How to Make the Thunderbolt Paper Airplane

Introduction: How to Make the Thunderbolt Paper Airplane

About: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter. Follow me there to keep up with the latest developments!

A fast, long range and compact paper airplane, I find the Thunderbolt a very useful aircraft in many roles.

TAA USAF Designation: A72-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper
1 Paper Clip

Step 2: Length Folding

Take your paper and fold it in half length-wise.

Step 3: X Folding

Take the right or left corner to the paper and fold it to the length of the opposite side. Then repeat with the inverse arrangement. Then pull the front down to make a doubled layer. Then redo the X Folding, but at the lines, allow the paper to come out from it and pile on top of itself. Then repeat this on the other side.

Step 4: Pulling Forward the Nose

From the outer sections of the cover fold, pull the paper up to the front. Then repeat this on the other side. Proceed to then pull the paper in on itself again and do this on each side as well. Along the top of the section you just folded, fold the nose down. Fold the two separate tabs onto the side which has the repeatedly folded paper, but let the other side go to the "clean" side of the airframe.

Step 5: Tricky Nose Unfolding

Fold the small front triangle to the "clean" side. The open all but the little triangles on the other side so it appears almost as flat as it was.

Step 6: Nose Refolding

From the blunt front tip, pull the paper forward and then flatten it. From here, pull the front half of the diamond down over itself.

Step 7: Landing Gear, Wing and Winglet Folding

First, fold the landing gear over itself as shown. Then, about 3/4 of an inch above the bottom of the fuselage, fold down the wing. Repeat on the other side. About 3/4 of an inch from the wingtip, fold up the winglet. Repeat on the other side.

Step 8: Taping and Applying the Paper Clip

To tape your Thunderbolt, you must apply strips at the front and back of the fuselage and the canard-wing intersections. To finish your airplane, put a large paper clip onto its nose.

Step 9: Flight

The Thunderbolt is a nose heavy airplane and flies like one. For long range flights in straight lines, this plane is supreme. For launches above 30 degrees pitch-up, however, it is deficient as its nose weighs it down. Enjoy!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! I have checked out nearly all of your instructables and I must say they are just FABULOUS!

    Wait a minute...Uh bad! What I actually meant to say was that they could  be fabulous -  if it weren't for one single, very annoying, unifying detail that's present in every one of your instructables. Can you guess? It's your photographs dude! C'mon! They contain just the "right" amount of blur so that I get a headache every time I attempt to focus in on the details. Do you have any idea how aggravating that is?

     You're obviously quite intelligent and take great care in putting together your instructables which you then so generously share with the world. That's why I'm slightly dumbfounded as to how you could have overlooked such a critical detail - good photography - without it, you have nothing. It's like owning a beautiful, sick looking, custom hot rod powered by a fire-breathin', track gnashing 4 cyl .8L - talk about anticlimactic!  LOL

    If you're interested in taking better, clearer photographs then check out this instructable by 1up:

    Follow the simple steps outlined and your instructables will go from could be fabulous to absolutely & perfectlyfabulous!

    You rock dude and keep up the good work!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I understand and appreciate your comment. You are correct, at the moment, a majority of my photos are not the best. But, I must point out a few things: Because I am technically challenged to some degree, I only recently found the Macro feature on my Kodak Zi8. My two latest instructables--the Scout and the Shriek (pictured), are clear exceptions to the rule. They both used macro photography.

    However, there is pleasing news to soothe that annoying blur. I will be refilming my instructables to make them better.

    Thank you for your support.

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