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Aeronautical Engineering/Glider for Charity Event Help



I’m entering a charity event where you need to build a glider.  The requirements are: Human powered only, 450 lb max weight, 30’ max wing span, & dropped from 30’ to 40’ off a ramp.  I weigh 120 lbs so I have 330 lbs of glider to work with.  My question:  Given what I’ve told you, what type of glider would you suggest I try to build?  And out of what type of materials (i.e., cardboard, PVC pipe, nylon, etc)?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You!
;o> Eva

I am not sure what a human powered glider is. Gliders are unpowered. Aircraft are powered. In any case, you need to use the lightest, strongest materials possible. The few successful human powered aircraft used thin mylar or similar material over lightweight spars and ribs. This is not an easy project, but if you do your research, you can do it. Google human-powered aircraft for some ideas.

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Paul Soderman


Aeronautics, Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Aeroacoustics, Noise Control, Muffler Design, Wind Tunnel Research.... I know nothing about India - do not ask about schools, jobs, application requirements, career choices, etc. for India. Please, no text message verbiage; I prefer full words in full sentences. Thanks.


38 years as research engineer at NASA


B.S. and M.S. Aeronautical Engineering - U. of Washington, Graduate work Standford U.

Awards and Honors
AIAA Associate Fellow (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics)

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