I do a lot of volunteer work at community centers and such. I do workshops to teach people how to make simple rubber-power model airplanes. The issue was that the designs that fly well were all complicated to build.
I would prefabricate some of the parts so that the children would not have to carry out the more complicated or dangerous steps.
One day when I was preparing a workshop for a bunch of children at Jack Purcell Community center (I was in a rush because my ballroom partner Susan was picking me up soon), I cut myself.
It was a nasty cut and I should have gone to emergency. I didn’t want to miss my ballroom so I did that instead. The next day I was able to carry out my workshop but it was obviously quite difficult with a huge dressing on one of my fingers.
I decided to re-invent the simple model plane. After a couple of months (or a month) of contemplating, I finally sat down to finish the design. I started with a list of all the current issues (I had a lot of experience with the various models). For each issue I made another list of candidate solutions. I spent about 80h doing prototypes over the holiday season of 2004-2005. It was fun. I made prototypes with friends, at parties and at home.
I eventually settled on the design that is now known everywhere as the Squirrel. It’s a great flyer and is very easy to make.
If you want to make one, here is a video of how easy it is:
If you want to build one, you should try the video series at http://www.rubber-power.com/make-it.htm. The 6m build is to show off and it’s not the best way of building for a beginner.
You can get a kit at http://www.rubber-power.com/get-it.htm.
Here are a few flights: