Introduction: How to Make the SkyCharger Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the SkyCharger Paper Airplane
Meant for flights in high winds and other stunts, the SkyCharger is a relatively small paper airplane with high wing loading. It is very stable and is easily capable of exciting thrill-filled flights.

I developed the SkyCharger from my recent SkyHammerheadin response to the warm reception by the viewers of Instructables to the original Charger, which I felt had never been followed up on. Like the Charger and its parent design, the Hammerhead, there is great commonality between the SkyHammerhead and the SkyCharger--to the point where the former can be converted into the latter at any time during or after construction.

For those converting an existing SkyHammerhead, proceed to here.

Educators could easily use this paper airplane to demonstrate:
  • Glide ratio
  • Hangtime versus other aircraft
  • Weight and balance
  • Flight dynamics
TAA USAF Designation: UA165-1

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper
Tape
or
1 Prebuilt SkyHammerhead

Optional:
Ruler
Scissors
Pencil

Step 2: Length, Fourth and Corner Folding

Picture of Length, Fourth and Corner Folding

Fold your paper in half length-wise. Proceed to do this again so the paper will be divided into 4 tall but skinny sections. Pull the corners of the paper inwards to the fourth folds. Once you've done this on each side, flip the paper over and pull these folds toward the center crease until they meet.

Step 3: Canard Fold Preparation

Picture of Canard Fold Preparation

From its previous position, flip the paper over so its "clean" side is facing upwards. Fold the nose back to the trailing edge on the other side of the paper. The flip the paper over and pull the blunt section of paper in towards the center. Once you've made these folds, open them back up. Then fold their edges into this crease. Then fold them down again as shown.

Step 4: Canard, Wing and Winglet Folding

Picture of Canard, Wing and Winglet Folding

From its previous orientation, flip the airplane over and pull the nose open as shown. Then flatten and crease the paper, while tucking the forward edge of the nose into the main portion of the canard. Once this is finished, pull the wing down so that the quarter crease meets the bottom of the fuselage. Fold the wingtips in toward the quarter crease in the wing as shown to make the winglets. Repeat on the other side.

Step 5: Taping

Picture of Taping

Tape the SkyCharger at the following points: the front, rear, wing roots at the front and back and the flaps on the fuselage.

Step 6: Secondary Wing and Canard Folding

Picture of Secondary Wing and Canard Folding

Begin the process of folding the secondary wings by folding the wings back down again. Then fold the wings up beyond the existing quarter fold. Repeat on the other side. Proceed to the canard and fold its tip toward the center, aligning the leading edges to make sure this "canard winglet" remains parallel to the fuselage. Repeat on the other side. Return to the wing quarter panels and pull what was originally designated the winglet forward, in towards the existing crease as shown. Repeat on the other side. Once this has been finished, unfold as shown.

Step 7: Flight

Picture of Flight

Like the SkyHammerhead it is based upon, the SkyCharger is fairly simple to fly. Give this airplane a fast throw to achieve high speed flights. For best stunt performance, launch within 20 degrees of vertical at high speed. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, flaperons, spoilers, spoilerons, elevators, ailerons, elevons, rudders and air brakes. Enjoy!

Comments

whoohoo (author)2013-08-19

my skyhammerhead wouldn't fly so i made it a skycharger. it rocks!

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Bio: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter and Google+. Follow me there ... More »
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