I stumbled apon a book yesterday called "The Boys Mechanic: 700 things for Boys to do" published by Popular Mechanics in 1913.

I always find it interesting to see things from the past especially from around a hundred years back.
- how things were built or ideas from the time. What makes it interesting is how far back some of todays technology goes. A lot is not new - just forgotten. Or re-vamped with a new packaging.

Anyhow - The Boys Mechanic is a bunch of things to make - experiments, magic tricks, math forumlas, etc etc. It also highlights what some kid solution and how he created it.

One of the things to be built that caught my eye immediatly as being totally cool, is right in the beggining of the book - A Glider.

The entire project consists of around 4 paragraphs and 3 or 4 illustrations. It looks pretty easy to build - after all it is meant for some one around 16, 17  - 20 from the illustration.

And so I thought - why not see how it goes together in a 3D app. Make it scale - see how feasable it is.
Will it go together as discribed. So last night I moked it up in Cinema 4D. Just trying to get a feel for the frame work really - tossed a simple plain to act as the cloth that covers the wings.

Here's a couple renders:

In the last image I added a C4D stock figure - 6' if the scale is right.
Gave me a chance to try the new Auto Rigger in C13.
Everything is to scale though i did have some issues with the project scale itself. It didn't want to switch to Inches so the conversion may or may not be exact. As I noticed somethings didn't quite fit lenght wise when they should have and this i attribute to the conversion from cm to in.

Now keep in mind this is meant to be build by your average teen say 16 to twenty.

Did it go together? Well not exactly as smoothy as one would think by the read in the book. But it wouldn't be much to mode it and make it all fit, refering to frame work.
But here is what I found humorous. There is one small few line paragraph on how to use it. And one simple line suggesting ther person may want to try smaller hills to get use to it before using it off a big hill.

And this is the picture they show of it in flight and how to use it...

Now take a look at where the start point is...
Compare the size to the passing train below... gotta be what? 30 400 foot drop to the train?

So I'm going to take my 20 ft Glider - try it a few times on a small hill - then run off a 400 foot cliff while a train is passing by below - in hopes of flying over the train - over the river onto either the bank across the river. or weoop over the three story mansions located on the other side.

And now think about all those old time movies with guys having built these and they fall apart. or noise dive into the ground. - though it does state - the tail is to prevent it from nose diving. But think about those movies and then walk up to the edge of 300 to 400 foot cliff like Blacks Beach in Cali were they hang glide all the time.
Scary stuff... but, it still has me curious as to whether anyone tried to make this Glider adn if they did, does it work? well... actually they did.

Here is a photo of the Herring-Arnot glider of 1897 - 16 years early which according to the WrightBrothers.org site, was very similar to the Chanute-Herring glider, but Herring had made subtle improvements in the tail and the air frame.

With the exception of the person hanging below the craft, it looks very similiar to the DIY Glider discribed in the Boys Mechanic doesn't it?

And check out this guy:

 He's hanging High!

So... I think I may try and build this thing

1 comment:

  1. i really want too try building this aswell my friend