There's No Place Better - EMRR! EMRR Rocks!
the basic, real and invariable nature of a thing!


Guests On

REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 08:35:52 2010

Fun Rockets
  All   More Like This   Previous   Next

SPECS: 23.75" x .75" - 2.5 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: B4-2, C6-3

(Contributed - by Chan Stevens [Who's Who Page])

Holverson Designs SwingerBrief:
This almost-ready to fly kit is a good introduction to the concept of the swing-wing glider. I stumbled across one in a clearance bin at my neighborhood craft/hobby store and at $5 couldn't pass it up. With a lightweight and colorful Styrofoam body, this looks like a nice little flyer (but mine wasn't...).

Opening the box turned out to be harder than making the glider. Once I got everything opened and unpacked, I found the glider body, the stabilizer, some clay for weight, and a rubber band (would love to have seen a few spares included with this).

The box described this as a skill level 4 kit, which in my opinion is grossly overstated. This was a very easy build and well within the abilities of the typical cub scout. I'd rate it more of a skill level 1, although glider trimming might push it to a 2.

The only "assembly" required is sliding the stabilizer into the tail end of the fuselage and filleting with white glue. Mine was a pretty tight fit and I wound up cracking the Styrofoam, which was easily repaired with a bit more white glue.

The swing-wing mechanism was a little tricky to figure out, mainly due to the fact that it was a bit too stiff and needed to be worked a little. During boost, the wings are held in the swept-back configuration by a metal pin that slides into a notch in the wings. When the ejection charge fires, this arm is pushed forward releasing the wings (a rubber band supplies the oomph).

Other than trimming the glider, there's nothing to finishing this.

Construction Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

First flight was on a C6-3. Even going through the closest slip hole, the rubber band felt pretty tight, and there was a slight bend to the rocket on the pad, as can be seen in the photo. It took off on a not-quite-vertical path. I'm not sure if this was due to a short rod (only had a 36" rod today, and the lug starts over 15 inches up) or the design.

The boost only got this about 75-100 feet up due to the roughly 45 degree trajectory. During the 3 second delay, the not-quite-a-glider-yet managed to tumble about halfway back down. When the ejection charge finally blew, it did so with a vengeance, breaking the brittle Styrofoam fuselage in two. The wings flopped out slightly, just in time to hit the ground.

Overall, this was a very disappointing flight. If I'd gone with a longer rubber band and less tension, it would probably have been fine. This one though, is ready for an early retirement, as even with additional gluing and reinforcing, I don't think the body is going to weather another flight.

The Styrofoam was obviously pretty flimsy (stabilizer broke on installation), so the single rubber band is probably not the right size or tension for my kit.

Flight Rating: 2 out of 5

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

(Contributed - by Matt Gillard [Who's Who Page] - 02/27/06) Swinger

I bought 36 Swingers in a job lot. Obviously I was going to fly one, as I’ve been more interested in rocket gliders than rockets for some time.

After a bit of trimming, this rockets is ready to go. The general feel of the kit is cheap. The elliptical wings that sweep forward are very stiff and unless the elastic band is stretched taught the wings rarely swing forward completely, unless they are worked a bit. I added silicone spray to the last swinger and that helped. The wings are held back during boost via a metal pin attached to a block with the largest pin sticking up from the body tube. The ejection charge moves the block and pin forward releasing the wing.

The rear stabilizer is slid into the rear of the boom. It's a tight fit and does not require gluing so this helps keep the mass down.

The most difficult part is trimming. The balance point is given in the instructions, clay is provided but on two of the swingers that I trimmed the test throws resulted in the polystyrene nose cone breaking.

Instructions are clear, but even with the balance corrected to the given balance point in the instructions, test throws showed that the glider needed to be trimmed again.


While there are two stickers to add and a bit of trimming, the coarse polystyrene and bright yellow and orange coloring makes this an ugly beast. The stickers do help to prevent the motor from melting the polystyrene wings.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

All three flights have been on C6-3s with the same results. Each time the rocket arcs after take off. At the end of the boost phase, the Swinger is either vertical or nose cone down. The coast phase brings the Swinger really close to the ground, the wings then sweep forward awkwardly causing the glider to hit the ground. There have been variations in the way it hits the ground, but each time the Swinger becomes a mass of broken polystyrene. I doubt if this glider ever has or ever will glide.

I wish it did!

Flight Rating: 1 out of 5

If someone buys you this kit, then build it as guided above but do not install the motor. Take the Swinger out to your flying field and them jump up and down on it. This way you'll still have a smashed Swinger, but you won't waste a motor.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

03/06 - "I had a similar experience (stab broke on insertion, glider didn't glide) plus the "heat shield" didn't, and the engine melted a long, deep trench in the wing on boost. I found the old balsa version (OOP - Holverson Designs) tucked away in an old hobby shop, and I bought it for future building." (D.K.)

03/06 - "Bummer. While I'm sorry you had such lousy luck with them, I think this is a great example of EMRR's drive for "second opinions". I had lousy flight experience with mine. You had lousy experience with yours. Now, both reviews can hopefully warn off anyone else from wasting their time/money on this one. If it was just my voice, it could always be attributed to bum luck." (C.S.)

03/06 - "Now THAT'S funny! The foam wasn't a completely horrible idea with the Tangent and Wicked Winnie, but this review, the accompanying flight logs, and my own experience with the Zoomie have me convinced that the foam gliders were just a bad idea." (W.J.E.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

"" (x.x.)

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
05-19-2005 Luke Berry Est SU C6-5 Very Late Calm RIP - ejection charge ripped fus. in two Status: Not Repairable
03-03-2006 Matt Gillard Est SU B4-2 None - CATO 0-5 mph winds RIP - tried a different motor on this swinger, came off the rod and power pranged to ground before ejection -this rocket sucks -it will never glide ever! Status: CATO'd
09-22-2005 Matt Gillard Est SU C6-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds RIP - Arched on boost, hit ground unper full power. smashed to many pieces Status: Not Repairable
09-22-2005 Matt Gillard Est SU C6-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds RIP - Arched on boost, hit ground unper full power. smashed to many pieces Status: Not Repairable
06-03-2006 Matt Gillard Est SU C6-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds RIP Number 4 - fourth swinger, this one had its tail fins ripped off under thrust, and it spat its motor so the wings never deployed. - this rocket will never perform. Status: Not Repairable
06-15-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU B4-2 Apogee - NC Down Calm RIP number 5 - near perfect boost, ejection at apogee- looked as if it would work, nose dive, smashed to several pieces on landing. Status: Not Repairable
01-31-2004 Chan Stevens Est SU C6-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds RIP - Very unstable flight pattern, prang cracked fuselage Status: Not Repairable
01-31-2004 Chan Stevens Est SU C6-3 None - Glider Calm RIP - cracked frame under thrust, terrible kit Status: Not Repairable

Please Help Make Us Better!   

•  Copyright © 2019  •   EMRR   •   Legal/Privacy   •   Disclaimer   •