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)
Step 2: Begin Construction
After the fuselage is made, take another sheet of paper that is folded in half along the lines of boxes. Mark out the wing as shown (2 boxes in length by 4 boxes in width, and a swept portion in front of this box of 1 box eliminated every 4 boxes away from the fuselage). Half of a box in from the wingtip, make a dotted line parallel to the wingtip. Measure 2 boxes along the crease, measure two boxes upwards from one side and the one box forward. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this line the other edge of the line along the crease. Then cut it out.
Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.
Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches