Introduction: How to Make the Turbo Serpent Paper Airplane

About: Paper airplane maker: 400+ designs so far and more in development!
Fast, long range and small, the Turbo Serpent is an excellent little drone fighter paper airplane meant to supplant its namesake, the original Serpent.

The Turbo Serpent's development was started in March 2013 to produce a drone interceptor with higher wing loading, in hope that that would increase its accuracy in going where it is pointed to go at launch. To maintain commonality with a successful and proven design, I chose to recycle the fuselage and horizontal stabilizers of the popular Serpent. The aircraft was essentially to carry the same weight as the Serpent had, but with less lift. The usage of a delta wing rather than trapezoidal wings was decided earlier on, as a way to increase simplicity in construction by reducing the number of junctions requiring tape and, thus, complexity. The resulting prototype aircraft proved to be one somewhat reminiscent of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 "Fishbed", and proved itself to perform well in testing. Despite its good performance, the Turbo Serpent was shelved for almost a year, due to the development of other similar aircraft like the StratoGnat, which was perceived as having more simplicity and greater potential for development (whichindeed, itdid have). In any case, after a year in limbo, I decided the Turbo Serpent was itself worthy of publication and have made its instructions available.

TAA USAF Designation: D297-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

Step 2: Begin Construction

Start construction of your Turbo Serpent by sketching out the design featured in the first picture. The graph paper this is made on should have one set of boxes folded in half at its crease. The fuselage is 10 boxes in length and has a counterweight of 3 by 2 boxes. One box from the rear of the fuselage, make a solid line along the graph line 0.5 boxes above the crease that stretches 2 boxes forward. Then 2 boxes inwards from the rear of the fuselage, make a dotted vertical line. The layout of the lines is complex, so it is easier to show than explain. Then cut it out.'

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 (1 boxes in length by 6 boxes in width, and a swept portion in front of this box of 3 boxes of span eliminated every 4 boxes of chord toward the front of the fuselage). Then cut the wing out. Measure 2 boxes along the crease, measure two boxes upwards from one mark and make another point. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this new mark to the one further away. From the mark you just made, measure one box further away from the one now connected to the line and make a mark. Sketch a line between this mark and the other mark along the crease. Then cut the horizontal stabilizers out.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Cut out your fuselage and fold its counterweights into place. Once this is done, fold along the vertical dotted line and cut along the solid horizontal line. Once the cut has been made, undo the fold. At this point, fold down the spars and landing gear, and then fold the vertical fins up. Now tape where designated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers

Cut out your wings and lay them out flat. Align the fuselage over top so the spars align with the wing as shown. Then apply tape. Cut off any excess. Flip the aircraft over and apply tape to the leading edge of the wing above the leading edge root extensions.

Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and slide them through the slit in the fuselage you made earlier. When through, fold them up and apply tape to the underside; then fold down. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight. This will have completed your aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

The Turbo Serpent is similar to many other of my drone fighter designs, and requires quick launches due to its relatively high wing loading. Launches should be done at moderate to high speed at neutral or positive attitude. Elevator trim may need adjustment; test flights are highly recommended. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, slats, ailerons, spoilers, spoilerons, elevators, trimmable rudders and air brakes. Enjoy!