FREE Paper and Balsa Catapult glider plans - RC Groups
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Aug 07, 2004, 10:43 PM
steelhead's Avatar

FREE Paper and Balsa Catapult glider plans

Well, I uploaded some plans I have for one of my simpler balsa and paper gliders, as I said I would.

Please, if you build this plane, send a photo to me, or put it on this thread. If you cant send a photo, at least email us and let us know what you think of it. Also- as a condition of use, if anyone becomes interested, help them build and trim one. So basically, these are "SHAREPLANS" If you build it, you have to share with someone else. Please ask permission if you are printing up more than 5 copies. My permission is easy, just email me and I usually allow

I guess there is just enough info for someone experienced in laminated paper planes to build one, but for those of you who dont, I'll try and post the instructions tomorrow or the next day.

The CG is usually 1.5 inches from the LE (Leading edge) of wing, or .5 inches from TE (trailing edge)

Go to the link and right click on


choose "SAVE AS" and save it. It's 300k so will take a little longer than a second.

Then open in adobe or windows XP viewer (or whatever else you have if you dont have those two) and print out a copy. There is a scale in inches at bottom of page to make sure your printer made a lifesize copy. If not, take it to a photocopier and size it up until the inches are really inches. If your printer gets it to within 1/8th of an inch at 6 inches or so, no problem- the wingspan should be around 7.25 inches.

Print a copy onto 110lb index cardstock. I really like HAMMERMILL brand cardstock. Stronger than the rest. YOU HAVE TO USE CARDSTOCK. REGULAR PAPER WILL NOT WORK. STAPLES OFFICE SUPPLY sells a reem of 250 sheets for like 8 bucks.

The fuselage pattern is cutout and copied on a 3/32 or 1/8th inch BALSA SHEET. This is just a pattern, dont glue the fuse template to the wood.

You will, however glue the BODY DOUBLERS to the fuselage as well as the FIN AND TAB.

Use WHITE GLUE or whatever you are used to using for paper. BEST TO USE WHITE GLUE.

I'll have better instructions available soon. If you have any questions, my email address is on the plans.

Please- if you build one- send us a pic or what you think of it. I'll revise the plans to a better condition soon- I'll let you know when,

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Aug 08, 2004, 02:58 AM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
Looking forward to the instructions as I haven't built a whitewings plane (yet, have some on the way) and am a little vague on the wing build, thanks Dean, tt

By the way really like your website and planes. Very interesting.
Aug 08, 2004, 03:03 AM
steelhead's Avatar
I finished one of these planes from the new plans I drew up tonight. Total work time was about 30 minutes, but I had to let the glue dry, so the time was over a couple of hours. I cheated and used the oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes to dry the fuse and wing laminations. Really makes things quick. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! My oven is usually 150 degrees with just the pilot light on, and I was in the kitchen, not using the oven.

Flies great. I did not use the dihedral brace as the wing is plenty strong without it.

Finished weight is almost exactly 7 grams, ready to fly. I did have to shave a little balsa off the rearmost point on the fuse, but a razor made that short work.'s the specs

Wingspan 7.25 inches
wing area around 11.7 inches^2
wing loading around 2.87 ounces/foot^2 or 86.1 grams/foot^2

This wingloading is LIGHT. A good laminated paper plane loads about 100 grams/foot^2 so this one floats. Test glides were all the way across the front yard, losing about 2 feet of altitude.

This design has always done well for me, and is about the simplest in my hangar- but works like a champ. Running some more numbers will probably squeeze a little more weight off, (the tailfeathers are oversized) so there will be a revision 1.1 in the mix soon. But why change what works

Here's a pic

Last edited by steelhead; Aug 08, 2004 at 03:33 AM.
Aug 08, 2004, 03:11 AM
Registered User
make the fusealage alot!!! less wider wait until there is no wind go out and hand launch it seems like it floats forever and make the wing chord thinner
Aug 08, 2004, 03:12 AM
Registered User
but keep the tail feathers same size
Aug 08, 2004, 03:24 AM
steelhead's Avatar
The wing build? Cut out the two wing pieces, smear glue on the under wing, apply the main wing on top, align the two pieces and place between a folded wax paper sheet, insert in phone book, put weights on top and drink a soda.

I usually wait at least an hour before handling the wing, the glue will take a long time to dry if you leave it in the phone book, so take it out and let dry flat on table, flipping every now and again. THATS IT.

Here's some more pics
Aug 08, 2004, 03:41 AM
steelhead's Avatar
and the rest
Aug 08, 2004, 03:49 AM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
So Dean, do you fold the dihedral in before the glue dries or after? Sounds like after, just wanted to make sure. And the shaping of the chord after it is completely dry, or does doing this before it has set up help to keep the shape? Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks for all the pictures, I know that takes a while to load, etc. tt
Last edited by Treetop; Aug 08, 2004 at 03:53 AM.
Aug 08, 2004, 03:54 AM
steelhead's Avatar
One last note before bed-

I will post REV1.1 tomorrow morning. The elevator has too much offset from the wing. If you already printed the plans, level off the horizontal stabilizer saddle. I'll fix this in the morning- so hold off until tomorrow to print REV 1.1, or just level the stabilizer saddle.

Good night

Aug 08, 2004, 03:57 AM
steelhead's Avatar
Dihedral bend the wing before gluing. Shaping of the airfoil can happen after, just use your thumbs.

No problem about the pictures. I think my scanner might have screwed up the horizontal stab angle. Will fix it on the morrow.

Aug 08, 2004, 10:02 AM
Old School Modeler

All Wood Version

I just couldnt resist, Ive got balsawood for days, and so afew minutes later..... Thanks for the plan! We will get it in the air soon.
Van Cam
Aug 08, 2004, 05:42 PM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
Looks good in wood. tt
Aug 08, 2004, 07:19 PM
Old School Modeler
Hello All,
We took this glider out this morning, and I am pretty imprest with the design. Catapult launching this, You better have a quick eye, cause IT SMOKES. I had it trimed out, at fisrt pretty good, then it started augering in, I tried to retrim, but couldnt get it as good as what it was. The grand kids like it so I'll make a few more. If you guys have some triming tips I'd like to try them out. Good work Dean.
Van Cam
Aug 08, 2004, 08:11 PM
steelhead's Avatar
Is the launch photo the paper or the wood version?

The wood plane looks really nice. And there's something to say about the builder too- I cant get a balsa glider to look that crisp!

As far as the trimming, I like to trim the rudder to give a left turn and launch 90 degrees right from the wind, holding the plan in my left hand,t he launcher in my right and the plane banked left about 40 degrees. The launch path (the path of the stretched rubber) is about 35 to 40 degrees.

Plane should launch, and begin to turn left as it corrects itself for level flight, then fly to your left for several 60 to 80 foot circles.

The plane in the photo- where was your CG and did you level off the angle of attack on the elevator?

Also- whats the wingspan? It looks bigger than the plans. I drew them up for 7.25 inches.

Last edited by steelhead; Aug 08, 2004 at 08:14 PM.

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