Best Balsa Wood Gliders for Backyard Air Superiority

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 16, 2017
Help your child conquer the air space of your backyard. His/her Air Forces will be defined by what Balsa Glider you are going to choose. Here are 5 top airplanes we'd like to recommend. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Assembly
Wingspan
Recommended Age
Dimensions
Weight
 
PROS

Ready-to-fly right out of the box. Made of high-quality balsa wood. Can be painted with markers or watercolor.

CONS

This model has a small wingspan.

OUR VERDICT

Already assembled balsa glider model will perfectly suit a large group of children as this package includes 36 models.

detailed parameters
Assembly

Ready-to-fly

Wingspan

8"

Recommended Age

10 years and up

Dimensions

10.3" x 8.3" x 2.2"

Weight

8 ounces

PROS

This model is a large glider with a plastic propeller and a landing gear. Its fuselage is partly painted but has some free space for your drawing talents.

CONS

The assembly might pose some challenge.

OUR VERDICT

A good choice for scouts and beginners in airplane modeling, assembling this model is a lot of fun.

detailed parameters
Assembly

Build-N-Fly

Wingspan

21"

Recommended Age

13 years and up

Dimensions

16" x 5" x 1"

Weight

4.8 ounces

PROS

This model uses a rubber band motor. It's easy to assemble due to a small number of parts (easily replaced if something breaks). The model can glide for up to 250-300 feet or 15 seconds.

CONS

This model is rather fragile compared to the competitors.

OUR VERDICT

A classic model from the times when airplane modeling had just started. It has almost the same design with some minor changes. In case you need it, a detailed walkthrough on the assembly is printed on the backside of its wings.

detailed parameters
Assembly

Build-N-Fly

Wingspan

17"

Recommended Age

10 years and up

Dimensions

17.5" x 3" x 2"

Weight

4 ounces

PROS

One of the largest models available for purchase, its design copies one of the earliest airplane prototypes by the Wright brothers. Features a unique rubber band motor with two propellers that will help it stay in the sky longer. Despite its size, doesn't take long to assemble.

CONS

Its size and weight might become the first reason for damage.

OUR VERDICT

It has an unusual and interesting design, as well as a unique engine. Favorite balsa glider of those in love with everything extraordinary.

detailed parameters
Assembly

Build-N-Fly

Wingspan

19"

Recommended Age

10 years and up

Dimensions

20" x 19" x 6"

Weight

16 ounces

PROS

You won't need any additional materials or tools to assemble it, everything you need is included in the package. Original drawings of an eagle, a pilot, and an "F15" label are already painted on the fuselage.

CONS

Requires wings adjustment after each flight.

OUR VERDICT

A simple and extremely light model that perfectly suits beginners in airplane modeling.

detailed parameters
Assembly

Build-N-Fly

Wingspan

From 9" to 16"

Recommended Age

8 years and up

Dimensions

9" x 2" x 0.2"

Weight

1.6 ounces

What is a Balsa Glider

Basically, balsa gliders are simple wooden airplane models. Due to their design and structure, they are capable of traveling quite a long distance (100-122 to 250-300 feet) if launched properly. Duration of the flight depends on its material, weight, and length and usually takes from 10 to 15 seconds. The design of a balsa glider can also be improved with additional gear, such as propellers, for example. Most of the time, the gliders are made entirely of wood, though sometimes fuselage may contain small plastic details. Generally, the models are assembled manually with the help of a guide included in the package.

If you love crafting with your own hands, take a look at our review of the best craft tables to enrich your home with some hand-made furniture, or maybe our review of the best engravers that will help you decorate new hand-made furniture with custom engraving or maybe even an entire picture.

S&S Worldwide Balsa Wood Glider

The More the Merrier

One of the most distinguishing features of this item would be a number of models in one package. When you purchase this item, you get 36 ready-to-fly gliders. You could also look at it as a glider plus 35 sets of spare parts in case something breaks. This means you won't have to buy new packages and spend even more money. In addition to that, 36 gliders are more than enough for you, your children, and even quite a few friends. Nobody will have to fight over a permission to have some fun with these birds. Furthermore, you can draw on this wood not only with special tools but also with regular markers. The plane itself can fly amazingly far for its size thanks to balsa wood. These planes glide and land well when launched properly.

If you love speed and steep turns, you should also check our review of RC drift cars.  

Review of S&S Worldwide Balsa Wood Glider

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


S&S Worldwide Balsa Wood Glider
S&S Worldwide Balsa Wood Glider
 

Guillow Fly Boy Model Kit

Even More Possibilities

The Guillow Fly Boy Model Kit differs from all other gliders by its propeller and landing gear. The propeller will help the plane stabilize during the flight and the landing gear will make sure plane stays intact after landing. The wingspan of this model is 21" so the plane won't start descending moments after the launch. Most of its details have to be attached with glue and not just inserted in the right slots. That's why we would recommend this glider to people who have at least some experience with modeling. In addition to that, you won't need to do a paint job, as its wings already have a logo and its propeller and landing gear are already colored red. The package contains everything you will need to assemble the plane, even the glue.

If you love plane models, you should definitely check our review on RC Airplanes

Review of Guillow Fly Boy Model Kit

Additional Info

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Guillow Fly Boy Model Kit
Guillow Fly Boy Model Kit
 

Guillow Balsa Wood Flying Machine Kit

Back From the Old Days

Back in 1925, Guillow's was the first company to start manufacturing wooden airplane models for kids. Those models were capable of flying, imagine how much joy children had with such a toy back in those times! Today we have a completely different generation, never cease to be fun.

This model shares a design with its original predecessor, both the landing gear and the propeller are in their places. The glider is capable of flying for 12 to 15 seconds covering 250 to 300 feet. A so-called rubber band motor that spins the propeller is what makes the airplane travel so far. If you are not sure how it works or how you should launch the glider, you can always turn it upside down and see a detailed instruction on the back of the wings.

Do you happen to live near a pond or a lake? Now that you have conquered the skies, time to take on the water. Follow the link and see what RC Sailboats we could recommend you.

Review of Guillow Balsa Wood Flying Machine Kit

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Guillow Balsa Wood Flying Machine Kit
Guillow Balsa Wood Flying Machine Kit
 

Be Amazing! Toys Sky Blue Flight Giant Wright Flyer Model Kit

Keep in Touch with History

This Be Amazing! Toys model has the Wright brothers name for a reason. This airplane is actually an exact copy of one of the first airplane prototypes in human history. What other reasons does your child need to fall in love with history classes? This unique model has two propellers making it fly further and land without any troubles. Even comparing it to the biggest airplane models out there, this glider seems pretty big. Its wingspan of 19" in combination with two rear propellers makes it possible to use the plane even in windy weather. It can travel for 120 feet and as long as 12 seconds. It will only take about 45 minutes to assemble the airplane, which is much faster than with other models. In addition to that, manufacturer printed a QR-code in the paper instruction that will take you to a walkthrough video of assembling and launching the plane.

One more option for flying games in your backyard would be RC Blimps. Choose one!

Review of Be Amazing! Toys Sky Blue Flight Giant Wright Flyer Model Kit

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Be Amazing! Toys Sky Blue Flight Giant Wright Flyer Model Kit
Be Amazing! Toys Sky Blue Flight Giant Wright Flyer Model Kit
 

Guillow Balsa Eagle Glider Guillows

Simplicity and Reliability

This specific model is one the most simple ones on the market. Yet, being simple is not necessarily a bad thing. First of all, simple model means it won't take much to assemble it or replace some parts. Secondly, its simplicity will help you better understand how the balsa gliders work. Soon enough you will know what you want from your airplanes and what to look for in future purchases. This model is just perfect for beginners who don't really know what they might want from it. Except fun, of course. The manufacturer says kids of eight years are able to assemble it all by themselves. None of other planes can say the same, that's for sure.

As for the design, this model already has all the parts painted. There are an eagle and the model's name — Eagle (F-15) — on its wings and also a ready-to-fly pilot in its cockpit. It would be fair to say that it's the only manned model on the market.

If you want to start your modeling career from scratch or maybe get something for your child that they would be capable of toying with all by themselves, this item will suit your needs.

In case your child is more down to earth than you, consider getting them a toy truck. Here's our list of top 5 RC Trucks.

Review of Guillow Balsa Eagle Glider Guillows

Additional Info

User Manual


Guillow Balsa Eagle Glider Guillows
Guillow Balsa Eagle Glider Guillows
 

Sources:

1. Model aircraftWikipedia. April 5, 2017.

2. Fun with Gliders, NASA. May 5, 2015.

3. Interesting Facts about Balsa Wood, East Coast Model Center.

4. SheepiAnna Balsa Wood GliderInstructables

5. How to Make a Glider Plane, eBay. March 10, 2016.

Publish Date: 2017-05-16 05:22:51