When I was a kid, on occasion I would get to buy a little balsa wood glider from the gas station, and they were TONS OF FUN, for about 5 minutes. I would inevitably destroy them, or lose them to a tall tree. Recently, I was in a local hardware store, and they had the same ones for sale that I used to buy! As any good dad/child at heart would do, I bought one for each of my kids. When I got home, it dawned on me that I should have just made them!
I did a quick search for balsa wood and realized that my local craft store sold it, even though it’s sold in kind of odd shapes. I found several different thicknesses, but the sheets were almost all 36″x4″, which worked out great, but just struck me as odd.
Anyway, I picked up a few sheets of varying thickness and went straight to Illustrator for design. I assumed I’d start with a generic design from my head… it wouldn’t fly and I’d have to do research for a real aerodynamic shape. It turned out that my first design actually kind of flew! Of course, it can be improved, but here’s how my first attempt went!
Here’s what you’ll need:
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The .svg file and Easel project are both available for free at