Introduction: How to Make the SkyWren Paper Airplane

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

Swift, long range and aerodynamic the SkyWren is a simple "drone cruiser" miniature paper airplane meant to glide gracefully at reasonably quick paces.

The SkyWren's development was done with the goal of creating a "larger but simpler SkyRanger." To this end, I selected the Wren's wing and adapted it to the simple and accepting airframe design used by the StarSerpent. The conventional design was quickly made and proved itself predictably capable in testing. Publication was greenlit a short time later.

TAA USAF Designation: D406-1

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--11 full boxes apart (allow for a further box back behind the airframe). Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 11 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the stabilizers, spars and counterweight as shown. To avoid confusion, one line you will cut along has been omitted from the photograph.

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 box of constant chord at the root; a leading edge sweep of 1 box of chord decaying every 3 boxes outward from the constant chord box; and a trailing edge sweep of 1 box of decay along the 4 boxes of wingspan). This will complete the wings. 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 the counterweight into the fuselage. Cut off the right vertical stabilizer. Fold along the dotted line then cut along the solid line and then unfold. Fold down the spars and landing gear. Once this is done, apply tape where designated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Cut out the wings then align the fuselage with the wing center line as shown. Apply tape to the spars to connect the airframe and wings as shown, then cut off any overhanging excess tape. Flip the aircraft over and apply tape at the leading edge extension/wing joint as shown.

Through the slit in the vertical stabilizer, run the horizontal stabilizers through and tape them into place as shown. After doing this, cut away the portion of the vertical stabilizer underneath the diagonal line at its bottom.

Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight and give the horizontal stabilizers slightly dihedral angling. This will complete the aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

The SkyWren is a conventional cruiser design and will fly where it is pointed at a reasonably quick pace. Origami aviators familiar with other cruiser types should have little difficulty transitioning to it. Launches should be done at slightly negative or neutral attitudes at moderate speeds. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, ailerons, elevators and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!