Introduction: How to Make the Colt Paper Airplane

Fast, long range and aerodynamic, the Colt paper airplane is a small dart paper airplane that can also glide quite well at lower speeds.

The Colt was developed from the Scarab paper airplane made by 22181. I had found the design intriguing but wished to make it faster and have better ground handling. To that end I looked to a technique used by my friend and fellow paper airplane maker, TriKdanG, with folds similar to those of his popular Spirit Dragon to extend the Colt's wings. These folds made the wings larger and also enabled the addition of ventral stabilizers. These stabilizers are positioned to provide stability both in flight and on the ground as outrigger skids. In flight testing the Colt proved itself to be a capable design, although it did show a tendency to require some tweaking and trimming to realize its full potential. Despite a few hiccups, I determined that the Colt was an able airplane worthy or publication and greenlit it on that basis.

TAA USAF Designation: F404-1

Step 1: Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper

Tape

Pencil

Ruler

Optional:

Scissors (additional surfaces only)

Step 2: Width and Corner Folding

Fold the paper in half along its width and then fold the corners into the center as shown. After this, pull the crease that has resulted from the last folds into the center. After this is done, reverse the folds back outward as shown in the last photograph.

Step 3: Nose Folding

Pull the leading edges of the nose folds back into the center as shown. After this is done, flip the paper over and pull the nose folds back around. Pull the tip of the nose to the rear edges of the nose folds and make a crease, then unfold it. Pull the rear edges of the nose folds to the diagonal edges and then tuck these under themselves. After this, restore the nose fold and then pull the non-overhanging part forward once again. Crease this portion and then reverse the fold to tuck it into itself.

Step 4: Wing and Ventral Fin Folding; Taping

From its previous position, flip the paper over. Pull the flaps of paper outward from the front until the flap reaches its limits at the marked point in the second and third photographs. When this is done on each side, reverse these folds.

Fold the paper in half along its center crease and measure 0.875 inches above the crease along the trailing edge and make a mark. At this mark, while keeping the trailing edges of the wing parallel with that of the fuselage, fold the wings down.

After the wings are folded down, fold the ventral fins. Align them by keeping the straight line of one of their layers lined up with the trailing edges of the wings as shown.

Apply tape to the points designated in the photographs to complete your Colt.

Step 5: Flight

The Colt is a capable paper airplane able to fly at a variety of speeds. Launches can be conducted at moderate to high speeds which can result in high speed flights or slower glides. Because of its complexity, it may be necessary to make trimming adjustments to your Colt, so it is best to conduct test flights to determine what trim (if any) is required to make the aircraft fly straight. Additional applicable surfaces include elevators, ailerons, flaps, slats, spoilers and air brakes.

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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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