Introduction: How to Make the SkyGrasshopper Paper Airplane
Simple and easy to make, the SkyGrasshopper is a slow flying wing paper airplane that can be made with one piece of paper--no taping or measuring. It is meant as a simpler complement to the similar Super Skyhawk. the SkyGrasshopper is meant as a flying wing trainer for newer origami aviators in preparation for handling increasingly quick and complex aircraft like the Omniwing series and the large Omniwing Zeta paper airplane.
The SkyGrasshopper was developed in parallel with its basis, the Grasshopper, as an extremely simple flying wing that would require only its sheet of 8.5 by 11 inch paper to be constructed. The Grasshopper was patterned after the venerable Skyhawk while the SkyGrasshopper adopted a shape analogous to the Super Skyhawk.
TAA USAF Designation: TA201-2
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper
Scissors (additional surfaces only)
Ruler (additional surfaces only)
Step 2: Length, Width and Corner Folding
Fold the paper in half along its length, then along its width. While it
is folded in half along its width, fold the corners inward as shown. After doing this, open the paper to unfold it as pictured.
Step 3: Corner and Nose Folding
With the paper folded along the length fold crease, fold the corners down on each side as shown. After this, lay the paper out flat and pull the nose back to the X fold. Pull the paper back over itself as shown. When this is done, the paper should look as it does in the last photograph.
Step 4: Security, Airfoil and Winglet Folding
Pull the trailing diagonal edges of the overlaying folds from each side into the center. After this is done, pull the triangle tip of the forward nose backwards to the limits imposed by this step's first folds. Tuck the forward edges of the first folds into the triangle section as pictured. Once this is done, pull the sections of the airfoil folds not secured forward as shown and crease. After making the crease, reverse the fold and tuck them underneath the airfoils. Pull the edges of the paper into the center crease with its forward limit at the leading edge and the outer edge on the inside at the center crease.
Pull the edges back outward with the forward limit lined up with the airfoil folds as shown in the photograph. Pull the tips of the paper back outward with that limiting forward point marked and then crease as shown in the eighth and ninth photographs. After doing this, pull the rear tips in toward the center on each side as depicted in the tenth photograph. This will complete your SkyGrasshopper.
Step 5: Flight
The SkyGrasshopper is a basic paper airplane meant to help new origami aviators looking to transition from less finicky types to flying wing paper airplanes, which tend to be more temperamental than conventional paper airplanes. By design the aircraft is designed to handle running into surfaces edge on; generally only minor trim changes are required (if any are at all).
Launches should be conducted at negative or neutral attitude at low to moderate speeds. The plane should be held with two fingers above and one finger below the middle surface and advanced forward in the air, then released. (Alternatively, it can also be held and launched at a neutral attitude similar to a football at low to moderate speeds.) Tape maybe added to the airfoil folds to improve performance at higher speeds. Additional applicable surfaces include elevators, rudders and ailerons. Enjoy!