Introduction: How to Make the Turbo SkyGnat Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the Turbo SkyGnat Paper Airplane

Fast, nimble and tiny, the Turbo SkyGnat is a modified variant of the popular SkyGnat paper airplane, featuring an enlarged vertical stabilizer and repositioned horizontal stabilizers.

Development of the Turbo SkyGnat was initiated to give the well liked SkyGnat a simpler successor that possessed performance as good as the original. To this end, most of the original's design was retained. For commonality and superior stability, the vertical stabilizer was enlarged to match the design of the StarSerpent and its predecessors. Flight testing proved the aircraft to be a good performer and it was soon approved for publication.

TAA USAF Designation: D407-1

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper (4 boxes per inch)






Step 2: Begin Construction

Picture of 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. 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 rudder and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, mark out the wing spars and landing gear. From the back along the level 1.5 boxes above the fold, measure 2 boxes forward and make a solid line 2 boxes long. Measure 1 box back from the beginning of this horizontal line and mark out a dotted vertical line. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage.

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 (2 boxes in length by 3 boxes in width, and a swept portion in front of this box of 1 box eliminated every 3 boxes away from the fuselage). In addition, measure 2 boxes along the crease and 2 boxes upwards from one side and the 1 box forward. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this line the other edge of the line along the crease. This will make the horizontal stabilizers. Then cut it out.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Picture of Making the Fuselage

Begin making your airframe's fuselage by cutting it out and folding the counterweight in. Next, cut one of the vertical stabilizers off and fold the landing gear and spars down. Once this is done, fold the vertical stabilizer forward along dotted vertical line and cut along the solid horizontal line as shown. Then unfold. Once this is complete, tape where designated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Picture of Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Cut out and unfold your wing and flip your airframe inverted. Tape the wing to the fuselage by applying tape to the spars, with the overhang grabbing the wing. Cut off any excess tape. Flip the airframe over and then apply tape to the leading edge of the wing that sits atop the leading edge root extensions. Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and thread them through the slit in the vertical stabilizer. Fold them up once through and tape them to the fuselage. Once these surfaces have been mounted, add one staple in the area of the counterweight. This application will complete your Turbo SkyGnat.

Step 5: Flight

Picture of Flight

The Turbo SkyGnat flies very much like its namesake; those with experience flying other mini interceptor paper airplanes like the StarSerpent and SkyStinger should be able to transition easily. Launches at moderate to high speed at neutral or negative attitudes will give the aircraft its best possible speed and range performance. Launches can be done at a positive attitude, but launch speed should be faster (range may be reduced). Instability can be cured through proper trimming, and so after only a few test flights the Turbo SkyGnat should be able to fly straight very easily. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, elevators, ailerons, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!


ThirtyKei (author)2016-05-12

Thanks to your technique, i was able to make some WW2 planes which are fly-able! Here are some of them.

These look like some of the sort I spotted on the War Thunder forums. :)


because i posted there too :D

it's nice to know you're playing WT too

JoshG47 made it! (author)2016-02-22

I made this with my son, it was a lot of fun! thanks for the post.

Glad to hear it was enjoyed! :)


nfrankcom (author)2016-02-21

Looking forward to trying these. Thank you for the plans and instructions?

Kind regards


PlaidPete (author)2016-02-20

Is there a conversion for normal size graph paper?

The unit measurement for boxes is 1 box = 0.25 inches. If you substitute this for the boxes, you can make the aircraft without them but the paper must be the same weight or performance changes. Generally notebook paper is light enough to be substituted.

About This Instructable




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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