Hand Launched Gliders are often the first models that anyone scratch builds. They are simple and rugged, with little or no moving parts, and have very good flying qualities. They come in all shapes, sizes and weights.
I began building and flying hand launched gliders because of a book that I found at the library. It is called Throw it Out of Sight!: Building and Flying a Hand-launched Glider by Lawrence F. Abrams (Author). Amazingly enough it's still available through Amazon.com and may even be at your local library.
It's a simple book for youth, that gives instructions for building and flying hand launched designs that fly very well for beginners. My first one flew away just as the book indicated it would so I built a second one but did not have the same results. The second one flew through a wire fence at the end of the field and was destroyed. I did however continue to build hand launched gliders throughout the years.
Another model airplane flyer introduced me to a hand launched glider called the Super Sweep 22 and I had great success flying this model. Initially it was a design by Ron Wittman but I suppose it has gone through many versions since that time and the ones I currently build are slightly larger and use spruce in the design as well as balsa.
The neat thing about HLG's is that you get some exercise and can loose some weight running around after these things. They are attention getters at the park when you have a good glider that just hangs there in the calm evening air.
I will review this glider as a build project on the Super Sweep page with some pictures and tips.
Although I have made several of these I don't have one on the bench at the moment. The build page will definitely be added when the time comes.
In the mean time it wouldn't hurt to review the Rules for this class of airplane.