walkalong gliders - going electric? - RC Groups
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Aug 27, 2002, 02:39 PM
Registered User
lad3's Avatar

walkalong gliders - going electric?

I just saw one of these at a local toy store. I can't wait for the Air Hogs ornithopter and heli, and now this! - here is more info:


Product:Air Surfer/walkalong glider
Manufacturer:WowWee Ltd.

For Tyler MacCready, the release of WowWee's Air Surfer is a dream come true.

It only took nearly 30 years for it to happen.

Rewind to the mid-1970s, and you'll find MacCready, now 39, and his older brother Parker - sons of Dr. Paul MacCready, the scientist who helped develop the Gossamer Condor man-powered aircraft - working on a special concept that eventually became the Walkalong Glider.

Shaped like a hang glider, the Walk-along Glider was a non-powered lightweight flying wing ... so lightweight, in fact, that it flew at walking speed.

It could fly just above your head, on a board the size of an LP record album held in front of you, or simply on your outstretched hands.

"You keep it up by the lift your body creates as you walk forward," MacCready says. "The air has to go around your body, and some of it goes up over your head, so you've got this area of lift and you keep it up under the glider."

The problem? "We couldn't find any toy companies that were interested," MacCready says, adding that AeroVironment - a company his father chairs and that develops unique experimental aircraft - even patented the concept and "presented it to toy companies in the early 1990s. It still didn't work."

All that changed in early 2001 when the Walkalong Glider was featured on an episode of "Scientific American Frontiers," where MacCready showed host Alan Alda how to fly one.

"People from WowWee approached me and said 'We want to do that,'" he says. "They looked like a good group that could distribute more Walkalong Gliders than anyone."

A Hasbro subsidiary, WowWee eventually changed the name to Air Surfer and settled on two versions - one with a 17-inch wingspan that will be specifically for indoors, and one with a 29-inch wingspan and intended for outdoor use. Suggested retail prices are roughly $10 and $20, respectively. The 17-inch version will feature five designs (four of which are pictured), while its 29-inch counterpart will have three.

WowWee officials add that an R/C model of the Air Surfer will be released this fall, and should retail for $59.99. Call 514-344-1250.
Specifications: Air Surfer/walkalong glider.
Suggested retail price: $10 for the 17-inch wingspan and $20 for the 29-inch wingspan.

Reviewed By Gregg Voss
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Aug 27, 2002, 04:36 PM
A Few Sandwiches Shy
RMason's Avatar
They also have a R/C version. 2- 30" span air surfers in a staggered tandem (or tailless biplane) arrangement with 2 260 sized electrics on the interplane struts. Controlled by vectored thrust. It looks WEIRD, but flies prety well. Comes with it's own controller and NiMH battery for @ $50. Got one for my 4 yr. old daughter but she thinks it is ugly, so I fly it.

Aug 27, 2002, 05:08 PM
The Alleged Pilot
eloquinn's Avatar
I found these at walgreens a while back. They're pretty nice. The tailless biplane idea seems interesting. I may have to give that a try.

Aug 27, 2002, 05:10 PM
Registered User


Saw the 16" version
Scaled it up (quick and dirty) about 2X and flew it using a GWS motor w/o gearbox, GWS RP-4 and Hitec H55s
Poor response, probably due to slow speed.
Flies like a cloud of smoke!
Aug 27, 2002, 05:33 PM
Registered User
member73's Avatar
There was a PBS special a while back that showed the McCready's (and Alan Alda) "flying" these things. Looked pretty neat, glad they finally got someone to market them.
Aug 27, 2002, 06:08 PM
Registered User

Deja VU all over again

It's been "Dunne" before!
(is that a punne?)
Aug 27, 2002, 06:12 PM
Registered User

And again.......

Dunne D.5
Aug 28, 2002, 10:18 AM
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar


saw one of the small ones in the drug store (walgreens) and remembered the footage on the tv...have been looking for this for a while ....(too old to hang out at the toy stores)...have any info on construction ,materials,can I make one out of fan fold???? gotta have it!!!!!
Aug 28, 2002, 03:49 PM
Crashmaster Extraordinair
heh, I used two of these as the wings for my second canned heat plane, may it rest in peace. these are a VERY thin undercambered flying wing with a small weight at the nose and some major up-elevons on the wingtips. the rear 1" of the outter 4-6" (estimate, dont have one handy) is curved up to about a 45 degree angle. i had to cut off that part of the wing when i used them on a "real" plane but you might be able to deal with them if you turn this into a flying wing.

The official Air Surfer site, with videos

The manufacturers site

I cant find any info on the RC version, are you sure that wasnt custom made?

The other thing that WowWee makes that I really want to get my hands on is the Ultimate Flying Saucer which is a very small tethered version of the DraganFlyer. It is a small disc with four vertical props that hovers and moves via a tethered controller. With the amazing array of micro RC equipment I am considering trying to convert this to an RC toy.
Aug 28, 2002, 06:16 PM
Registered User

Walk Along Glider

I have a walk along glider that I recently purchased for $3.00. Works like a charm and is a whole lot cheaper than these new ones.

Bryan Swinney
Aug 29, 2002, 12:00 AM
Crashmaster Extraordinair
when i got mine they were $4.99 each at Toys R Us, who still had them last time I looked
Aug 29, 2002, 12:20 AM
Crashmaster Extraordinair

Here is the Power Air Surfer, which is a super-short-fuse biplane with two Air Surfer wings and a pair of pusher props with differential thrust yaw control.

And you can buy it from Amazon.com for $50.

its probably 3 channels, but it could be done with 2. there is a button to turn both motors on/off and a button for each motor that you hold to turn the motor on/off independently.
Last edited by Sparr; Aug 29, 2002 at 12:32 AM.
Sep 14, 2002, 08:04 PM
Registered User
lad3's Avatar

R/C Air Surfer: bought one ;-)

Yeah, I'm outa control. they look like kiddie Nerf planes. But guess what? They just about fly themselves - they keep right circling (both rotors are in same direction) and it can just keep climbing - like a kite. Simple control - props on/off and L or R differential steering ("tap" the buttons). A left turn, against the natural right tendency, makes it dip and go funkey. What is wild is that the Air Surfer bi-wings really have a pronounced ground effect. The thing will dip or dive and pull out the last few inches from the ground - it also seems to avoid other objects below it.
Sep 15, 2002, 01:21 AM
Registered User

Power Air Surfer

I have one also. It is fun. Does anyone know what the battery packs are? Would it cause any problem to make up an adapter
to use the charger with a car battery? They say that a 12v a/c adapter can be used, and give instructions for adapters of 3 different capacities, but nothing about using a car battery.

Sep 26, 2002, 10:28 PM
Havin FUN
Gonnacrash's Avatar


Recd e-mail as follows;Hello Don,

Correct, the regular Air Surfers are not available in the US. The Power Air Surfer is available in most accounts. It is indeed R/C and has an extra battery and battery re-charger included.

As mentioned the Power Air Surfer can be found at Toys R Us, Walmart among others.
I've found them for $50 bux I think it was... FYI Don

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