Making the Case for a Glider to be Your First Aeromodelling Project

New to Aëromodelling? Consider building a Glider. Our newest Webpage for lays out a strong case.
Click this Web Link to find out why . . .

Why Fly Balsawood Gliders? — A Nostalgic Nod to David Higgins’ Lifetime Glider Fascination — 

If you’re contemplating entering the fascinating hobby of Aëromodelling, an excellent place to start is to simply build a GLIDER. Doing this is a good introduction to the basics of model building. It’s not too expensive compared to other things, nor should it have to burden you with using up a great deal of your time.

David Higgins who is the subject of Why Fly Balsawood Gliders? points this out . . . 

A very convincing argument for choosing a glider for your first Aëromodelling project can be spotted in a rare 1911 photograph below of a group of boys “dressed to the nines watching the winding of one of the rubber motors typical of model aëroplanes of this early era.

Notice that most of the eyes of the group are intensely focused on the wound motor and possibly wondering if it will break. 🤔

That is—except for . . . . one.


IT LOOKS AS IF HE’S NOT AT ALL INTERESTED IN THE MOTOR WINDING ACTIVITY AND WHETHER IT WILL BREAK OR NOT, BUT INSTEAD IS PROUDLY LOOKING AHEAD HOLDING A SMALL GLIDER—and most likely it’s one that he just finished building not too long ago. By his expression, one would think he’s trying to signal to all of us that before too long it will be HE that will be the center of attention winding a FABULOUS FLYING MACHINE of his very own making.

Building a glider not only will introduce you to a new skill set in working with Balsawood, once it’s finished and you begin flying it, you will have the opportunity to see how it flies and most likely will want to learn ways to modify its flight pattern to behave like you want it to. In this process you will gain useful hands-on experience with model aircraft in general. These essential building blocks of learning that you’ve gained will serve you well in this hobby as you build more complicated models.

TIP: 😉See our HISTORY OF HAFFA section of this Website
to learn about the early 1900s Twin Pushers.

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Webmaster’s COMMENTS by Jb Nisley:

The photograph featured in this Post was scanned from a photograph on page 56 of a book from my (Jb Nisley’s) personal “Aëromodelling Library.” titled “THE SECOND BOYS BOOK of MODEL AEROPLANES”, a cover of which is shown below. Copyrighted in 1911, the copy I was fortunate to obtain on the Internet was printed in 1914 and is in close to mint condition. 😊

Cover Photo of
THE SECOND BOYS’ BOOK of MODEL AEROPLANES Francis A. Collins – Copyright 1911 published 1914.

Inside front cover showing position of hand written note dated Christmas 1918.

To my surprise I was delighted to find a hand written note in pencil documenting that the original owner received this copy four years after it was published as a Christmas present in 1918, as documented in a hand written pencil note handsomely penned in cursive lettering, as the closeup clearly shows. (Is Cursive a lost art? One would hope not . . .😔)

I can only imagine a young Ed’s joy that Christmas morning December 25, 1918 for not only being fortunate enough to receive a wonderful book about Model Aeroplanes, but given the historic date I can only hope that he was old enough to realize and to relish the relief of having one of the deadliest global conflicts in history, THE GREAT WAR (as they knew it then) come to an end a little over a month prior. Now we know it as WORLD WAR I.

One takeaway from all of this is that the name of the lad that’s holding the glider in the group photo above or for that matter the names of all of the others that stood patiently for the motor wind has unfortunately been lost to history. For what it’s worth, and maybe it’s not that important, is that I actually do know the name of the youngster who held in his hands the book I now own.  I am sure he cherished the time he had with the book as much as I will . . .

I would prefer to think that as Ed grew up in the early 1900s he built many fine model aëroplanes that brought joy to him and others around him. I would also like to believe that he started his Aëromodelling hobby by building a glider. 

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