3 Secrets To Winning Elastic Launched Glider

What you need to win

secret 1: Get a good Transition

The transition is the phase of a glider’s fight wherein the glider shifts from the launching phase to the gliding phase. The transition of the glider can be adjusted by increasing the launch angle, bank angle, or launch power.

Getting a good transition is by far the most important factor to perfect for your glider. This is because the glider’s time aloft is heavily dependent on the transition for two main reasons:

  1. A good transition maximizes the height at which the glider begins to glide, in turn, significantly improving the glider’s time aloft.
  2. A poor transition is usually the cause of a glider nosediving or stalling during its flight.

First, without a good transition the height that the glider begins to slowly descend at is heavily dependent on the transition. This is because a flight with a poor transition results in the glider briefly falling, where the glider’s lift is necessary to overcome the fall and turn into the glide. With a good transition the brief fall of the glider is essentially eliminated, resulting in the highest possible altitude at which the glider begins to glide.

Additionally, a poor transition can be the cause of many flyer’s issues, such as stalling or nosediving. Even if your gilder has the perfect center of gravity, the transition can cause characteristics of an unbalanced glider, including nosedives and stalls. This is largely because many flyers forget to adjust the glider’s bank angle, resulting in either too much or too little bank angle, in turn, causing the glider to either nosedive or stall.

secret 2: Reduce weight

Many catapult and elastic launched gliders place a minimum mass that the glider is permitted to weigh. However, many new flyers don’t strive to build their glider’s to the minimum weight, and even experienced flyers aren’t fully aware of the benefits of reducing their glider’s weight. Yes, a lighter glider improves flight, but why is that the case? This effect can be attributed to two different concepts:

  1. A lighter glider has downward force acting upon it with less magnitude than the downward force acting upon a heavier glider.
  2. A lighter glider contain a broader tolerance for its transition.

By having a lighter glider, the downward force acting upon it is lower than the downward force of a heavier glider, which ultimately results in a higher time aloft. Additionally, a lighter glider allows flyers an easier time nailing down their transition because the amount of lift necessary to keep the glider gliding is less than that of a heavier glider, resulting in a broader transition tolerance for lither gliders. I is important to note, however, that lighter gliders are unable to reach the maximum height of a heavier glider, which is not necessarily an issue for most school competitions.

secret 3: use a large launcher

Many flyers use a small dowel rod with a small rubber band to launch their gliders. However, The amount of power that can be utilized by the small launcher is largely dependent on the size of the user; the larger the user’s arm length, the more power the user can derive from the launcher. To solve this issue, flyer can take advantage of a larger launcher which essentially increases the maximum length the user can pull the rubber band to launch the glider. With a larger length to pull the rubber band, flyers can more accurately measure and calibrate different lengths to pull the rubber band to launch their glider to a specific height.

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