The Laminated Cardboard Glider

Our pre-cut laminated cardboard glider kit provides a simple and fun way of investigating the forces of flight. Students simply pop-out the seven pieces before carefully laminating (glueing) them together and taking flight! We would recommended working with students aged 9+, purely for the level of accuracy that is required, however younger students could easily complete the kit under closer supervision.

How can I use this with students?

The use of the laminated glider kit can provide ample opportunity to cover a variety of STEM knowledge and skills:

  • A competition to see who can achieve the furthest flight, closest to a waypoint etc. This tests students’ build skills as well as the physical skills of launching the glider (which can take a bit of practice).
  • Identify the forces involved with flight (lift, drag, weight and thrust) and how these are relate to one-another.
  • Measuring and setting the dihedral or anhedral angle of the wings. Does this make a difference to the flight capabilities of your glider and if so, why do you think this is?
  • Adding camber to the wings. What does this affect? What happens if we add too much?
  • Cutting the pre-marked ‘flaps’ to explore the effect of ailerons on the wings, elevators on the horizontal stabiliser and rudder on the vertical stabiliser.
  • Changing the centre of mass of the glider by adding or removing small amounts of material at various points on the aeroplane.
  • Students could get creative adding colour or decoration (this would work best pre-build).

What other activities could I do?

  • The glider was modelled in CAD software, which allowed us to create a glider with the optimum centre of mass. Older students could take the principles from this aircraft and create their own.
  • Create a launcher for the aircraft
  • Turn the glider kit into a ‘product’, by adding a design, creating packaging, an advert etc.
  • Design and make other ‘laminated’ toys out of cardboard, wood, plastic.

Assembly points:

  • A glue stick works best
  • The glider is sensitive to weight imbalance. A thin but full layer of glue should be added across each layer. You only need to add glue to one side of the joining pieces. Any lumps or extra glue can have a surprising impact on the flight capabilities of the glider.
  • Take care to align the pieces up. The more accurate the build, the better it will ‘fly’.
  • We have found that the longer you can leave the glue to dry, the better.

You can purchase a pack of 10 gliders below or if you were looking to order a larger quantity then feel free to contact us.