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Gliders by Design is a program laden with information for those with more than a casual interest in constructing foam, card stock or balsa wood gliders. Amateur builders learn about fundamental technical terms for different glider parts in the Design Guides and Glider Designer folders. Technical terms like nose mass, horizontal stabilizers, aft fuselage, and angle of incidence are defined here. Diagrams (top and side views) illustrate glider anatomy clearly. Another section devotes itself to a discussion of materials and tools, building directions, and ballast choices. The principles of lift (an explanation of the Bernoulli Principle as it relates to flight), trim (center of gravity, center of lift, tail), stability, material density, and glider dimension limitations are analyzed in Design Notes. An Activities file suggests experiments involving wing load, aspect ratio, tail size, glider control surfaces - AOI & AOA, elevators, rudders, ailerons, and rubber band powered flight.
After all this is digested a design computer will "build " your glider. Plug in the dimensions for the various parts of your virtual glider and it will give an estimated flight length and time aloft. Want to see what happens if you increase the wingspan or decrease the fuselage length without building the model? This program will tell you! A red "problem" button appears to warn you of potential design flaws and gives a brief explanation of ways to correct it. These numbers can quickly be changed and reconfigured and the simulated flight recalculated. They even show you an animate clip of its imaginary flight.
When finished, you can print out a copy of your design dimensions to refer to when constructing your actual test plane.
PC: Windows 95/98/NT 0 MB hard drive space, 8-16 MB RAM , 256-color monitor, 4x CD-ROM. .return to top of page
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