Rubber bands
September 12, 2019 6:35 AM   Subscribe

Fast. Medium. Slow.
posted by clawsoon (14 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I didn't realize until just now that I need to learn how to make rubber band airplanes.
posted by slogger at 7:33 AM on September 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


The 'medium' video is absolutely beautiful.
posted by mdonley at 7:47 AM on September 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


I'm completely in love with the fragile, barely-there planes in Slow.
posted by flabdablet at 8:14 AM on September 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Slow

On edit: Yeah, medium too!
posted by hypnogogue at 8:38 AM on September 12, 2019


The F1D "Slow" planes weigh about as much as a dollar bill. The rules change every few years, but the minimum weight allowed is usually between 1.2 and 1.4 grams. The record flights are an hour or more on a single rubber band.

There's a salt mine in Romania which has been a popular spot to attempt F1D records.
posted by clawsoon at 9:20 AM on September 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


You'd be unsurprised to hear that in the late 1970s, the UK had a television programme about rubber-band engineering. The challenge of The Great Egg Race was to develop a vehicle that could safely propel an egg the farthest or the fastest (over a 10 m straight track) using only one GPO standard rubber band. The top prize was the Hartmann Fibre Trophy.

It later became a crowd pleasing Junkyard Wars-style challenge, but for me, the minimalism of the band vs physics was the big draw.
posted by scruss at 9:30 AM on September 12, 2019


I recall seeing an article in a flying model magazine back in the seventies where a guy was seeing how small he could make the indoor "slow" planes, and had pictures of a pair of tiny planes inside a matchbox. For power, he used the rubber from the elastic of a sock. So cool, but so small! More my speed is the peanut and pistachio scale stuff (this got suggested while I was watching the "Slow" video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqbpaGq6k3o )
I love how they've tuned them to circle within the space available.
posted by coppertop at 9:36 AM on September 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


coppertop: I recall seeing an article in a flying model magazine back in the seventies where a guy was seeing how small he could make the indoor "slow" planes, and had pictures of a pair of tiny planes inside a matchbox.

Interesting! I wonder how long they flew for. At a certain level of tiny-ness and slow-ness, travelling through the air becomes more like swimming through molasses, and all the usual dynamics of flight change completely.
posted by clawsoon at 10:04 AM on September 12, 2019


F1D

Hangar Rat
posted by Don Pepino at 11:41 AM on September 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Well, a little internet searching turns up a thread on RCgroups.com where there is a scanned picture of a page from a 1931 popular mechanics magazine with a 1-1/4" long plane that (reportedly) could fly for a minute, then a link to this video on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=XI0x6DPxWYg) of a 1-1/2" wingspan plane in flight. These little guys are not so small that the aerodynamic rules have changed, it seems, as they look very similar to the much larger F1D planes.
Cool stuff!
posted by coppertop at 4:44 PM on September 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


S l o w

I kept checking the people walking in that video to make sure it wasn't just playing in slow motion. It's disconcerting to see the propeller spinning that slowly.
posted by klausman at 9:24 PM on September 12, 2019


This was such a cool post! Those vids brought back some really nice memories.

Remember those cheep balsa wood airplane kits you'd buy at the corner store (late 50'/early 60's)? They'd come in a paper sleeve, you'd unsnap the parts, put it together and you'd be good to go. God I loved those things. The more 'expensive' planes had rubber band power, some others had landing gears. I used to color/decorate them using dyes because paint made them unflyable. I wonder if you can still buy them.
posted by james33 at 5:14 AM on September 13, 2019


They still sold them when I was an airplan obsessed kid in the mid 90s
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2019


Remember those cheep balsa wood airplane kits you'd buy at the corner store (late 50'/early 60's)?

Guillow's is still in business. I think Wal-mart stocks 'em.
posted by scruss at 9:21 PM on September 15, 2019


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