown on the drawing. You will
be sanding the wood and cardboard together. The airfoil shape will start coming in very easily. Don't rush. Stop often to check progress and to remove the wood dust that will start to pack up under the wing.
After the sanding is completed, cut the wing in half using the razor nicks that located its center. A piece of heavy cardboard may be used as a guide in cutting since it can bend over the airfoil, whereas a stiff, straight-edge can not. Use light cutting strokes. There are sometimes threads of very tough fibers running through the wood and a razor, or X-acto knife, will come to a sudden stop when it encounters them. Razor blades should be treated with great respect. They must never be picked up in a hurry, but always in a deliberate manner. Use of the X-acto knife may be better and safer.
Draw the dihedral template on a piece of paper. The drawing may seem a bit odd in that lines seem to be overdrawn in length. Well, you just overdraw the lines even more. Cut a piece of wood roughly, somewhat larger than needed for the template. Place it over the drawing, which now cannot be seen. However, the extended lines can be seen. Using them as guides, you can easily cut out the template. The rudder is done the same way, but be sure the grain is in the right direction. Putting pencil measurements on wood for the rudder is not easy, but it is easy to do so on a piece of paper.
Usually, small steel rulers are used as a guide for cutting balsa. However, they have a severe fault in that being so smooth, they may slide just as you are cutting. You can buy a cheap steel ruler and cement thin, fine sandpaper underneath it so it won't slip. You can also buy a very thin, cheap ruler and do the same for surfaces that are curved. Or you can substitute other material like plastic. If the wood to be cut is narrow, support the ruler with extra pieces of wood underneath it of the same thickness as the wood to be cut.
A piece of wood board which has one side straight, and one square edge not rounded off, is used to help make the dihedral-angle, center-wing joints. Improvise here on what you can get drawing board, breadboard, etc. It may help to draw a line on the board so you can relocate the wing in case it shifts while you sand it. A postcard can be used here to help get the line square with the board's edge..."
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