Paper planes. They are brilliant fun and a great test of skill. But humans have been making them for centuries so isn't it time we changed things up slightly? Maybe we could do so by creating a new plane with some basic electronics on board? Well that's what I am going to do in this instructable by showing you a simple, electrified paper plane that will earn you heaps of kudos from friends and family. Not to mention it's easily modified to suit your liking.
Step 1: What Will I Need?
- A 2.7v, 7.0 farad super capacitor.
- A length of 2 mm diameter carbon rod.
- Electrical tape.
- A small toy motor.
- Male and female battery connectors.
- A lid for a 3 slot AA battery case.
- A three slot AA battery holder.
- A three or two leaf propeller.
- Three AA batteries.
- Two ultra thin wires.
- A sheet of cardboard.
- Knife or scissors
- Wire snips
- Soldering iron
- Wire strippers
Step 2: Visualise the Product.
The plane is very simple. It functions by charging up a super capacitor with a small AA charging unit and then discharging a capacitor over a long time frame, spinning a motor and thus powering the plane. At the heart of the system is the 2.7v, 7.0 farad super capacitor that allows for a discharge time of roughly two minutes depending on how charged it is. The discharge power spins the motor with the propeller on. A simple toy to have some fun with.
Step 3: Making the Charger.
Firstly, solder the positive lead of the battery case to the positive lead of the male battery connector. Secondly, do the same for the negative connection with the remaining two leads. Make sure you have a strong solder so you don't have to keep repairing the leads . Now, insert the three AA batteries into the case and screw on the lid. Your basic, pocket sized charger is ready for use, quick charging the capacitor. Next, move onto part two where you will construct the main electronics.
Step 4: Soldering the Capacitor and Connector.
To continue, you will now solder the two ultra thin wires onto the legs of the super capacitor, making sure the anode (+, long leg) and cathode(-, short leg) of the capacitor are soldered to the right positive and negative leads you will use later on. Next, solder the female battery connector to the super capacitor's legs and the ultra thin wire.
Step 5: Soldering the Motor.
From the two leads coming off your capacitor, solder these wires onto the wires from the motor. It is irrelevant what wire you solder from the capacitor to the motor because all that will change is the spinning direction of the motor. It is up to you to decide which wire connects to which wire as the motor spinning one way may not give you the correct amount of thrust coming from the propeller which I will talk about in the next slide.
Step 6: Attaching the Carbon Rod and Propeller.
It is now time to put it all together. I am using a thin, carbon rod to save weight and therefore maximise efficiency of the motor. Tape the capacitor and connector to one end of the rod and the motor to the other. This will leave you with a light weight, strong, working structure ready to be placed on a plane.I attached a three leaf propeller for efficiency. However, a two leaf would work as well. The propeller should fit snugly onto the shaft of the motor.
Step 7: Making the Plane.
Lastly, make a plane from cardboard by measuring the size of the rod and the angle of the wings and then cut the design out with either scissors or a knife. This can be any shape you want. Attach the carbon rod and electronics to the cardboard plane and you are now ready to fly. You can fly the pane by plugging the connector of the charger into the the connector of the plane.This will dramatically increase the speed of the motor. One up to full RPM, disconnect the charger and let the plane fly. You should get a reasonable run time.
Step 8: Testing and Overview.
The planes design was a success. However, the electronics and design would need slightly tuning to make the plane fly. You will need to release it from a height and possibly add some more weight at the front. You could also make this into an air boat by making a the base for plastic or a waterproof material. To make the plane have a longer run time, you could add a permanent power source like a small disk battery. If your propeller is not producing much thrust, try flipping it over or try switching the leads over on the motor. Thank you very much for viewing this instructable and if you liked this project, check out some of my others and please vote for me in the contests I am entered into.