How to Make the Turbo Starhawk Paper Airplane

Introduction: How to Make the Turbo Starhawk Paper Airplane

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Fast, long range and nimble, the Turbo Starhawk with an improved variant of the venerable Starhawk, featuring strengthened spars, landing gear and a "nose wheel" skid that makes the aircraft more durable and capable of hooking onto rubber bands for launches.

The Turbo Starhawk was developed to make the Starhawk faster with a tougher nose. In addition, the airfoils were modified slightly to strengthen the outer portions portions of the wings. Ultimately, this design is new but conventional nonetheless. The reliant Starhawk hasn't needed much changing to reach the new goals desired of it. Flight testing showed the Turbo Starhawk to be a good performer and it was cleared for publication on that basis.

TAA USAF Designation: A116-4

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Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper





Step 2: Length and Corner Folding; Cutting

Fold the paper in half along its length. After doing this, pull the corners of the paper on one side into the center. Flip the paper over and repeat on the other side.

After doing this, move to the other corners and repeat this. After making two more corner folds, unfold this second set of corner folds. With the creases of these folds revealed, cut along them. You may discard the two resultant triangles--they are scrap.

Step 3: Cover Folding

With the paper laid out, pull the crease of the opposite side's corner folds over to where the end of the crease overlaps with the center crease as shown. Repeat on the other side. After doing this, pull the folded corners back and fold at their rear edges. Make a crease when the paper is at the position shown in the sixth photograph. After that, unfold.

With the cross pattern established, fold the paper into the center until reaching the center crease. After reaching this point, reverse the paper so that it sits over itself. When you have done this for both sides, the paper should look as it does in the tenth photograph.

Step 4: Airfoil and Landing Gear Folding

Pull the back of the ventral diamond forward to its opposite and crease. After doing so, reverse this fold so that the portion you have just pulled forward is itself inside the forward part, as shown in the third photograph.

Pull the rear edges of airfoils forward so they sit over top of the leading edges of the wing; when they are in this position, crease as shown. Proceed to then reverse the fold and tuck the paper into itself as shown.

After the airfoils are tucked underneath themselves, pull the outer trailing edges of the airfoils forward and outward as shown in the sixth photograph. Proceed to reverse these folds and tuck them underneath the airfoils as shown in the seventh photograph.

With the airfoil folding completed, fold the airplane in half along its existent center crease. With the paper in this position, pull the free flap of paper down toward the center until the rear edge of this part reaches its limit. Maintain the correct angle by keeping the point of this flap aligned with the line perpendicular to the center crease, as shown in the ninth photograph. Repeat on the other side.

Step 5: Wing and Tail Folding

Before doing anything else on this step, be sure to unfold the landing gear folds you made in the previous step to allow the paper to sit flush with itself, as shown in the first photograph.

With the landing gear folds out of the way, use your ruler to find the spot along the trailing edge of the paper which is 0.875 inches from the center crease and make a mark. At the nose, find the spot which is 0.75 inches above the center crease along the leading edge and make another mark. Along the center crease, measure 1.25 inches from the rear edges of the airfoil folds.

With these markings made, connect the first to marks with a crease. This will make one of the wings. Turn the paper over and repeat the fold, matching it to the one you have just made for symmetry. After doing this, unfold.

Connect the first and third marks with another fold. This will create the tail. After making this crease, unfold the paper and allow it to lie as flat as possible. Reverse the creases to make the tail; it should appear as it does in the tenth photograph.

Step 6: Elevator Preparation and Nose Folding

Mark out the elevators by first measuring 1 inch from the wing roots along the trailing edge. Make a mark at that point. From that point, measure 1 inch further outboard and make another mark. While keeping the ruler parallel with the wing root folds, measure 0.375 inches inward from the trailing edge and make solid lines. After doing this, you have completed the preparations for the elevators.

Flip the airplane on its back (without crushing its tail) and measure 0.375 inches from the tip of the nose backward. Make a mark at this point. Pull the leading edge of the nose backward until you reach the wing root fold creases while still maintaining a crease with the mark you've made. Repeat on the other side. When you have completed this the nose should appear as it does in the ninth photograph. When you fold the aircraft in half along the center crease again, the tip of the nose should fold downward as it does in the eleventh photograph.

Step 7: Making the Elevators; Taping

With the wings folded up, cut along the two solid lines for the elevators you made previously. After making these two cuts, fold the wings down.

When this has been done, apply tape where designated in the photographs. When taping has been completed, connect the two elevator cuts with a crease to make the elevator surfaces movable. Set them to ~20 to 30 degrees nose up deflection--as shown in the eleventh photograph.

Step 8: Flight

Although it may appear complicated, the Turbo Starhawk is actually a very simply paper airplane to fly. It is nimble and quite forgiving.

At launch, the aircraft should be launched at a neutral or (slightly) positive attitude with elevators set to ~20 to 30 degrees' deflection. The nose up trim's appropriateness versus the launch speed you are using must be checked with test flights. As a rule, the faster the launch speed the less the elevators need to be deflected "nose up." Conversely, the slower the launch the more "nose up" trim will be needed. Additional applicable surfaces include ailerons; flaps; a trimmable rudder and air brakes. Enjoy!

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