In December 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first successful airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and you can recreate a rough 1:40 model of their famous flying machine using Popsicle sticks and glue. It took the Wright brothers more than five years to find a design that would do more than just glide, but creating a stick model version should only take a weekend.
Lay out a row of Popsicle sticks end-to-end until it is 12 inches long, then lay out another 12-inch long row parallel to the first so there is one inch between them. Use the wire cutters to make 1-inch long stick segments, sand the cut edges until smooth and glue one end of the 1-inch sticks to the first 12-inch row, and the other end should be glued to the second 12-inch row to make the first wing. Repeat across the 12 inches. Repeat to create the second wing. Using a pen, mark all four corners on the first wing's top with a dot. Along both of the wing's long sides, make a mark every 1.3 inches.
Cut 18 sticks to 1.5 inches long, removing the rounded tops and bottoms. After the glue has dried on the first wing, dab glue on the ends of the 1.5-inch sticks and attach them perpendicular to the wing in the 18 places you marked. Keep the wing on a flat surface. Hold each stick for a minute to allow the glue to start to dry to ensure it stays straight up.
Lay two sticks flat about 1 inch from each other, then glue two 1-inch cut sticks to the ends of each to form a rectangle for the fuselage, or the body under the bottom wing. Then cut and glue two 1/2-inch pieces so they stick up from the corners on a short side of the rectangle. Using two full sticks, glue one end to the top of each 1/2-inch stick. Glue the other end to the center of the bottom wing so that the wing covers about one inch or more of the bottom rectangle. Put glue between the rectangle and the wing as well.
Set two 3-inch cut sticks flat about a half inch apart, then cut half-inch pieces and glue in place to fill the gap in between them to begin making the elevator. After it dries, cut the narrow sides to a point. Repeat to create either side of the elevator. With eight 1/2-inch cut sticks -- rounded edges removed -- glue them perpendicular to one part of the elevator, one on each pointed tip, and three spaced across the middle on either side.
Glue the bottom of the elevator to the end of the platform created behind the wing. Dab glue on the end of each of the elevators supporting sticks and place the top part on evenly.
Form a triangle in the front of the wing using two sticks and glue the ends to the wing so it can hold the rudders. Repeat for the other wing in the same exact place. Then cut eight 1/2-inch pieces and form two small squares, then glue in place on the tip of each triangle for the rudders. Dab glue on the ends of the supporting sticks of the first wing and place the second wing on top. Wait for it to dry. Place four 1.5-inch cut sticks between the two small squares, one at each corner.
Trim just the rounded tops of two sticks and glue them in the center of the wing supporting beams so the ends jut out in front of the craft on either side of the center. Using three 1-inch cut sticks that have been split in half, crisscross and glue them all at the center. Attach to the tip of one stick jutting out in front for a propeller. Repeat for the second propeller.
Tips & Warnings
- This is a model only, so you should not try to make it fly.
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