Even months before the Voyager first flew in November 2011, the concept for this airplane existed and was being pursued. The concept was for a small paper airplane that could be easily made and operated in the classroom for demonstrations of a variety of topics to students. I spoke with several teachers about how they could use a small paper airplane and for what. From there, I optimized the aircraft toward their needs. Due to some delays, I eventually merged my requirement for a new small cruiser paper airplane into this initiative. The SkyVoyager is the result.
The SkyVoyager is suitable in the classroom for experiments looking into:
- Glide ratio
- Weight and balance
- Hangtime versus other aircraft
- How surface inequality can affect aircraft (geometry/shape studies)
- Other physics experiments
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 vertical stabilizer, 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 10 boxes). Then mark out the horizontal 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: Making the Fuselage
Fold the fuselage as indicated along its dotted lines. Cut off the second vertical stabilizer. Once the spars have been folded, fold and tuck the counterweight into the fuselage. Then fold the vertical stabilizer and make a cut along its solid line. Tape where indicated.
Step 4: Applying the Wing and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling
Cut its wing out and unfold it. Flip your airframe inverted, align it with the center of the wing and apply tape to the spars. Then join the fuselage and the wing at the spars. Then put your horizontal stabilizers through their given attachment point. Fold them up and then apply tape to their undersides, attaching them to the fuselage. Once this is done, apply one staple to each side of the counterweight.
Step 5: Flight
Like the original Voyager, the SkyVoyager is a small drone paper airplane with good flying characteristics. For best range and speed, launch at a moderate speed at a neutral attitude. Additional trimming may be necessary during initial flights. Additional surfaces applicable on the SkyVoyager include flaps, flaperons, spoilers, spoilerons, slats, elevators, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!