Introduction: How to Make the Sparrowhawk Paper Airplane
The Sparrowhawk is a fast, long range, realistic looking paper airplane designed by myself to supplant comparable designs like the "Zurqui" paper airplane. In addition to its sleek shape and appearance, the Sparrowhawk's design is very forgiving, durable and stable.
I developed the Sparrowhawk after making a Zurqui to see how well it performed. When I made the Zurqui, I found its aft fuselage was vulnerable to distortion (especially with the usage of the landing gear). In addition, a caption on the site noted that the landing gear decreased performance when deployed. Although the landing gear improved performance of the Zurqui for me, the damage it did to the tail made it difficult to work with. In designing the Sparrowhawk, I addressed both of these issues. By placing by a trailing edge extension over the aft fuselage, it is strengthened and kept straight. The landing gear of the Sparrowhawk is a pair of conformal skids that are always deployed without an effect on performance. The forward fuselage of the Sparrowhawk is based largely on the HyperSpectre--which was coincidentally published one year prior.
TAA USAF Designation: F271-1
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper
Step 2: Cover Folding Preparation; Making the Aft Fuselage
Pull one corner of your sheet of paper to the edge of the other side. Once you have done this cut the paper that does not fall under this fold, but keep it. (This piece of paper will become the aft fuselage and is therefore critical). Once this part has been separated, fold the other corner of the paper to the other side. Fold the paper in half, and then fold this in half too.
Step 3: Cover Folding
Fold the corners down on one half of the sheet. Then along the creases you made prevously, pull the paper in and over itself as shown. Once this is done, a diamond shape of paper should have been created. Pull the back of this ventral diamond forward to its opposite and tuck it in after doing so. Then, fold and crease the airfoils underneath so that their rear edges touch the leading edges of the wing. Then fold the paper up in half.
Step 4: Wing and Winglet Folding
Measure 0.625 inches upwards along the trailing edge of the fuselage and make a mark. Once this is done, fold the wing down at this mark and align the trailing edge with that of the fuselage to maintain an angle of incidence of zero degrees. Repeat on the other side. From the wingtips, measure inwards 1 inch along the trailing edge and make a mark. Fold the wingtip up at this mark and align its trailing edge with that of the wing. Repeat on the other side.
Step 5: Landing Gear Folding and Taping
Fold the landing gear as shown. Align their tips with the trailing edge of the ventral diamond to keep them parallel with the fuselage. Once each of these are folded, tape at the front, back, rear wing root and the leading edge where the landing gear meets.
Step 6: Fuselage Folding
Take the strip of paper you separated earlier. Fold it in half and then measure 0.625 inches up from the half fold's crease. Fold the paper down along this mark. Align the edges of this fold with those of the fuselage to make sure the angle of incidence is zero. Slide the paper in as far as you can. Once you have done this, mark the trailing edge of the forward fuselage (not the strip you are working with). From this mark, measure two inches further back. From this mark, draw a line perpendicular to the folds you've made. Then cut along this line. Retain the part with the mark of the trailing edge on it. You may discard the aft part.
Step 7: Taping and Elevator Folding
Reinsert the aft fuselage under the airfoil folds. Apply tape on the trailing edges of the wing, connecting with the aft fuselage. Also, you must apply tape to the rear of the aft fuselage and across the root above it. Fold the paper up and toward the center as shown.
Step 8: Flight
The Sparrowhawk's design makes it fairly easy to fly. Launches should be at medium or fast speed at any attitude, but for positive attitude launches, add speed to compensate. Dihedral deflection of the wings can be adjusted based on the needs of the airframe as shown by its performance on its maiden flight. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, flaperons, elevators, ailerons, elevons, spoilers, spoilerons, rudders and air brakes. Enjoy!