Introduction: How to Make the Thunderbolt Paper Airplane
A fast, long range and compact paper airplane, I find the Thunderbolt a very useful aircraft in many roles.
TAA USAF Designation: A72-1
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper
1 Paper Clip
Step 2: Length Folding
Take your paper and fold it in half length-wise.
Step 3: X Folding
Take the right or left corner to the paper and fold it to the length of the opposite side. Then repeat with the inverse arrangement. Then pull the front down to make a doubled layer. Then redo the X Folding, but at the lines, allow the paper to come out from it and pile on top of itself. Then repeat this on the other side.
Step 4: Pulling Forward the Nose
From the outer sections of the cover fold, pull the paper up to the front. Then repeat this on the other side. Proceed to then pull the paper in on itself again and do this on each side as well. Along the top of the section you just folded, fold the nose down. Fold the two separate tabs onto the side which has the repeatedly folded paper, but let the other side go to the "clean" side of the airframe.
Step 5: Tricky Nose Unfolding
Fold the small front triangle to the "clean" side. The open all but the little triangles on the other side so it appears almost as flat as it was.
Step 6: Nose Refolding
From the blunt front tip, pull the paper forward and then flatten it. From here, pull the front half of the diamond down over itself.
Step 7: Landing Gear, Wing and Winglet Folding
First, fold the landing gear over itself as shown. Then, about 3/4 of an inch above the bottom of the fuselage, fold down the wing. Repeat on the other side. About 3/4 of an inch from the wingtip, fold up the winglet. Repeat on the other side.
Step 8: Taping and Applying the Paper Clip
To tape your Thunderbolt, you must apply strips at the front and back of the fuselage and the canard-wing intersections. To finish your airplane, put a large paper clip onto its nose.
Step 9: Flight
The Thunderbolt is a nose heavy airplane and flies like one. For long range flights in straight lines, this plane is supreme. For launches above 30 degrees pitch-up, however, it is deficient as its nose weighs it down. Enjoy!