Introduction: How to Make the StratoCobra Paper Airplane
Sleek and long range, the StratoCobra is a refined variant of the Kingcobra paper airplane, with a strengthened structure for better performance and handling at faster launch speeds. The aircraft's configuration allows it to be launched at high speed then settle into a long, slow glide.
While the Kingcobra was originally posted in 2010 and made over a year prior to its publication on Instructables, the design has remained quite capable as a glider. After running across the Vulcan Warrior earlier in 2014, I decided it was time to begin looking into a new glider design of my own. Reviewing previous aircraft for inspiration of how I might shape the design, I ran across the Kingcobra; while old, it has remained an excellent glider paper airplane. I opted to modify the Kingcobra design to improve performance while minimizing complexity as best I could. The first prototype StratoCobra was made in early September and passed through flight testing easily; however, scheduling delayed the publication of the aircraft in favor of others.
TAA USAF Designation: F63-2
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper
Scissors (additional surfaces only)
Step 2: Length and Corner Folding
Fold your paper in half along its length. Then pull the corners into the center. After this is done, undo the previous folds and pull their outer edges into the crease that has been made. Then fold along the original creases to restore the original folds as shown.
Step 3: Nose and Wing Folding
Pull the tip of the nose back to the outboard tip of the corner folds, then crease. After doing this, unfold and reform the folds as pictured so that all creases are bent the same way as the original center crease. Once you have done this, pull the triangle into the center as shown. After this, fold the wings down as shown.
Step 4: Airfoil and Nose Folding
Pull the leading edges of the wings back toward the wing roots and crease. Once this has been done on both sides, unfold the folds you have made and pull their outer edges into the creases as shown. Once finished, restore the original folds. After finishing with the airfoils, pull the triangular nose fold down over the wing roots as shown. Align the trailing edge of the nose fold with the wing root and fold down as shown. Flip the airplane over and pull the overhanging edges of the triangular nose fold around the leading edges of the wings.
Step 5: Winglet Folding; Taping
Fold the wings down, and measure 2 inches from the wingtips along the leading edges and make marks. Measure 1.25 inches from the wingtip along the trailing edges. After making these marks, connect them with the creases of folds. After making the winglets, tape the nose folds where noted. This will complete your StratoCobra.
Step 6: Flight
The StratoCobra is a dart with a fairly large wing; as a result, it can be launched at both moderate and slow speeds. For short flights, launches should be made at neutral or negative attitude at slow speed. For longer range flights, launches should be made at a moderate speed at a neutral or negative attitude. Additional applicable surfaces include trimmable rudders, elevators, ailerons and elevons. Enjoy!