Introduction: Card Stock Delta Jet
Print, cut, fold, glue, fly! This is a simple design for a delta-wing jet that is good for flying indoors or in a light breeze. From the first cut to the finished jet, expect to spend 40 to 60 minutes. The jet requires careful adjustment of control surfaces, as well as straight and level throws, to fly its best. When adjusted and thrown correctly, it can go 50 feet and beyond.
Step 1: Download and Print
Print the PDF onto card stock (or onto plain paper, then photocopy it onto card stock). Use 80 lb. card stock of any color that strikes your fancy. If you intend to add color after printing, use pencils rather than markers (as the moisture of markers may compromise the material).
You can purchase finished, color versions of this and other designs:
Step 2: Get Materials
Again, you will need card stock for printing. You will need scissors. You may want to use a matte knife (or other blade tool), along with a metal ruler, to make cuts. If you have never used a matte knife, ask an adult for assistance and use it with caution. Other materials you'll need are glue, clear tape, and two small paper clips (no. 1). The type of glue you use is up to you. Basic white glue will work, and has the advantage of being non-toxic.
Step 3: Read the Directions
Read them carefully.
Step 4: Cut Out the Pieces
Be patient and precise.
Step 5: Follow Along With the Video Instructions
The instructions are covered in this short video. Here are some parts of the jet you may want to know about.
(1) dihedral—describes a type of wing with an angle at the center line, resulting in a slight v-shape when looking at the plane from the front or back
(2) drag—the force of resistance that slows a plane down as it moves through the air; planes, automobiles, and even some boats have carefully designed shapes that are sleek and try to minimize drag
(3) elevator—the back part of the horizontal stabilizer; the position of the elevator influences the attitude of the jet (nose up or nose down)
(4) fuselage—the main, central body
(5) fin or vertical stabilizer—the single fin at the tail of the jet that sticks up
(6) horizontal stabilizer—the top part of the tail that extends to the left and right of the center line
(7) lift—the force the pushes the plane up, counteracting the downward pull of gravity; a plane must be moving forward in order to create lift with its wings
(8) rudder—the back part of the vertical stabilizer; the position of the rudder influences the yaw of the jet (rotation to the left or right, as seen from above the jet)
Step 6: Finishing Touches and Flight
Look down the nose of the jet and make sure there are no twists or bends in the wings. If there are any, gently straighten them out. Check the vertical and horizontal stabilizers for warps and symmetry. Check the jet in this way, and make adjustments as needed, after every few flights. This will ensure proper flight. Avoid water and damp ground. You can experiment with larger paper clips, or vinyl-coated paper clips, to make the nose heavier and cause faster, straighter flights. Note that the elevator should never be set at a downward angle, as this will cause the jet to pitch down immediately and crash.
WARNING— The jet can cause eye injury. Advise those around you before you throw it, and consider wearing glasses to protect your own eyes.