How to Make the Javelin Paper Airplane

About: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter and Google+. Follow me there to keep up with the latest developments!

Fast, long range, and absolutely tiny, the Javelin is a little paper airplane with great performance. With a length smaller than a child's hand and a wingspan of just 4.5 centimeters, the Javelin is one of the smallest working paper airplanes on Instructables. This plane is, in fact, smaller than the popular Scout paper airplane released some time ago. Although its small, this plane is one of the best performers I've ever seen.

In early March 2011, I posted the Hornet paper airplane. The Hornet was the first "fighter" of it size, with a wingspan of a mere 6 centimeters. With it, I had hoped to spark interest in the Instructables community to design their own fighters similar in concept to the Hornet. However, when by June there were no comparable designs posted, I realized the Hornet needed to be supplanted out of design age in any case. In mid-June, I was doing some research and testing for "Hornet II" as it was called at the time, but my primary focus was on cruisers like the Albatross. Eventually, after the Albatross was successful, I devoted my attention to the "Hornet II" and related projects (like the Hawk). As I redesigned the prototypes, I decided to eliminate a feature that had long been iconic to my drones: their spars. To retain the one piece wing though, I designed the aircraft to have a mid wing, rather than a traditional high wing. After some research, I chose a trapezoidal wing shape, similar to the used wing on the F-104 Starfighter. When I first flew the prototype, I was not displeased. The only thing changed was the addition of the staple to the airframe. I have kept a Javelin around my desk, because this plane is just awesome to see flying.

TAA USAF Designation: D159-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper (4 boxes per inch)

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--13 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 13 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the elevators, rudder and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, two boxes back from the rear of the counterweight, mark a line that stretches 4 boxes further back. 2 boxes back from the beginning of this line, make a dotted line vertically. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage.

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 (4 boxes in length, each with an intersection sweep of 1/3 with the outer two boxes cut away). Then cut it out.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Rudder

Begin making your rudder by separating it from the elevators. Then cut one of the two layers of paper where the rudder should be off (I usually cut off the left myself). After you've cut these 6 boxes (3 by 2) off, you may discard them.

Step 4: Making and Taping the Fuselage

After having cut out all of the fuselage. Begin folding it along the dotted lines. After you've folded all the lines correctly, you should now cut along the line in the middle of the fuselage. Do this by folding the fuselage to the right, making a cut, and repeating the fold to the left. Then tape your fuselage together at the front, back, tailplane leading edge and across the counterweight fold.

Step 5: Applying the Wing

Now it is time to work with your Javelin's wing. Separate the fuselage around the cut you made. Then put the wing through the fuselage and pull half of it through. Then fold the two halves up on each side of the fuselage. Then apply a small piece of tape to the underside of the wings while they are folded up flush with the fuselage. Once its done, fold the wings back down.

Step 6: Winglet Folding and Stapling

Now that the tape has been taken care of, fold the wings back up. Then, pull the tips of each wing's outer boxes down to their own edges, halving them. Once they have been halved, unfold the wings. The airframe should now be able to sit upright with its ventral winglets supporting it. Once done, apply one staple to the front (over the counterweight fold).

Step 7: Flight

Like the Hornet before it, the Javelin is a plane that needs a pretty quick toss to fly. However, unlike the Hornet, the Javelin has more weight in the nose, and therefore more authority. Generally, flights should amount to at least 12 to 18 feet. This plane has ventral winglets/skids and provisions for additional surfaces and controls, such as flaperons, alierons, elevators, slats, and a rudder. Enjoy!



    • Pocket Sized Contest

      Pocket Sized Contest
    • Organization Contest

      Organization Contest
    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest