Introduction: How to Make the Aurora Paper Airplane

About: Paper airplane maker: 400+ designs so far and more in development!

Fast, long range and sleek, the Aurora is a dart paper airplane similar in shape to the alleged Lockheed SR-91 "Aurora" spy aircraft and carries the name as a tribute.

Despite its intricate design, the Aurora's development was quick and had few problems. The aircraft itself was essentially an accident, as I had not been meaning to design it. Rather, it was created when random folds created a fascinating shape, appearing similar to the Kingcobra and StratoCobra paper airplanes. I decided to conduct a test flight and to my surprise, performance was good. With some refinement, I had the prototype finished and began more thorough testing. The aircraft proved itself fast and stable in flight testing, and soon demonstrated itself as worthy of publication. As such, it was approved and earmarked an instructable slot.

TAA USAF Designation: F340-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper





Step 2: Width and Corner Folding

Start making your Aurora by folding it in half along its width. Then on one of the halves, fold the corner down to the center fold. Then repeat on the other side. Once the creases have been established, unfold each. Then fold the paper folds into themselves as shown. Then fold again. Once this is finished, unfold the paper.

Step 3: Nose, Wing and Airfoil Folding

Pull the tip of the nose back up to meet the leading edges of the corner folds. After doing this, reverse the fold into itself as shown. Once you have done that, fold the wings down until you can do so no longer, as pictured. Fold the leading edges of the wings into the wing root folds on each side, then unfold. Fold the leading edges to these creases, the restore the folds you had unfolded previously.

Step 4: Wing, Leading Edge and Winglet Folding

Fold the hanging portion of the wing between the wingtip and the fold section of the airfoil as shown and crease, then repeat on the other side. After doing this, pull the airfoil fold in toward the wing root folds as shown. Fold the security fold down over the nose to make folding easier; it will be taken care of in the next step. Measure 0.875 inches along the trailing edge of the ventral winglet (this should correspond to its length) and 2 inches along its leading edge to make a mark. Connect the mark and the winglet edge with a crease. Repeat on the other side with the same measurements. To fold the dorsal winglets, align their creases with those of the ventral winglets.

Step 5: Security Folding; Taping

Fold the security fold down along the wing root once again, then open it and align its center line with the wing root crease. Flipping the airplane on its back, pull the paper of the security fold around the wings' leading edges as shown. Tape where designated to complete your Aurora.

Step 6: Flight

The Aurora, while moderately complex in its construction, is a relatively straightforward aircraft that flies like almost all other dart paper airplanes. Launches should be made at moderate to high speed at neutral or positive attitudes. Additional applicable surfaces include ailerons, elevators, rudders and air brakes. Enjoy!

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