How To Build A Flugtag Aircraft

by FliteTest | August 25, 2016 | (5) Posted in How To

In this episode, Josh and Josh show you how we built our 2016 Boston Flugtag glider aircraft!

We built this plane in about two weeks with a budget of $500. We applied the same structural principles used in models and full-scale planes to create the wing.

We used a box spar with a piece of wood on the top and bottom and shear webbing in the middle. To give it more rigidity, we used half-inch foam ribs in the middle and put everything together using Gorilla Glue and Super 77.

 Josh B. designed the ribs in DevWing and laser-cut a rib template. Then Chad Lewis used that template to cut out all the ribs by hand. We discovered that the foam ribs were shaky, so we used extreme packing tape across the wing frame to make it sturdier.

We added the covering a section at a time, sealing each one before adding the next section. After everything was mounted, we used a heat gun to remove the wrinkles. One part of the wing is under compression and the other part is under tension, so the wing flaps fly together and bolt it. 

We made the bottom spar a little longer and drilled the main plates on the spar to create the dihedral.

Our functioning rudder and elevator were made with 3/4-inch foam covered with plywood, which made them very sturdy. We also flipped the dorsal so it was on the bottom instead of the top the day before the competition.

Thank you to Josh Scott, Chad Lewis, Bob Parmalee, Chad Nowak, and everyone else who helped create our Flugtag aircraft.

And a huge thanks to you, our community, for your incredible support and making this possible! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Check out our Flugtag flight in our Flugtag episode!


alexgofly on October 22, 2016
can you put the rib templet for download ill do the rest thanks
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Plattenwerk on September 7, 2016
Awesome! In the video one can see that the pilot is giving full up elevator. Guess thats why the gliding path is a few feet longer. It's a real winner!
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Battershell on August 26, 2016
Out did yourselves again.... Simply Awesome!!!
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Ran D. St. Clair on September 1, 2016
You guys did an amazing job, and it always breaks my heart to see so much work go into a few seconds of almost flight. I always want to see a nice long glide, even though that really isn't what the "competition" is all about.

If you ever do it again, a big key is to get up to flying speed before leaving the ramp. It is difficult to run fast enough, especially when pushing a cart. The solution these guys used was for the pilot to run down the ramp, which was also the cart. It obviously worked well.

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How To Build A Flugtag Aircraft