To many, paper airplanes are aircraft which will fly no more than a handful of times. This is environmentally unfriendly if these people use or intend to use paper airplanes regularly. To fix this issue, I have investigated solutions to this waste for several weeks and have concluded on various measures to extend the longevity of a paper airplane.
To demonstrate the measures I have uncovered, I will use several aged Hammerhead paper airplanes to demonstrate various features that increase the abilities of aged airframes. The benefits of these features are not limited to the Hammerhead, but it is more versatile and able to have these add-ons applied with ease than several other aircraft. The add-ons are independent of one another, but incurring all 5 can be favorable for certain requirements.
Step 1: Materials
Aged Paper Airplane Airframe (Hammerhead airframes pictured)
Step 2: Un-taping, Unfolding, Refolding and Re-taping
1.) To begin renovating your paper airplane, you must remove the tape. You must do this by pulling the sides it is attached to apart. After you've done this, each side will pull away half, and if done correctly--a "tab" will remain for you to pull the tape off of the aircraft. You will be able to do this on each side if the procedures are interpreted the right way. Repeat this process on the back of the aircraft. Unlike some other airplanes, the Hammerhead has tape on its belly. Simply pull on it or gently on the paper around it to remove it.
2.) Once all of the tape is off, do the steps for constructing the aircraft in reverse (for the Hammerhead, go from Step 8 to Step 1). Once you've gotten it down to its sheet form, remake it back into its airplane form and tape it.
The objective of doing this to clear any debris out of the airframe that might have gotten lodged in it.
In some cases, this is the only step needed to bring an aircraft back up to the same standard as a new one.
Step 3: Flaps and Spoilerons
1.) To make flaps for a Hammerhead (and many others), you simply cut the paper. Cut about 1/4 inch into the airfoil and repeat this action 1 inch away nearer to the winglet. Then fold the flap up. Then begin to repeat this on the other wing. Once the cutting is complete, simply adjust the position of the flaps as necessary.
The objective of this is to increase the operational margin for the paper airplane between its VNE (Never Exceed Speed) and VSR (Stall Speed).
2.) To make spoilerons, you make small cuts in a surface above the wing. On the Hammerhead, the place for this is on the canards. Here you cut them about an inch across each. Then you fold and adjust them.
The objective of this is to give the plane a pitch-up attitude. With one spoileron deployed, it acts as the equivalent to an aileron (hence the name "spolieron"), rolling the aircraft.
Step 4: Slats and Making the Canards Polyhedral
1.) Acting on the paper airplane more like elevators, leading edge slats are a good device for an older airframe. To make slats, cut .25 inches into the leading edge of the wing from the wing root (behind the canard) to the wingtip. Once this is done on both wings, fold the slats upwards.
The goal of making slats is to maintain a pitch-up attitude.
2.) Applying a polyhedral layout to the canards is a simple operation which increases stability in craft, old or new alike. To down this on any aircraft, simply modify the orientation of a part of a wing or control surface (in this case, canards). On the Hammerhead, fold the the canards so that the fronts are candid with their fronts and the bends are parallel with the fuselage.
The aim of this is to make rolls easier to recover from and avoid for longer distance flights. In a twist, they can also be made to help initiate rolls as well.
Step 5: Flight
With these added devices, the paper airplane will be able to fly near the same speeds it was originally able to but as an added benefit, the speed at which the aircraft stalls is lower. In many ways, the plane is once again new. As it flies its second life, it uses less material than a new plane would have and thereby reduces strain on the environment. Enjoy!