Learn how to make an amazing barbecue stick glider using just a few materials you may already have at home. A great weekend project for kids.
Making a barbecue stick glider for kids to have fun with. 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.
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Supplies and Tools
- Printer if you want to print the plans
- Thin cardboard ( construction paper ) A4 Size
- A barbecue stick
- A popsicle stick
- White glue
On the bottom of the article you will find the plan. Download the glider plan, and print it on construction paper. If you want you can simply print it on a normal paper, and transfer the dimensions on the construction paper. If you want and your paper is bigger than A4, you can make the wings about 10 centimeters longer. This way it flies even better. I made it as in the plan, simply to fit on an A4 paper size.
The Glider Parts
Simply cut the parts from the printed plans. No need to cut the barbecue stick and the popsicle stick. We will measure those straight from the paper. You should have one main wing, one small wing, a small rectangle you will use to glue on top of the main wing, and two parts for the wing support.
The Barbecue Stick
Not barbeque stick as I wrote in the video lol. This is a simple hard wood stick 3 millimeters in diameter, and 25.5 centimeters long. I used hardwood because kids are rough on them and I wanted to make a glider that will last longer.
The Popsicle Stick
A simple popsicle stick ( ice cream 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.
Use white glue, simply because I noticed that this one was the most resistant to impacts. Elastic enough to make the glider last a longer time. My little five years old kid is playing with it and it’s still in one piece after some really rough flights.
Balancing The Glider
Once your back wing, the popsicle stick, and the barbecue stick are glued together, find the balance point as in the video. Make a sign with the pen on the barbecue stick. On the wing, in the printed plans you will see a black dot. That is your center of gravity and that point should match with the balancing point from the stick. I would recommend you to have the glider point a little nose heavy, and then you can sand the popsicle stick little by little. This way you can test the glider and 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 tail wing. 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 stick glider really easy. I hope you will enjoy it and have lots of fun with it.