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How to Design a Glider Plane Model at Home?

Go ahead and build a rubber band glider for your kids. Your kid will love this.

Go ahead and build a rubber band glider for your kids. Your kid will love this.

In my previous article, I explained about how to make a remote controlled airplane with balsa wood and card paper but today I will show you how to design a glider plane model at home which is first step before building your advanced radio controlled and remote controlled planes.

If you are a beginner in aeromodelling design and want to design a plane model at home, starting off with building a glider model is the best option as gliders are good for starters to begin with. You can try to build a glider out of balsa wood, card paper, or can go ahead with building a rubber band model glider at home. You can also try to build a glider with broomsticks. The thing to keep in mind when making a glider plane is perfection, especially the wing. Don’t worry about the perfection as practice makes a man perfect and I have included some aeromodelling videos below that will help you in designing and building up your first glider plane model with perfection.

Gliders can be made in two ways and these ways are same like building any other plane model:

1. You can start off with scrap and use building materials, which are readily available in your home.

2. You can buy an assembly kit and assemble it at home.

Buy Balsa-Wood Top Gun Glider Model Plane

The second method is rather easy and it is child’s play to assemble a kit. I will not advise you to use it if you want to get hands on experience in building your own model gliderrs and planes in the future because assembly kits do not give you any exposure of designing and modelling an initial glider or an advanced RC aircraft. While making your first glider from scrap (home waste for example broom sticks), you should keep the following things in mind:

  • The ratio of area of secondary and main wing of your glider should be less than 1/2 (recommended=1/3 and keep width of both wings identical)
  • The centre of gravity should lie on where torque by buoyancy force of air due to both wings is zero.

This seems easy but difficult to achieve but once achieved, there is no point your glider will not fly.

A balsa wood glider plane

A balsa wood glider plane

You can also buy a Black Rhino Glider Kit

Twin engine rubber band powered balsa wood airplane video

Also, one important thing to mention is that you do not need to be an aircraft engineer or something to design your own gliders at home, nor do you need to read any books about aeromodelling design, you can just observe and learn if you want to make aircraft mainly gliding ones.

You can make them out of cardboard, usually the waste cardboard that you are left with when you buy shirts or other stuff from the market. They are really good, not too heavy but at the same time light enough to make a flying model.

You can first start with the broomstick designs and then you will be able to make pretty good models. You must remember that the wing should be placed at such a point at the centre of gravity and the centre of gravity should be at a point between the nose and tail such that lifting force of the wing would not cause a torque effect on the body that means one end should not go higher than the other and it should lift the body of the plane evenly upwards (not the nose moving up first and the tail staying at the same causing it pitch the nose upwards at a sharp angle like a flip but both nose and tail moving upwards at almost the same time) in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction in which the plane is flying.

Now watch out the video at the side and build this unique plane by combining standard kits, modifications are simple. Takes off, lands, and flies great!

The do it yourself way of building gliders and finding out different ways of making gliders and planes is the real fun. Anyone can buy a readymade plane model or preassembled plane kit, but the real fun is to make one yourself from whatever material you have at hand.

Yes, the first models would not even take off but as you continue, your trial and error method you will definitely see your model fly. It takes certain amount of time and patience and a lot of interest in aircraft, how they fly, and a bit of creativity.

Once you are done with designing and building glider planes, you can start off with fabricating a remote-controlled toy plane and then learn how to fly radio controlled model airplanes.

How to make a balsa wood plane video?

How to assemble a balsa wood glider out of kit?

How to assemble a balsa wood glider out of kit?

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A real pic of a glider and its components.

A real pic of a glider and its components.


manjuala on March 12, 2015:

its nice

vishal on June 08, 2012:

that's very good.he is very intersting and very very good.

thanks for this idea

manoj on April 30, 2012:

i can"t understand spanish

Wendy on April 22, 2012:

I found the info useful but i need to make a remote controlled glider out of card board or broom sticks . Please help me

baher on March 04, 2012:

this is nice project but there is a lot of steps so can u make another one because there is a lot of steps

tashishbagha on February 26, 2012:

thanks guys to give me idea to make a glider at home

Akshay kumar jha on February 13, 2012:

It is a cool thing, gives you a feeling of being a scientist.

manas on February 11, 2012:

i like it

meera on February 08, 2012:

very nice

vasim on January 23, 2012:

update new idea

Ananymos on January 04, 2012:

This is helping with a school project. I like the content and easily understood instructions. Keep it up!

Anand kumar on December 24, 2011:

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prasanth on December 16, 2011:

hi.......friend i am visit your work and commend its very nice i will try

KARAN CHAUDHARY on December 14, 2011:

how i can make a remote control car at home

Gaurav on November 23, 2011:


I am student of NIT, Delhi and in our current endeavour for an e-magazine we are trying to search for articles. Amidst this pursuit i stumbled upon this great article by you. I would like to include this in our magazine with your due permission. For further contact it would be appreciable if you contact me on my email-id

mahsa on November 20, 2011:

hi i want some glider designs for competetion if u can guide me or give me some info about webs and books which can help me plz tell me

fail on October 10, 2011:

Lame lol im only on here for my science fair project and i need materials for it.

Anish on October 06, 2011:

Mr. Soni its really a good experience visiting your site, coz i want to make a glider / plan for my doughter & i think this will help me out. Thanks, for all.

madushan on September 12, 2011:

good idea to spend free time

vvj on September 03, 2011:


Based on your experience, let me know if building glider planes is a popular hobby amongst school children in metro cities. What will be the cost per year for pursuing this hobby?

Ajai Mukgham on July 23, 2011:

Hello friend I visited your works and comments.. I am just 8years old... soon I will try them with my father.

Rajinder Soni (author) from New Delhi, India on July 11, 2011:

Thanks Ashish, Subrana, and Dipto for your visit and comments.

Dipto on July 05, 2011:

a good one

subarna Chakraborty on May 04, 2011:

how can i build a glider plain? which kit i buying?plese tell me...

Ashish kumar on November 22, 2010:


Rajinder Soni (author) from New Delhi, India on July 08, 2010:

Yes Mike. I agree that making a glider plane using real plane materials is really interesting than buying a pre-assembled kit from hobby shops. It enhances creative and a person learns how to make a real thing.

Mike Allin on July 07, 2010:

You can find some great kits at hobby shops for this but nothing beats working with real plane materials to do it if you know how. Great hub!

Rajinder Soni (author) from New Delhi, India on June 04, 2010:

Thanks a lot cool guy. Have you designed a glider plane model at home?

cool guy 111 on June 03, 2010:

nice project

Rajinder Soni (author) from New Delhi, India on February 21, 2010:

Thanks a lot Mr. H P Roychoudhury.

H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on February 21, 2010:

It is great.

Rajinder Soni (author) from New Delhi, India on February 18, 2010:

Yes Ethel, great fun in night and in sun.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on February 18, 2010:

Great fun

Rajinder Soni (author) from New Delhi, India on February 17, 2010:

Yes FGual, these small glider plane models made at home out of balsa wood, card paper, rubber band powered, and broomsticks are a real fun and enjoyment to build and fly. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience about building and flying gliders. No matter they do not fly right in the beginning but as you keep on learning and practicing consistently, your gliders will fly. If you want to get hands-on experience, try to make one on your own and then fly and when you will fly it, you will feel really proud.

FGual from USA on February 17, 2010:

Great Hub. You go into so much detail. I assume you have built gliders from scratch. When I was a kid in the sixties, I bought a few ready-made balsa. Those gliders, they came in a cellophane bag, and were either four or five pieces, with a metal weight on the nose. Some sold for 49 cents or less. They either did not fly right, or the rudder would come off the slot. Had a couple with rubber power. Never built one from scratch. They are now valuable collector's items

Veronica Allen from Georgia on February 17, 2010:

This would be a fun family project.

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