Sunday, 5 July 2009

Rediscovering Merlin

Having cleared the bulk of my exam marking for this year, I decided to have another go at making some hand launch gliders from the past plans. I recalled a successful design of mine called Merlin, so that was to be the next attempt.
Glider number 8 - Merlin was an acrobat with a forward sloping wing and an inverted tail fin. The idea was that the weight of the wing and the laminated nose would trim the glider for normal flight and it would fly straight and level. However, if you threw this glider very hard, the lift generated from the ends of the wing would upset the balance and the glider would climb and loop-the-loop. If the glider was thrown hard in a bank, it would turn sharply as well.
The model did all of the things that it was supposed to do. It did not disappoint, and I managed to keep it intact after several flights.

Following on from this, I took another one of Keith Harris's designs (they were good) and made Dualett. This is an odd-bod. You add a drawing pin to the nose and it flies forwards. Take the drawing pin off and add it to the tail and it flies backwards. It really does work, and though it is not quite as stable, it will do the same upside down.

The only issue with Dualett is the landings. With the outer wing being a glued wingtip, an arkward landing tends to knock off a wingtip. Still, it can be glued back on again.
This is Merlin in flight. I will not admit how many camera shots it took to get a good one - good job I have a digital camera.

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