How to Build a Toothpick Biplane Glider

How to Build a Toothpick Biplane Glider

Hey guys! Welcome to Nighthawk Gliders. I’m Brad. Today we’re going to build some toothpick
gliders. In this case, a biplane. This is a pretty cool plane and you will be
amazed at how well it flies. The materials that you will need are going
to be: 3×5 cards, typical notecards. You can choose various colors. You might find fluoresant. And the ones you want to get are lined—
that have a rule, such as this. I also found some other colors. These are more muted. We have a blue, a kind of dark-yellow, red,
and yellow. What’s cool about these is that they have
different colors on the back so it kind of gives you a variety of how you want your wings
to look. So we can do red and blue, dark-yellow and
orange, or a kind of a sea-green and purple. Pretty cool. So I think today we are going to make this
plane yellow and pink. Some other materials you will need: a ruler,
a knife, pencil, pliers— seems a little weird but I will show you a little bit later
why we use pliers, some glue on some wax paper— just al little dollop of glue there. Some modeling clay or perhaps Blue Tack or anything else you might have that is sticky for ballast. And that is pretty much it. So, how to make this glider, is first off—
the rules on this card are 1/4 inch each. Which is nice because our wing chord is a
1/2 inch so we can easily use these lines for measurement. So, first off I’m going to cut off the top
of the unused portion of this, then I’m going to measure out 2 1/2 inches. This is going to be my wingspan. I’m going to need a couple wings since it
is a biplane. There we go, let’s put that aside for now. So, let’s cut two wings using the lines. There we go. Ok. And what else I like to do is to trim off
the corner tips. This is optional, you don’t really have
to do this. Esthetically, i kind of like the little bit
of the rounded wing tips. If you can see that, just doing a quick little
cut. And at this point you can choose, you know, what side you want. You can do whatever combination if you have colored notecards as this. I’m going to go ahead and fold this in half. This is going to add some dihedral to our
plane. I’ll leave the yellow on top and fold both
wings. Alright, lay those down. OK. Now for the tail, that is 1/4 inch wide—which
is one of these rules and an inch long. Which I can just use my little grid here on
my cutting board and just cut this thing. Alright. Huh… Well I think my measurement is not an inch
long. Let’s see here— it’s an 1 inch and a
1/2. That’s this one. OK. Also, I’m going to trim off the corners
here real quick and fold this in half as well. Alright. Put that aside. And this remainder part is going to provide
the support for wing on top. So, we need two supports— if you can see
that— and this right here just gets cut in half. So, it’s one inch long— we’ll just use my
ruler right here and cut it in half. Sorry you can’t see that. OK. Now what I like to do on those supports—
and this is very difficult to see— is that I provide little flaps to glue this to. This is where my pliers come into play and
I’m just going to grab a little bit of paper like this and just bend it down. You’ll see how it kind of creates a little
bit of a flap. I done one one direction, turn it over and
fold it over the other direction. It’s like a little Z-pattern. Right. And then I’m going to do the same for the
other side. That’ll fold. Oops. Take this one and give this one a fold the
other way. Alright, OK, Alright. Now, it’s the glue— we need to know where
to glue these supports. And I go about 1/2 of an inch in from the
edge. So, it’s about right here. We just need a line on both sides of the wings… Right there. And we’re going to do it on the underside
of the top wing. This will be the top. Also do a 1/2 of an inch. There is probably no real science as to where
the support are— you could probably vary that if you wish. OK. So the next part is gluing. Um, I think I will have my little pink sides
stick outside— so, we’re going to go this direction here. OK. So— or I’ll have it inside. Let’s do it inside. Alright, so the trick is that you’ll want
to get a little dab of glue on the little flap. And I just kind of rub the bulk of it off—
don’t need a whole lot of glue, I really want this to dry. Now the edge of this right here is going to
be, right on— right on the line. So I have to kind of carefully— also use
a toothpick here to kinda help push that down where I need it and hold that down for a little
bit. You can probably could use hot-melt glue. I choose super-glue or CA glue just for the
sake that it is so much lighter— and it’s really not too difficult to work with. And that starts to stick pretty quickly, so
I’m going to do this on the other side. Now, the way I folded this— I’m going
to reverse my fold— is based on the angle of my wing. My flap kind of points down like that and
as the top wing will set this flap will be pointing upward. So that’s sort of how I align those. Get a little bit more glue on this one
and try to get it positioned. I got a little bit of play time before the glue
sets, so if I need to slide it a little bit and get it in position. It’s a little bit crooked, but I can slide
it, maybe… Alright. It doesn’t have to be exactly perfect. It will change, sort of, how your wing is
angled, thought. That’s alright. OK. The second part, or the second wing, is to
get this glued right up there. I’m going to add glue on this flap. A little pat. Wipe off the bulk of it. And I’m going to keep both of these wings
flat so that they are all nice and straight. I’m going to push this into place and
hold it Now you don’t want to have a lot of glue
on this because if you do, it takes longer to dry and it slips on you. So, you just want to— I know you can’t
see that— just want to get enough to be kind of tacky within a couple of seconds of
actually holding it. OK. So, I have that in place. Alright, so I need to get glue on this one
so here is an easy trick I just slide it in here like this. Alright, let’s try that. And also, same thing, just line it up and
just give it a push until it sets— a couple seconds. There we go. OK. So we got our wings. I’m not adding any camber on the wings,
these fly alright without. Plus it’s a little bit difficult to get
camber on these wings. OK. The fuselage— I got a whole bunch of toothpicks
here— I find the best toothpick the more dense and heavier they are, the better. Interestingly, this variety of toothpicks
there’s difference. Some of these are just heavier. Sometimes I can hit them on the table. It sounds a little bit more solid. This one sounds pretty good. Normally these green ones, I don’t know
why… Let’s go with this one, alright. OK, positioning of the wing— it’s pretty
far back. It’s better balanced this way, it flies
a lot better. The back trailing edge of the wing is 3/4
of an inch from the tip. So, I’ll put a line 3/4 of an inch in. Right there. And we’ll give it some glue on the bottom
side of my stick— about 1/2 inch or so. And, at this point you can chose what side
you want as the front based on how well your wings might be angled, perhaps. Alright, I’m just setting this right in
the center part where it is bent— also looking at it from the top to make certain it is straight. OK. Just like that. Alright. Gluing the tail is pretty easy— let’s
get glue on the tip of the the toothpick. And this just sets right up there. Here you can try to keep it as straight as
possible. Trying to align the tail with the wing. If you don’t get it perfect that’s alright,
because this is bendable— it’s adjustable. Based on the angle here it actually provides
a little up elevator. Something also that is noted— in these toothpick
gliders— kudos to “Foam Test” who actually showed how to build toothpick gliders. And also a shoutout to “GrandadIsAnOldMan”
who probably a couple of years ago showed a very small paper airplane— it may have
been a toothpick airplane. If I find those links I will provide them
in the description. So, here we go… All we need is a little bit of ballast. This is where a little bit of clay or Blue
Tack comes in. FoamTest he used his hot-melt glue for a little
bit of weight on the nose. Just going to rub it on there. This has a tendency to not stick so well sometimes. And, there we go. Maybe adjust the tail out a little bit. And, that’s it… we have a Toothpick Biplane
Glider. Alright, well, thanks! Enjoy life, enjoy flight, and keep on building. Take care guys! That one wants to turn left Lert’s try that again. Yup, a little bit of left turn. Probably could straighten it out a little bit. Going to give it a little bit of… Curve up right there. Hopefully… the air will help push that down a bit. There we go. That went a little right that time. Maybe just a little too much. Take a little bit of that out. Alright. There we go. Pretty good!


  • Riley Howe-mills

    That's awesome it's so small I've never seen a biplane that small

  • GrandadIsAnOldMan

    Hey that is great, I like the use of coloured card and thanks for the link in your video description and the shout-out 😊Making the biplane certainly adds an extra level of effort to the build but gives a great result.

  • sky4fly

    Good idea – to build a biplane for a better flight!

  • Jk231

    i made one toothpick biplane too, but with rudder, landing gear, and an propeller (the proppeler doesn’t move)


    Cut a in a notch, divide a rubber band into thin segments, then tie one to a toothpick.

    Ta da, a slingshot glider!

    Micro version, Vol. 2


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