Leonardo da Vinci inspired glider

by ripper, published

Leonardo da Vinci inspired glider by ripper Oct 2, 2015



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I designed this glider for a short workshop at a "young university" aimed at 11 to 14 year olds.
It is inspired by the various flying machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci but I kept the design simple. Even though I don't know much about aerodynamics the glider flies pretty well. It is only missing a vertical tail wing which would stabilise the flight.
I added a gondola so the kids can add a toy figure which can fly with the glider.

You can read a bit more about it on my blog: https://regendrogenbogen.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/flugmaschine-nach-den-entwuerfen-von-leonardo-da-vinci-flying-machine-inspired-by-the-designs-of-leonardo-da-vinci/

If you don't have any access to a laser cutter at all, you can buy the kit on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DaVinciModelShop


Step 0: Cutting the parts

The wooden parts are designed to be cut from 4mm plywood. You can choose the fabric for the wings as you like, it just should be a bit elastic. I took a woven fabric with a rougher structure to match the old look.

Step 1: The wings

When assembling I would rocommend starting with the wings, which are assembled as seen in the picture below. It works best when you place the two spars on a flat surface (i.e. a table) and then place the ribs so that their ends extend beyond the edge. This is because they go further down. Check the ribs before glueing, they are all different!

Step 2: The wing centerpiece

This one is easy, just glue the 4 parts together like in the picture below.

Step 3: The gondola

The gondola is also easy, just take the 2 bowed pieces and glue the 4 floor boards onto them. The cuts in the boards ensure correct spacing.

Step 4: The fuselage

Take the long fuselage piece and get it in the gondola like in the picture. Glue it in and attach the rear wing to it.

Step 5: Attach the wing connector

I guess the picture gives it away anyway, just glue it to the rest of the glider.

Step 6: Wings

Glue the wings into the wing connector and put some kind of support unter them to make sure they are on the same height. When the glue has dried you can put the fabric on. I would rocommend starting with glueing them to the wing connector first and then work your way out by glueing it stepwise to the wing. The wing pattern was made by trial and error, so don't wonder if you have excessive fabric, you can cut that off.

Step 7: The wiring

If you like you can also add wiring as you can see in the photos. When you don't want to fiddle around with that, don't worry the glider works well without it.

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I wish people would stop only providing DXF files ... not everyone has AutoCAD or converters. Trying to convert this - which I really want- has failed and produces mismatched drawings.

I must agree with Woggin's suggestion with the wingspan, as I have printed many gliders, and they seem to fly straighter and longer with covered bottoms. But overall, it is beautiful and air worthy.

I agree with you, I just thought it would be cool to make the internal structure visible.
I want to make this glider bigger and then try it out with covered bottom side of the wings!

That is beautiful, very nicely done, a tip though, covering the bottom surface of the wing will add more lift and reduce drag. And yes as you said, a vertical stab will aid stability.

What is the overall wingspan of this model?

Hope your ok with it, I've reposted this in a printable segmented STL file, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1049693
if you have any issues, please feel free to message me.

Leonardo da Vinci inspired glider in stl
by woggin

Well, I thought about covering the bottom of the wings but since I only had very little money for my workshop I scrapped that. It flies quite well anyway. The vertical stab isn't in any of the drawings Leonardo da Vinci made, so I didn't add it.

The wingspan is about 550mm.

I like your printable version, that's what I like about Thingiverse! I hope I can see a printed glider made soon!