The SkyOrion had no real design phase; really, there were just existing parts from cancelled projects laying about my design area. Rather than discard these unused parts for scrap and begin work on the next project, I decided to have some fun experimenting with combining the components into a new hybrid aircraft. I did very little planning, and for what there was, it was generally impulsive. However, when the prototype was finished, and the aircraft flown, it was clear that the airplane was an unexpected success. In testing, the aircraft excelled, matching the Orion's speed and demonstrating an excellent glide ratio too. I am very pleased with this craft, and feel that it is very important that people go out on a limb and just make something experimental once and a while, just to do it.
Because of its inherent versatility, the SkyOrion can easily serve as an aerial testbed for uses in education on top of all else it can do. Some potential usages for educators could include studies of:
- Glide ratio
- Hangtime versus other aircraft
- Weight and balance
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 10.5 by 8 inch graph paper (4 boxes per inch)