Phil Rossoni is a commercial glider pilot who has always been interested in finding ways to share the experience of piloting an aircraft with a wide audience. I thought his enthusiasm (and directions and videos!) for lightweight gliding aircraft that can be made with museum visitors would be a great thing to share with ExhibiTricks readers.
What's the next best thing to soaring through the skies like birds? Its called Walkalong Gliding where a simple paper airplane seems to hover in perpetual motion on the edge of a piece of cardboard.
Walkalong Gliding works on the same principles of soaring flight used by all manner of flying creatures to effortlessly take to the skies. The best design for the indoor museum setting is the Tumblewing designed by John Collins aka "The Paper Airplane Guy".
Everybody gets to build and fly their own glider made from a 1"X4" strip of light newsprint. What's the goal? Keep it flying for at least 30 seconds, longer than the current world record for a tossed paper airplane! It's called the "30 second airborne club".
Like the first pioneers of flight had to learn, staying in the air for extended periods requires control of the paper airplane. What's the takeaway? Yes try this at home, come back and show everyone you've learned the right stuff!
To find out more about making lightweight gliding aircraft for yourself or with your museum visitors, check out Phil's book, Build and Pilot Your Own Walkalong Gliders and his list of Tumblewing Links.
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