My attempt at making a hand thrown glider to travel the greatest distance.
This prints flat on the bed, the wings are sculpted to provide lift. The first print (pictured and file name V01.stl) 'helicopters' when it is thrown. The nose goes up, so the wings provide lift, but too much or the weight.
So I added a bit of blue-tac to add weight to the nose (accurate measurements for "a bit" to provide the greatest flight to come) it flies a good 10 or so metres with not too much force behind the throw.
V02.stl, has a broader, heavier body, and still helicopters when thrown. However adding weight to the nose does not provide the same results as it did with V01. Back to the drawing board.
V03.stl is designed as a test model to determine the best placement for the wings in relation to the plane body.
V04.stl is a "angle of attack" test model to determine the impact the angle of the wings has on the planes aerodynamics.
V05.stl is a 3 part model that combines all the learning from V03 and V04 (and a bit of research into real life gliders) into a model that still requires blu-tac to fly, but is definitely on the way to producing a glider that actually glides instead of falling in style.
V06.stl is almost the same as V05, but has a broader front wing, this again flies, but I feel that it has 'too much' lift.
This experience has been very interesting, the rapid prototyping and learning about flight mechanics was definitely something I want to use with my students. So to-do from here is to try to combine all of this into an 'educational' model that can be printed for classes to explore the mechanics of flight by adjusting 1 thing at a time. So combining V03 and V04 into an easily printable and usable model as well as having a few different varieties of wings, or perhaps a customiser model.