Intro: The Most Graceful Paper Airplane Ever
Hello, I am bretta and this is one of my paper airplane designs. After trying many, many designs, few of them could compare to the beauty and practicality of this one!
Step 1: Step 1: the Simple Stuff
Lets start with simple folding and cutting the paper. I used 8.5"x11" paper cut in half length wise, like so(pic1). Then i folded in half(pic2), and folded the corner bringing the top closed corner down to the open side(pic3). Unfold, and do the same process on the other side. Once you have done these folds at least once, the corner you have folded should be shoved in between the 2 folded halves and then bend one half of the folded in corner to get a shape similar to this(pic4). These make perfect guides for our next folds, which are folded like so(pic5). Follow almost the same process you did with the last folds but you are using a different piece. After this, you should get this isosceles triangle-rectangle shape(pic6), once you unfold the shape that looks like pic3 but is NOT pic3.
Step 2: The Hardcore, Mind Ripping Complicated Stuff
This step has the potential to send you to psych ward, as stated in the title. Now, from our last step, we fold the upper flaps in halve, like(pic7). Then unfold, and shove the folded piece inside, like(pic8). Once both sides are done like this, fold the back part of our diamond even smaller, like so(pic9). This is only done on the top flap. Once this has occurred, flip up the little flap in between the most recently folded flaps, to get this shape (pic10). Now for the tricky step. If you have any doubts about your sanity, or were frustrated by the last steps, leave now, take a 24 hour break, and try again tomorrow. All you have to do is fold that flap you have just brought up down through the other flaps and INSIDE the upper diamond. If this is done correctly, you should get this acute isosceles triangle(pic11). Now for the defining step of this aircraft: folding out the canards. This is the simple process of yanking on the tip of the middle flaps and pulling them down and out, to get this(pic12). If you have completed this page in its entirety, give yourself a pat on the back!
Step 3: Fuselage and Wings, the Creative Step
These steps are vastly simpler than the last steps. Fold the bottom flap in half, unfold, half the other way, the push it through, making this shape(pic13). Once you are done both sides as per pic13, fold the paper in half length ways. After this, fold the back piece down through the back of the airplane to get this shape(pic14). Now send the tail back up through, creating a fold parallel to the bottom of the aircraft, then fold the top corner down so that the inner fold is parallel to the bottom of the aircraft(pic15). From this you unfold, smush, and viola, wings! Now, after folding the wings, fold the flaps. A good standard for the flaps should be 1/4 of the wingspan, or folding the flap we call the wing in half(pic16). The plane can do with out the flaps, but it is slower and has a tendency to stall and enter in a persistent barrel roll. once these have been folded, the profile of the aircraft should look like this(pic17), but a little straighter.
Step 4: Flight Tips
I have pretty much tried every position to fly this aircraft in and now I can safely say this as neutral stability, meaning if you throw it upside down, it will fly upside down, the only thing that it requires is the nose pointing forward. It will also stay on a very straight flight path, at a fast speed. I haven't tried stunts with it yet, but they could be interesting, considering that there are basically 2 wings on this aircraft. Anywhere is a good throwing point on the aircraft, though the best spots are at the very back close to the bottom or the middle near the point where the wing meets the fuselage. It flies best when thrown at a medium to fast speed, though not at a very fast speed or the imperfections in folding will start showing. the most important part about this aircraft, like any other is symmetry. Greater symmetry=better flight. Hope you enjoyed! :D