Introduction: How to Make the Talon Paper Airplane
Very fast, long range and capable, the Talon paper airplane is a quick dart with a sleek shape. The aircraft is meant as a simpler complement to the similarly shaped Turbo UltraSabre.
The Talon originated from my efforts to refine and build upon the Buffalo, a simpler paper airplane that found lukewarm reception (though a further development of it by TriKdanG, the Buffalo Warrior, did fare better). Remembering the success of the UltraSabre family, I decided to pursue development of the simple airplane into something more.
Initially, the aircraft retained the nose fold design of the Buffalo and did not perform to its highest as a result. Believing I could make the Talon do even better, the nose was substantially redesigned. This move largely erased the Buffalo's relationship to the Talon, which became largely a new design. The changes in nose design enabled greater simplicity in construction, as they guided its wing folds. With the integration a "chin" fold, other characteristics also improved. In flight testing, the Talon proved itself highly capable, though elevators were added to the design. The aircraft was cleared for publication with these results having proved the Talon an able flier.
TAA USAF Designation: F382-1
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Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper
Step 2: Length, Corner and Airfoil Folding
Take your paper and fold it along its length. Then pull the corners in and fold the leading edges into the center. Pull the creases of the corner folds downward to the center crease and make a crease when the corner fold crease is aligned with the center crease to make the diagonal folds.
After doing this and without folding the original corner folds unfold the diagonal folds. After doing this, pull the other edges inward to the diagonal creases as shown. Once done, restore the diagonal creases.
Step 3: Nose Folding
To fold the nose, first pull the tip of the nose to the trailing edges of the airfoils at the center crease. Pull the paper to its limits and crease, then reverse and crease once the center crease is reached. Repeat on the other side.
Unfold the nose, then fold the trailing edges of the outer third inward on each side. After doing this, restore the first fold of the step and fold the outer third over top of the middle third.
Pull the trailing edges of the nose folds into the middle-inner fold crease as shown. Pull the leading edge of the outer-middle fold into the middle-inner fold crease as shown. After doing this, fold along the middle-inner fold once again and tuck the paper into the nose folds as shown. After this, pull the uncovered triangle forward as pictured.
Step 4: Nose Folding and Trailing Edge Preparation
Pull the tip of the nose back to the trailing edge and crease. From this crease, measure 1 inch inward and make a mark. Pull the nose forward again whilst aligning the center crease with itself, stop at the mark and crease. Open this second crease and pull the tips of this fold inward; then, pull the nose forward again to lock these folds.
Fold the aircraft in half and begin measuring along the trailing edge. Begin by measuring 1.75 inches above the center crease along the trailing edge and making a mark. From this mark, measure 0.75 inches further outboard. From each of these marks, measure 0.375 inches forward and make solid lines. Along each of these solid lines, cut.
From the wingtips, measure 0.975 inches inboard and mark on each side.
Step 5: Wing and Winglet Folding; Taping
Using the nose folds and the trailing edges of the wings and fuselage for guidance, fold down the wings. The trailing edges of the wings and fuselage should overlap seamlessly. After folding the wings on each side, fold the wingtips at the marks you made in the last step.
Apply tape to the nose, leading edge root extension joints, across the wingroots, rear fuselage and airfoil joints as directed. This will complete your Talon.
Step 6: Flight
The Talon is quite straightforward and flies quite predictably once adequate trim has been set. (Usually elevator trim should be set between 5 and 30 degrees, depending on launch speed). At low to moderate speeds set high (30 degrees) or medium nose up trim (20 degrees). At high speeds set low nose up trim (<15 degrees). Conduct test flights to check trim settings. Additional applicable surfaces include ailerons, rudders and air brakes. Enjoy!