How to Make the AeroLightning Paper Airplane

Introduction: How to Make the AeroLightning Paper Airplane

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Fast, long range and sleek, the AeroLightning is a tiny paper airplane that looks like a fifth generation jet fighter. Specifically, the AeroLightning appears reminiscent of the Lockheed MartinF-35 Lightning II, and to a lesser extent, the F-22 Raptor. With its advanced shape, the AeroLightning is very capable and efficient.

The AeroLightning was developed quickly as a complement to the similar Raptor paper airplane. The former retains the latter's fuselage design with a few modifications, as well as its horizontal stabilizers and a wing of comparable size. The AeroLightning was found to perform very well in testing and was allotted an instructable.

TAA USAF Designation: D304-1

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Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

Step 2: Begin Construction

Start construction of your AeroLightning 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 11 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.

Once the fuselage has been laid out, begin marking out the wings and horizontal stabilizer. The horizontal stabilizer's leading edge should have a sweep that for every 2 boxes from the root, a box of chord decays. The trailing edge should decay one row of boxes of chord every three boxes. For the wing, make two marks four boxes apart. The chord should decay three boxes of chord every four boxes away from the first box away from root along the span. The trailing edge should have a decay of chord of 1 box every 4 boxes of span beyond the first. Be sure to mark the dark line parallel to the crease, this will be the tip of your wings. Once you have marked each of these surfaces out, you may cut them out.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Start folding your fuselage by folding the counterweight into itself, then into the fuselage. Fold along the vertical dotted line near the back and cut where designated. Then fold down the leading edge extensions and spars. Once this is done, fold up the vertical stabilizers on both sides as shown; then fold the landing gear as shown. Unfold and tape the fuselage where directed at this point.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

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 AeroLightning is fast and capable; anyone with experience with the Raptor should be able to easily transition to the AeroLightning. Like the Raptor, the AeroLightning can be launched and flown at a variety of speeds. For fast flights, launches should be made at moderate to high speed at a neutral or negative attitude (launches at a positive attitude are possible, but range is reduced). Slower flights should be launched at neutral or negative attitudes at moderate to low speed. Additional applicable surfaces include ailerons, flaps, elevators, slats, trimmable rudders, and air brakes. Enjoy!

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