Lots of good comments so far.
Glue, go see that article I wrote WAY to many years back on the NSO website.
- Lightest, thinned duco, but NOT necessary for WS planes. Believe it or not, these things are HEAVY compared to hard core indoor planes. And it does take some practice/technique to make it really light.
- CA can be ALMOST as light, but again, takes proper technique to keep the weight gain down. Some people like medium density, I don't, I find it easier to add VERY small amounts with the thin CA and the pair of pins applicator. On a good day, I can approach duco weights. Never crazy weight adds.
But again, for WS, if you watch the weight of the rest of your parts as you build (and I certainly hope you are) you don't have to go too crazy fanatical about glue. Though I consider it a good general practice because every bit off glue mass is dead weight other than connecting parts, and it doesn't take much for that, is taken from mass you could use in wood for strength.
Weight, someone mentioned building 6 gm planes against an 8 gm minimum. Personally I wouldn't go that far, ref my comment about mass that could be better used to improve strength. I tend to target 7.5 gm without the ballast. I find 0.5 gm ballast to be sufficient to adjust center of gravity.
Design vs kits & plans. Unless you have already had a lot of training in aircraft design I wouldn't go there. People have been building and flying indoor model airplanes for more than 100 yrs, there isn't a lot out there to 'invent'. The purpose of this event most definitely ISN'T design. Its purpose is test and evaluation.
Kits vs plans. Depends on what support you have.
- If you have little support and haven't done this before, go with a good kit (already mentioned) because they have GOOD instructions and everything you need in one place. Yes a little expensive, but probably well worth the time you save.
- If you have a good support system, or have built at least one kit, you can save money going with plans, at the cost of time of course.
Once you've had success with a kit, start exploring designs, modifying the kit design or existing designs as you learn what is important.
Coach Chuck already mentioned the importance of the log. It is SO important that I'll reinforce his comment. Again, this event is about test and evaluation. Without data, you CANNOT succeed. The log specification was introduced to get that across without making it unduly difficult to judge the event or over penalize the teams. He is not kidding, good teams come in with BOOKS of data. Some possible additional parameters:
- details of the flying site. Particularly ceiling height, but floor space isn't irrelevant.
- details of plane trim. Wing and stab incidence angles. Amount of left wing washin. Stab tilt. Stab offset. Center of gravity. etc.
- details of the flight. Time to max height. Max height. Time at max height. Time to descend. Size of circle, constant, increasing or decreasing. Behavior, stalls, dives, dutch roll.
- Details of winding. Initial stretch, final length wound. Max turns, max torque, backed off turns & torque.
- Details of the rubber. Mass, length, width, batch, number of flights.
To get started you don't need all of these, and some may vary depending on plane design. But all are relevant to good flights to a greater or lesser degree.
As a beginning flyer you should have at least the following (I welcome others comments on the following, I'm trying to keep it to what a BEGINNER needs):
- Trim measurements relevant to YOUR plane's design.
- Motor size - mass and cross section size.
- Winding details. Max winds, backed off winds at launch. Winds left on landing
- General comments on the flight itself. How high did it go, turn circle size, behavior (climb, dive, stalls and such)
FINALLY, DON'T wait till you have the latest kits to this years rules. Take any year kit to any rules and learn out to build and fly at your earliest opportunity! Fly LOTS. Get over the newbie learning curve early. The things you learn will be directly applicable to ANY variation on the rules we can make as still have an event based on and indoor powered airplane. Note, I didn't even say 'rubber' powered. And no, we're not going to electric this year. But what you learn will be applicable to ANY power source to a large degree.
With that experience you'll easily be able to adapt to the new rules when they come out.
Oh, and in addition to having the backup plane as already mentioned. Carry a repair kit and know how to repair your plane on site as needed!! Believe me, you'll need it at SOME point.