How to Make the FireHornet Paper Airplane

Introduction: How to Make the FireHornet Paper Airplane

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Fast, long range and tiny, the FireHornet is a miniature "drone fighter" paper airplane designed to succeed the SkyStinger.

The FireHornet was developed to integrate the fuselage design of the Turbo AeroGnat with a delta wing for good performance and simplicity. The conventional design quickly proved to be capable in flight testing; with superior aerodynamics and ease of manufacture, the FireHornet showed itself generally better than the SkyStinger and was cleared for publication to replace it.

TAA USAF Designation: D423-1

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Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper






Step 2: Begin Construction

First, begin by folding your your graph paper in half (excluding three boxes on the perforated side). Once the paper has been folded appropriately, make two marks--10 full boxes apart (allow for a further box back behind the airframe). Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 10 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the stabilizers, spars, counterweight and ventral cut markings as shown. The airframe should appear as it does in the first photograph when you have completed its layout.

After the fuselage is made, take another sheet of paper that is folded in half along the lines of boxes. Mark out the wing as shown (a leading edge sweep of 1 box of chord eliminated for every 1 box of span and a straight trailing edge).

Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage; Stapling

Cut out your fuselage and fold its counterweights into place. Cut along the solid lines of the tail then cut away the portion shown. After doing this, fold the fin forward along the dotted line. After the fins have been folded into position, apply tape where designated in the photographs. After the taping is done, apply 1 staple in the area of the counterweight from each side as shown. Cut away the paper beneath the solid diagonal line as shown.

Step 4: Applying the Wings

Cut out the wings and tape them to the spars of the inverted fuselage as shown. Fold the horizontal stabilizers down perpendicular to the vertical stabilizer to complete your FireHornet.

Step 5: Flight

The FireHornet is a miniature dart paper airplane which flies where it is pointed at high speed. Handling is generally predictable and the aircraft should be able to be operated by even novice origami aviators.

Launches should be done at moderate to high speeds at neutral or positive attitudes. Test flights should be conducted to check what trimming (if any) is required for the desired flight characteristics. Additional surfaces include flaps, ailerons, elevators and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Nice work.

    what is the maximum distance it travels?


    Reply 3 years ago

    It all depends on the launch height above ground, but glide ratio tends to be such that a launch at 4 feet can fly 30 to 40 feet in a level area.