Learn how to make an amazing barbecue skewer glider using just a few materials you may already have at home. A great weekend project for kids.
If you build it with patience, it will only weight about eight grams. Carefully balanced, it will give you some really impressive flights. I built it as you see in the tutorial trying to use easy to find materials. If you don’t feel comfortable using a cutter, try to glue the parts in a different way. I made it this way, to keep the weight as low as possible.
How To Make A Barbecue Skewer Glider
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Tools and Supplies
The Glider Plan
At the end of the article you will find the glider plan. Download it and print it on colored cardstock, or you can simply print it on a normal paper and transfer the dimensions on the colored cardstock. If you want and your paper is bigger than A4, you can make the wings about 10 centimeters longer. This way it will fly even better.
Preparing The Glider Parts
Simply cut the parts from the printed plans. No need to cut the barbecue skewer and the popsicle stick. We will measure those straight from the paper. You should have one wing, a stabilizer, a small rectangle you will use to glue on top of the wing, and two parts for the wing support.
The Barbecue Skewer
This is a simple bamboo wood stick 3 millimeters in diameter, and 25.5 centimeters long. I used bamboo because kids are rough on them and I wanted to make a glider that will last longer.
The Popsicle Stick
I made the dimensions so you only use one single stick. Cut it in half to create two identical parts. Use a cutter or any tool you feel comfortable with to cut the opening and insert the barbecue stick. Glue it really well, as this part will be the one taking the shocks on landings.
The Recommended Glue
Use white glue, simply because it’s the most resistant to impacts. Elastic enough to make the glider last a long time. My little five years old kid is playing with it and it’s still in one piece after months of rough flights.
Balancing The Glider
Once your back wing, the popsicle stick, and the barbecue skewer are glued together, find the balance point as shown in the video. Make a sign with a pen on the barbecue skewer. On the wing, in the printed plans you will see a black dot. That is the center of gravity and that point should match the balancing point from the barbecue skewer. I would recommend you to have the glider a little bit nose heavy, and then you can sand the popsicle stick little by little. This way you can test the glider while balancing it really well.
I had questions about the angle of the stabilizer and the wing, so I added an extra photo showing how I’m measuring that angle. Also remember that I’m actually doing everything by eye, and I never really measure any angle. But to have an idea, on the one I’ve built in the video example has: 100 degrees on the stabilizer, and around 140-150 degrees on the main wing.
If you want the glider to fly slower, you can increase the angle of the stabilizer. You will lose a little bit from the stability in the air, but it will fly a lot slower. That’s it…. making a barbecue skewer glider really easy. I hope you will enjoy it and have lots of fun with it.