Well, it was just this morning I posted some questions about what to
expect..... But when the wind died early this afternoon, I just couldn't
wait. So here is the story:
Building it was very easy, the parts were wonderfully scored by laser, with
the exception of two sheets where the laser only cut half way thru. The
completed bird looked so good I could not help but sand the surfaces and
ecges to make it feel as good as it looked.
I left the glider unfinished. To begin with, I did not add weight, and I
locked the canard wing in place by pushing the plug of balsa forward. I
took it out to a small hillock and hand tossed it. It stalled... so I added
nose weight by inserting a 2.5 inch***thru the thick chunk of balsa in
the nose. Then it flew perfectly, with a slighty curve to the left, but
flat and soft as can be in terms of glide characteristics.
Then the problems started. It set up on the launch pad, and I counted down
to "blast-off" and BANG, the Estes D12-3 Cato'ed, looks like the nozzle,
and then the empty motor casing, just blasted out the back end. The glider
popped up about 20 feet, keeled over and landed nose first. The solid nose
area broke into pieces, the front end split open, and one whole wing broke
of in a ragged break.
It looked bad, but it actually only took 30 minutes to put it all back to
gether with medium super glue. I retested it by hand tossing. Then back out
to the launch pad.
This time, the problems were worse, and not exclusively related to my bad
luck with the first motor. Upon launch, the glider lifted off perfectly,
but then started to arc upward and around toward the ground. By upward, I
mean in the direction of the top surface of the glider. It reached maybe 40
or 50 feet, and started heding downward. I am not sure I could accurately
tell you when the thrust burn ended, maybe near the zenith. Anyway, down it
came, fast....... very fast..... nose straight down. Finally, only 8-10
feet from the ground, the ejection charge went off, but this actually
ejected the motor, which was fastened in as advised with tape. the ejection
may have actually accelerated theglider into it final death dive. Anyway,
moments later, it hit the ground at high speed, and broke into a bunch of
parts.... which i carefully collected. Believe it or not, I am considering
patching it together. The wonders of super glue....!!!!!!!
Soooooo, what is the scoop? Why does it arc over like that....? It is
undoubtedly stable in the glide mode, since the hand toss test was
successful. but something is giving it lift at the front end. Everything
went to gether so well, the pieces were so perfectly cut and designed, and
I am a woodworker by trade, so I really don't believe that I screwed up the
This thing looked great, and I was so looking forward to watching it circle
Any advice would be appreciated. I would buy another and start over if I
felt confident that I wasn't going to arc the thing over again. At the very
least, perhaps the patched-together remnants will teach me something.
Please visit my new web site, where there is lots of information and
photographs about my translucent turned-wood lampshades. And a whole
section of the site is devoted to my wife Kathy's music and photography.
Here is the link: http://www.FoundCollection.com/
open to feedback to help us make this site even better!