Since the publication of the Gnat in mid-January, I did not roll out any new "drone-fighter" paper airplane designs. Instead, I augmented older designs which culminated in the Strike Hornet and now the SkyManx. One of the major causes of the "fighter gap" following the Super Manx and Gnat has been their great successes. Each demonstrated excellent handling, and have continued to prove very formidable. The SkyManx is an excellent aircraft that can match these two, with the extra advantage of its high wing to add to it all.
The SkyManx 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
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8 by 10 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 (2 boxes in length by 4 boxes in width, and a swept portion in front of this box of 1 box eliminated every 4 boxes away from the fuselage). Half of a box in from the wingtip, make a dotted line parallel to the wingtip. Measure 2 boxes along the crease, measure two boxes upwards from one side and the one box forward. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this line the other edge of the line along the crease. 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
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.
Step 5: Flight
The SkyManx is relatively simple to fly. 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 SkyManx 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!