Balsa Glider Launcher (Calculating Glide Ratio)


[Brad] All the way to the wall. Not bad!
Seems to work pretty well. But is it consistent? [Sound of jet airplane] [Sound of toilet flushing] Hey guys! Welcome to Nighthawk
Gliders. I’m Brad. Today I’d like to demonstrate this – [Other Brad} Wow this looks cool. Can i play with it? What is it? [Brad] I was just about to explain this to our audience. [Other Brad] We have an audience? [Brad] Sure, our good friends on the internet they subscribe to our channel and watch our videos. Ok, Take it easy now, take it easy. You
know what there’s a Rubik’s cube over there why don’t you go play with that
for a little while and come back to this later. Sorry guys, my alter ego gets a
little bit rambunctious. So what we have here is a homemade glider launcher built out of some basic items found around the house. The idea is not to launch this
glider at a super high rate but instead launch it at its gliding rate I wanted
to see if I can build a consistent launcher in which I can actually
measure the gliders rate of descent so in other words how far it will fly
forward versus how far it drops so this particular glide rate is essentially
equivalent to a lift drag ratio as well so it might give me a bit more
information about the characteristics of my glider. The principle is based on a
class-3 lever and the idea is I will pull this back and as it goes forward
these dowel rods will hit this wedge open up and release the glider forward.
Pretty much like this… All the way to the wall. Not bad! Seems to work pretty well but is it consistent? Let’s do some slow-mo tests and check
out exactly how well it behaves. [Other Brad] Hey, this is hard. Can you help me solve this? [Brad] Uh how about later let’s launch some gliders right now. [Other Brad] Yeah, ok. [Music playing titled “Valerie Plain” by Rhondo Brothers] Well, that was fun. We’ve got a lot of
different launches from a lot of different angles. Got some slow-mo and
I was quite pleased with how the launcher performed. It was a little
sketchy at the beginning and I had to adjust a few things like this little
bit of tension right here and the wedge placement. Once I had it fine-tuned, as you can see, it flew quite nicely and it also showed the left turn that’s
pretty much how this works with the tail tilt. Thanks guys until next time we’ll
catch you later! Nighthawk Gliders is Brad and Bruce Williamson. Thank you for watching this video and we appreciate you subscribing to our channel. It means a lot to us! πŸ™‚ Click the next video link to watch more! You know you want to. Go on! Now might be the perfect time to binge watch all of our videos. Woo hoo! Wow! You watched this video all the way to the end? Either you love our stuff or you just fell asleep! πŸ˜‰

13 Replies to “Balsa Glider Launcher (Calculating Glide Ratio)”

  1. Very nice job! I like to post this video! Maybe this launcher would be greater if this could be on a high hill.

  2. Sneaky peek in the background at 0:41 thought I spotted a boat but I think it was a plastic storage box. Great project too and interesting results.

  3. I like it!

    A lot more sophisticated than mine.

    http://www.endlesslift.com/glide-test-spreadsheet/

    You can get a lot more from glide testing than just the glide ratio; lift coefficient, drag coefficient, glide angle, L/D, airspeed, ground speed, sink speed, power, power factor. Follow the link in the above.

  4. The side slip is due to the fact that the Sandpiper has a V-tail, which is a lot more efficient then a standard tail, but provides less vertical stability,

  5. Well done guys! I d'nt think it is essential to increase the launch speed, on the other hand it would be necessary that the glide paths are perfectly straight to be able to compare the behavior of different gliders.

  6. This is your most hilarious one yet with the alter ego. Just love watching these shows. You are amazingly talented in this arena!

  7. Amazing videos thanks for sharing. I am already subscribed. I have a question about gliders , I hope you do not mind asking if it is not the one you design. I built one on foam from a Japanese web site . The problem is that when i launch it it flies in a loop and crashes. So I have to launch it horizontal….does not make any sense . Could you please share you thoughts on what may be the potential reason for this ? I hope you can help . Many thanks in advance…!

  8. So is that you and you brother playing guitar and drums on the soundtrack? Totally unrelated to the cool launcher you made!

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