In pursue of this goal we have designed a circular flying wing. We have make several versions of varying thickness, and with the thickest point in various locations.
This Instructable will walk you through building and flying a model of the version we are building for the contest.
The model is a 20 inch circle with the thickest point 3 inches and placed in the center of the wing.
Our models get a 12 to 1 glide ratios. Launched from 5 feet they will fly 60 feet. This is made more impressive given they don't look like they will fly at all.
For more information/Video please see
Step 1: Materials & Tools
2 each 20”x30” foam board from the Dollar Store – For wings - $2
3/8” square basswood 9” long – For fuselage -$1.25
1 wood stir stick, used coffee stirrer – attachment point for rudder-Free
Foam safe CA(Super Glue) glue – non-foam safe will eat away at the foam.
Elmer's Glue-all type glue
12 spring clamps, more is better
Step 2: Building the Wing
a) Mark a 20” diameter circle on the foam board and cut it out with an Exacto knife
b) Peel off paper backing from both sides
c) Mark a bisecting line through the center point of both circles and mark the line on the edge of the foam circle.
a) Mark a point on the bisecting line 1(one) inch from the edge
b) Mark two points, 3/8” one each side of the first point- perpendicular to the bisecting line
c) Draw a line from the center point of the circle through each of the points
d) Cut out the resulting wedge
a) Bring the cut edges, where the wedge used to be together to form a cone
b) Tape the inside together to keep the cone together
c) Repeat on disk two.
a) Using a thin layer of glue attach the Fuselage stick along the joint edge. It should over hang the edge of the circle by an inch.
b) Weigh down the fuselage onto the wing and allow the glue to cure for at least two hours.
a) Apply a thin layer if Elmer's Glue-All along the inside edge one of the disks. Line up the second disk on top of it, line up the bisecting lines and wedge cut out line
b) Clamp together using small spring clamps
c) Allow to cure for several hours
a) Using some of the scrap foam board cut out a Rudder shape. The bottom of which should be a straight line. It keeping with the theme I use a circle shape, but other shapes will work
b) Super Glue the stir stick to the flat edge of the rudder.
a) The leading edge should be rounded using sand paper
b) The trailing edge should be sanded to a gentle taper
a) Super glue the rudder on top of the bisecting line.
Addition of 'pilot pod' below the fuselage. I used a small length of wire hanger, bent to shape, and glued into two small holes half way through the front and back of the fuselage.
Step 4: Flying
Add balancing weight to the protruding part of the fuselage. The aircraft should balance at 25% from the leading edge. I would start with approximately 1.75 ounces. I used washer that fit over the fuselage stick, and held in place with a rubber band
When ‘launching’ the glider it is important that the line formed by the intersecting wing halves be parallel to the ground, or a few
The ‘throw’, should feel more like a firm push forward