I'm fifteen. I know, kids can't do anything, but I'm pretty ambitious. I want to make something more than a hang glider, but without the confines of a sail plane. By the time I'm seventeen, I want to make a body glider. Something that gives one wings. Unfortunately, I have no clue where to start. I have drawing upon drawing of the mechanics, I know that I have to make a prototype, and I know some of the basic aeronautics. I need a few suggestions clearing up which materials are best and how to test the product safely.
1. I need something that's light weight and can bend, but still be sturdy enough to hold a person up. At first I thought of using piping, like the kind one would use in their house, but I thought it may not be flexible enough for my plans.
2. I need some sort of fabric to make the wings out of. My mental image is screaming that I use leather or tarp, but I'm afraid leather would be much too heavy and expensive, while tarp may be too easily torn. There are going to be a few crash landings, I won't deny it, but I want to be able to get up, dust myself off, and jump again.
3. If there is some sort of hinge that allows multiple attachments to pivot on it, that would be an amazing success of a find.
4. How would I test this? I live in a hilly area with many mountains, but as I said, I want to die of old age; not by falling to my death. Is it possible that I put a stake in the ground, run a cable to the suit, and wait for a gust of wind? Any better ideas?
I'm currently working on the prototype, but if you can offer any advice at all, it would be a huge help!