Introduction: How to Make the SkyHornet Paper Airplane
In February 2012, I designed the Strike Hornet as a replacement for the elderly Super Hornet, which at that point was a 6 month old design. The fuselage was modernized, while the wing of the Super Hornet was retained. The horizontal stabilizers of the Strike Hornet were too large, so their deflection was increased to substantial dihedral, which improved stability and decreased their area. Although I published the type, I believed that it could be used as an interim solution while a newer, simpler aircraft was developed. In late May 2012, drawing on experienced gained in the construction of the SkyManx, I began to design the new aircraft. The airframe was redesigned to maximize efficiency and minimize weight and drag. When it first flew, the XD230-1 was very impressive, and throughout testing it remained a very remarkable design. I am quite sure everyone who builds the SkyHornet will agree.
Like the SkyManx, the SkyHornet is very adaptable, and is great for use as a fighter-interceptor, stunt and/or research testbed airplane.
Some usages for educators could include studies of:
- Glide ratio
- Hangtime versus other aircraft
- Weight and balance
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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--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 rudder and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, mark out the wing spars and landing gear. 1.5 boxes back from the beginning of this line, make a dotted line vertically. 1 box in from the back, measure 2 boxes forward and make a solid line 2 boxes long. 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 (1 boxes in length by 8 boxes in width, and a swept portion in front of this box of 1 box eliminated every box toward the front of the fuselage). 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 Fuselage
After having cut out all of the fuselage. Begin folding it along the dotted lines. Then fold as indicated the second line near the rear of the airplane by folding the 2 rearmost boxes forward and cut along the line. 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, and across the fuselage at the fin.
Step 4: Applying the Horizontal Stabilizers and Wings; Stapling
Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and thread them through the fuselage beneath the rudder. Fold them up once through and tape them to the fuselage. Cut out and unfold your wing and flip your airframe inverted. Tape the wing to the fuselage by applying tape to the spars, with the overhang grabbing the wing. Cut off any excess tape.
With this done, proceed to the nose of the aircraft and apply one staple in the area of the counterweight as shown.
Step 5: Flight
The SkyHornet is a small paper airplane with a sleek airframe. As a result, its performance is good, and its speed is great. A launch at moderate speed at a neutral attitude will give the aircraft its best possible speed and range. Instability can be cured through proper trimming, and so after only a few test flights the SkyHornet should be able to fly straight very easily. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, flaperons, elevators, ailerons, spoilers, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!
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