Introduction: How to Make the Gemini Paper Airplane
This aircraft began as an experiment in a design study, which featured configurations not yet used. I chose to develop the experimental aircraft from the reliable Voyager and name it "Gemini" in reference to its two twin fins. In addition to showing ability to function excellently on purpose-built paper airplanes, the Gemini demonstrated potential for replicas of aircraft with similar configurations, like the Consolidated B-24 Liberator,North American B-25 Mitchell and Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II for instance.
Educators could easily use this stable little paper airplane to demonstrate:
- Glide ratio
- Hangtime versus other aircraft
- Weight and balance
- Flight dynamics
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--15 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 15 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the horizontal stabilizers, spars, landing gear and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph's markings.
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 (3 by 12 boxes). Then mark out the vertical stabilizers by following the pattern shown.
Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.
Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches
Step 3: Counterweight and Horizontal Stabilizer Folding
Fold the counterweight along its dotted lines and follow the same procedure on the horizontal stabilizers, and the small attached squares. Once the stabilizers have been folded, fold and tuck the counterweight into the fuselage. Then fold the spars and landing gear down. Fold the horizontal stabilizers up.
Step 4: Elevator Folding and Taping
Along the marks made on the horizontal stabilizers, make two cuts. Once each of these cuts are finished, fold along the dotted line that connected the two solid lines that signified the place to cut. When these cuts and folds have been made, tape where indicated: at the front, across the spars and across the roots of the horizontal stabilizers.
Step 5: Applying the Wing and Vertical Stabilizers; Stapling
Now it is time to work with your Gemini's wing. Cut its wing out and unfold it. Flip your airframe inverted and apply tape to the spars. Then join the fuselage and the wing at the spars. Cut out the vertical stabilizers, and then unfold them and cut them were directed. Beneath each of the squares on the horizontal stabilizers, align the vertical stabilizers. Then tape them as shown. Overhanging tape toward the rear of the fin should be allowed to wrap around to the outer side, but on the leading edge, such overhang is not necessary. Once both fins are in place, apply two staples (1 on each side) to aircraft in the area of the counterweight.
Step 6: Flight
The Gemini is a stable little paper airplane capable of all sorts of flights. For longest range flights, give your Gemini a moderately fast toss at neutral or slightly negative attitude. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, flaperons, slats, ailerons, air brakes, and trimmable rudders. Enjoy!
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