Introduction: How to Make the Starhawk Paper Airplane
Fast, long range, equipped with landing gear and very compact, the Starhawk is a quick, nimble little paper airplane. Its simplicity and small size make it a wonderful little plane, both in the air and while handling it on the ground.
The Starhawk is a little plane with quite a bit of ancestry. It uses design elements used by the popular Spirit and the HyperSpectre. The former is a fast, stylish little stunt plane that can do loops and fly far, while the latter is a quick plane with landing gear and provisions for numerous additional surfaces. As far as comparisons go against full scale aircraft, the inspiration for the Starhawk can be regarded as the wonderful Douglas A-4/A4D Skyhawk of the early 1950s. The concept of simplicity used on the Skyhawk was used in designing the Starhawk.
TAA USAF Designation: A116-1
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Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper
Step 2: Length and Corner Folding
Fold your paper along its length. Then fold its corners down to the center as shown.
Step 3: Trailing Edge Construction; More Corner Folding
With your paper folded in half along its center, fold the corners of the side that hasn't been previously handled. Then unfold, and cut what you just folded off along the crease you just made. Once this is done, you can discard these pieces as scrap. Then, pull the nose down and make a crease flush with the bottoms of the original corner folds. Then pull the corners above them down.
Step 4: Cover Folding
Undo the folds of the previous steps, except for the first corner folds. Then tuck the paper in under itself again as shown.
Step 5: Airfoil Folding
Pull the back of the ventral diamond forward to its opposite. Then, fold the airfoils up so that their rear edges touch the leading edges of the wing. Make a crease at this point and then reverse and tuck this paper under itself as shown. After the airfoils are tucked underneath themselves, pull the diamond half back and tuck it under the part it had been folded over. Then fold the paper up in half.
Step 6: Landing Gear and Wing Folding
First, fold your landing gear down so their tips parallel the seams of the airfoil folds. Then make a mark 3/4 of an inch above the center crease at the front of the airplane. Then measure 7/8 of inch above the center fold at the rear of the airplane. Then fold the wing down, with its crease connecting the two marks you've made. Then repeat on the other side.
Step 7: Tail Folding and Taping
With one wing folded down and the other not, fold the tail up so its trailing edge is perpendicular to the wings. Then reverse the creases and pull the fin up through the fuselage. Then tape in the marked places.
Step 8: Elevator Cutting and Folding
Fold your airplanes wings down and measure 1 inch outwards from the fuselage along the trailing edge. Make a mark, and the measure another inch further, and make another mark. From each of these marks, measure inwards while parallel to the fuselage 3/8 of an inch. Then cut along both of these lines. Once cut, fold them both up and crease as shown.
Step 9: Flight
Like the Spirit and Starfire before it, the Starhawk is a compact little airplane that buzzes around marvelously. With its small wing, the Starhawk is a quick little flier capable of impressive ranges while on the ground its landing gear reduces wear to the airframe. If your Starhawk dives, increase the elevators' deflection. If it climbs excessively and stalls, reduce the elevators' deflection. Enjoy!