Introduction: How to Make the Super Starship Paper Airplane

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Fast, long range and complex, the Super Starship is a very advanced miniature paper airplane developed from its namesake, the older Starship. Unlike its predecessor, the Super Starship has only two surfaces to reduce complexity and material requirements.

Since the Starship was designed, I grappled with the idea of a simplified Starship with less complexity in construction. To do this, I decided to eliminate one set of horizontal stabilizers. During the design phase, it was determined that the canards would be retained while the rear horizontal stabilizers would be discarded. In addition, to save weight, I decided to have the canards strung through the fuselage, rather than mounted on spars. To reduce wing loading, I enlarged the wing of the Starship by adding an extra inboard row to the main wing for greater lifting area. To compensate for the increased wing area and absence of the rear horizontal stabilizers--as well as improve performance at high speed--I decided to fit the design with twin vertical stabilizers. The design of these fins was recycled from that of the F/A-18 Hornet replica in order to reduce complexity. I prototyped the concept, and with some minor modifications, it was ready to fly.

TAA USAF Designation D305-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

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--15 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 15 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the rudder and wing spars, landing gear and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, in front of the leading edge root extensions of the spars and 0.5 boxes below the top of the fuselage, mark a line that stretches 3 boxes. 1.5 boxes back from the beginning of this line, make a dotted line vertically. 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 (3 by 6 boxes, plus 1 row of boxes at the crease). Beyond the first row, the rate of chord decay on the leading edge should be 2 boxes of chord every 3 boxes of span. Beyond the first row, the rate of chord decay on the trailing edge should be 1 box every 3 boxes of span. Then mark out the horizontal stabilizers as 2 by 3, plus a swept portion with a sweep of 1 box of chord decaying every 3 boxes outwards from the wing root.  To make the canards, measure 3 boxes at the root; the rate of chord decay on the leading edge should be 1 box of chord every 2 boxes of span. The rate of chord decay on the trailing edge should be 1 box every 4 boxes of span. Then cut these out.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Fold the counterweights into position, then fold the nose back along the vertical, dotted line. Then cut off the rear tapered portion of the fuselage as indicated. You may discard the separated piece. Fold the spars, landing gear and fins as shown. Tape where indicated.

Step 4: Applying the Canards and Wings; Stapling

String the canards through the slot cut for them earlier, then tape them into place as shown. Proceed to then flip the airframe out of its inverted position and apply take to the wing in the area of the wing roots/LERX. After this is done, apply two staples (one from each side) in the area of the counterweight folds. This will complete your aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

While it uses much the same configuration as its namesake, the Super Starship is more complex with its lack of a second pair of horizontal stabilizers, as well as the presence of its twin vertical stabilizers and larger wing. Launches should be done at moderate speed at a (slightly) negative or neutral attitude. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, ailerons, elevators, elevons, flaps, flaperons, spoilers, spoilerons, trimmable rudders and air brakes.

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