Building a glider to carry an egg is a classic physics class activity. You can purchase kits that will guide you in the construction of a variety of flying, egg-carrying devices, but ultimately the most fun and learning, is to be had by starting from scratch. This project can take a bit of time when you get to the testing stage, but you will learn a great deal about gliders and how to refine your vehicle to safely transport your egg in the process.
- 3 foot long ½ inch dowel rod
- Heavy duty cardboard
- Razor or a knife
- Glue and thumb tacks
- A hack saw
- Duct tape
- 1 egg
If your glider is for a competition at school, you may also want to decorate it once you have achieved a flight time that meets your requirements.
Do not eat the egg after you have used it for testing, as it may have been out of the refrigerator for too long.
Cut wings, a rear elevator and a tail out of the cardboard. Cut out 3 inch wide by 3 feet long wings out of your cardboard. Cut out 3 inch wide by 1 foot long rear elevator. Cut out a tail that is 3 inches wide by 6 inches tall.
Mount the tail on the glider. At one end of your plane, cut a vertical cut 3 inches deep and centered into the dowel. This will be the mount for your tail. Add glue to the slit and push your tail into it, flush on the bottom and sticking up 5 ½ inches above.
Attach the elevator, which will help keep your plane in the air once it is launched. On the underside of the tail, at the approximate middle of your rear elevator, glue and tack the elevator on.
Secure the wings in place. At the approximate 12 inch mark on the top of the dowel, glue and tack on the top wing. Let both the wings and tail dry overnight.
Wing-warp your wings. To get lift off of these wings, they will need to be wing-warped, which is the original way to get lift out of wings that the Wright Brothers did. So, at the back end of both the front and rear wings, bend down the trailing edges using your thumb nail as the guide to how deep.
Test your plane. Fly the plane and see how it glides. To get more lift from the wings and the elevators, keep bending them down so that eventually the plane floats on the air. This will take time, repeat flights and patience.
Duct tape an egg in the center of the body, directly on top of the wings. The weight now sits at the perfect point for wing lift, so with several more practice flights during which you warp the wings downward even more, you should achieve perfect egg-carrying glider status. At this point, throwing and catching the glider might be best for testing because the weight of the egg, until the wings are warped enough, can send the glider on a steep nose dive that might break your egg.
Things You'll Need
- If your glider is for a competition at school, you may also want to decorate it once you have achieved a flight time that meets your requirements.
- Do not eat the egg after you have used it for testing, as it may have been out of the refrigerator for too long.