Introduction: How to Make the Super Firefly Paper Airplane

Fast, long range and small, the Super Firefly is a redesigned version of the Firefly paper airplane, meant to fly quicker and handle better than its predecessor.

The Super Firefly was developed to build upon the Firefly's success as a simple but capable "drone fighter" with cruising capabilities integrated in it (spiritually succeeding the eldery SkyOrion). To improve the new aircraft's performance, I decided to make the layout a high wing design to allow for spars. The spars added strength to the wings, as well as the allowance for the seamless integration of leading edge root extensions (LERX) ahead of the wing, which would aid them aerodynamically. The new positioning of the wing would also allow for origami aviators to better grip the airplane at launch, making things easier in that regard as well.

When the prototype was completed and flight testing done, the new Firefly variant proved itself to be just as capable as the original. Although still very conventional, the Super Firefly was very able and a good performer in testing. Pleased by its showing, I approved of its publication.

TAA USAF Designation: D415-2

Step 1: Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

Scissors

Ruler

Tape

Pencil

Stapler

Step 2: Begin Construction

First, begin by folding your your graph paper in half (excluding three boxes on the perforated side). Once the paper has been folded appropriately, make two marks--10 full boxes apart (allow for a further box back behind the airframe). Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 10 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the stabilizers, spars and counterweight as shown. The airframe should appear as it does in the first photograph when you have completed its layout.

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 (1 box in length by 4 boxes in width, with a swept portion in front of this box of 1 box of chord eliminated every 2 boxes away from the fuselage).

Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage; Stapling

Cut out your fuselage and fold its counterweights into place. Cut along the solid lines of the tail then cut away the portion shown. After doing this, fold the fin forward along the dotted line. After the fins have been folded into position, apply tape where designated in the photographs. After the taping is done, apply 1 staple in the area of the counterweight as shown.

Step 4: Applying the Wings; Stabilizer Folding

Cut out the wings and tape them to the spars of the inverted fuselage as shown. Apply tape where designated at the leading edge root extension-wing joint to complete taping. Fold the horizontal stabilizers down perpendicular to the vertical stabilizer to complete your Super Firefly.

Step 5: Flight

The Super Firefly handles very much like its predecessor--with docility and generally predictable flights; those with experience with the original Firefly should find the Super Firefly easy to transition to. Launches should be done at moderate speeds at neutral or positive attitudes. Additional surfaces include flaps, ailerons, elevators and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

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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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