Bug HLG (oz6587)


Bug HLG (oz6587) by Carl Dowdy 2001 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

The Bug HLG. Hand launch glider for 2 channel radio control. The Bug Hand Launch Glider by Carl Dowdy.

Quote: "The Bug is a part of the Mosquito class of hand-launched radio controlled gliders. Mosquito class gliders have half the wingspan restriction of a standard handlaunch glider. That is, the span can be no more than .75 meters, or about 29.5 inch. Full-sized hand-launched gliders have spans no larger than 1.5 meters or roughly 59 in.

Over the last few years there have been a few all-composite kit offerings and although they are worth every penny for the handcrafted fiberglass and foam work, I thought there must be a way to get good performance out of a builtup design. It would have the side benefit of being inexpensive!

The design of the Bug took place more in my computer than any other model I have built. I started with a sketch, but the wing layout, and curves of the fuselage and tail surfaces, were generated in CAD software. The airfoil templates were generated with Compufoil, adjusted for trailing edge stock, and given leading edge and spar holes. The prototype was built and flew much better than expected. The significant modifications from the original prototype to the later versions of the Bug were to increase the dihedral and reduce the fuselage cross section.

It really is amazing to see how tight the Bug can thermal and how well it penetrates given its size and weight. Using off-the-shelf micro radio components available today, the Bug can be built to a 1.5 oz. empty weight and a total weight of 3.5 oz. pretty easily. That’s a wing loading of 3.09 oz/sq ft!

If you are into slope soaring, the Bug opens a whole world of sites and conditions that are otherwise not usable. So, get an order started for the carbon items and select some choice balsa at your local hobby store. Construction will take no time at all."

Note a later version of this design is available. The Bug design was modified, enlarged and redrawn as the Lightninbug (oz10430) by HughesBrothers.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to tenbars.


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Bug HLG (oz6587) by Carl Dowdy 2001 - model pic


Bug HLG (oz6587) by Carl Dowdy 2001 - pic 003.jpg
Bug HLG (oz6587) by Carl Dowdy 2001 - pic 004.jpg
Bug HLG (oz6587) by Carl Dowdy 2001 - pic 005.jpg
Bug HLG (oz6587) by Carl Dowdy 2001 - pic 006.jpg

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User comments

Added nice photo of the finished model, thanks to artee15 [more pics 006].
Mary - 06/11/2018
Be careful with the metric conversions in the article - a lot are wildly wrong.
Charles - 27/07/2020
I want to build this glider but I only have a standard 81/2 by 11 paper to work with. Can anyone chop up the plan so I can print it in full size?
Pete - 10/09/2021
See FAQ.
SteveWMD - 11/09/2021
I'd download the plan on to a memory stick, take it to a print shop and get them to print it out for you.
Jim - 22/09/2021
Is the CG on the bug correct, seems too far back?
cbc - 09/07/2022
Let me see... are you saying you've built this and tried flying it, and the CG as shown is incorrect? Or are you saying you just don't like the way the plan looks?
SteveWMD - 09/07/2022
We have three types of members in our club. There are the builders, who build but never fly. Then there are the flyers, who fly but never build. And last, there are the talkers.
Doug Smith - 09/07/2022
Wot, no management consultants?
Miguel - 09/07/2022
What about flyers who actually build what they fly?
Dave - 19/04/2024
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