Introduction: How to Make the Trident Paper Airplane
Fast, long range and simple, the Trident is a dart paper airplane with an interesting configuration.
Similar in many ways to my previous Aurora paper airplane, the Trident was the result of an almost unintended design effort. Originally, the Trident design was very different and lacked many features; this hampered the original prototype's performance and almost lead to the design being discarded. With some changes however, the aircraft became very capable and impressive. With modifications to its canards, the aircraft became very quick without great complexity in its construction. Test flights vindicated the design, although it was some time before its approval for publication was acted on and the aircraft given its instructable.
TAA USAF Designation: F362-1
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper
Step 2: Length, Fourth and Nose Folding
Fold the paper in half along its length; once done, fold the paper in half along its width. After doing this, while the aircraft is folded in half along its width, pull the corners into the center until the creases reach the half fold creases.
After these creases have been made, fold along the edges of the paper as shown; pull the paper back over its original side and crease at the length center crease. Repeat on the other side, then pull the paper open and fold it flat as shown.
Step 3: Airfoil and Nose Folding
Begin by pulling the leading edges down to the center crease on each side. After doing this, unfold them and pull the outer edges in to the creases that resulted from the first two folds of the step and refold along those two folds to complete the airfoils.
With the airfoils folded, pull the tip of the nose back toward the trailing edge and crease once it reaches this point. Pull the nose forward again along the width half fold and restore that crease. Pull the corners of this fold inward as shown.
Step 4: Wing and Canard Folding; Taping
Fold the wings by aligning the leading edges of the leading edge root extensions with the center crease of the fuselage as shown on each side. Fold the aircraft in half, and the canards up as well. Then restore the folds of the wings and fold the canards with the wings as shown. Once the canards have been creased with the wings, fold them up and around the leading edge root extensions as shown. (Try to do this as cleanly as possible; the tolerance of the design is such that it can accommodate some asymmetry, but the less there is the easier it is to handle the aircraft.)
Apply tape at the leading edge root extension joints, rear of the fuselage, across the wing roots and canard airfoil as noted. This will complete the aircraft.
Step 5: Flight
The Trident flies very much like most very simple darts like the Nakamura Eagle, Super Dart and Super Sabre. Launches should done at neutral or positive attitude at moderate to high speeds. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, elevators, ailerons, elevons, rudders and air brakes. Enjoy!