This was the first design I experimented with, dating way back to my innocent years as a youth. Most designs of this type have the ends of the paper on the upper part of the wing, thus spoiling the important airflow over the top of the wing. Although it looks quite like your typical, generic paper airplane, this design has dramatically improved performance. It is used as the basis for planes #2 through #6 as well as the modified slow flyers that appear at the end of this book.
At a first glance, this design appears to be the same as #1. It uses the design as a basis with the addition of an excellent slow flight airfoil. This is a superb airplane for indoors or outdoors, and does well under windy conditions. It is extremely stable and can be flown fast or be slowed to a crawl without any extra lift-producing devices. The thick wing is quite strong. I have made hundreds of this one.
This is also one of my favorites. It is an excellent, stable, outdoor flyer. When trimmed properly, it will turn into the wind and hover. This design uses a high cambered delta wing with split flaps that are located mid-span underneath the wing. These split flaps can also be used on designs #1, #2, #4, #10, #12 and #14. This is the design that I achieved a ground launched, 28 second flight with and one of my favorite designs for ground launched outdoor flying.
This plane is reminiscent of the Concord SST, and is very stable at high speed. If you are entering a paper airplane contest, and there is a category for distance, than this is the one that I would choose. It will “Dutch Roll,” or oscillate if allowed too much angle of attack (too much nose-up trim), but this design excels for stability at high speed. It should look like a flattened “W” when viewed from the nose or tail.
This is a very stable, stall-proof, docile design and one that I would choose if I wanted a slow flying design for indoor use, or launch from a high place in calm wind conditions. Due to its large wing area and leading edge slat, it is virtually stall proof. This design does not lend itself well to a vigorous launching technique - it is for slow flight.
This is the first canard in this book. As with all canards, it requires the front wing trim tabs to be bent down for nose up trim. It is quite stable and would be good for either indoor or outdoor flying. Notice that two small paper clips attached to the nose are required to acquire a proper CG.
This is a excellent flyer, usually requiring little or no nose-up trim. This design is the basis for the next two designs and allows the use of split flaps in the same manner as Design #3. This design is excellent for indoor and is one of my favorites for “high apartment window” outdoor flying, I’ve made hundreds of these.
This is an extremely stable airplane, usually requiring no nose-up trim and reminds me of the F4 Phantom jet fighter. Paper clips can be added to the nose for better wind penetration. I usually use one to two for indoor use and up to four for outdoor or “high apartment window” flying. This design has a good flight performance envelope.
This is a pure flying wing, having no stabilizing tail or vertical fin. Trimming is accomplished by folding the leading edge slats in the same manner as in design #9; for more nose down, fold them down, for more nose up trim, flatten them out. Very efficient, it has a very flat high speed glide.
This is a true flying wing and is amazingly efficient and an excellent performer, it features an extremely flat glide. Trimming is done by the same method used in design #9, #11, and #15 – flatten the slats for nose up trim, the reverse for nose down trim. Note the slight added left trim on the tip of the left wing to correct a right turn tendency on the plane in the photo.
This one is a fun design and it can also be made in proportionally smaller sizes. This design incorporates not only leading edge slats, but it has winglets and twin inverted rudders, all which enhance lift. Keep the leading edge slat fold to a minimum---too much and the plane becomes unstable. It flies slow and with a flat glide and is best for indoor flight.
This is probably the most efficient design in this book, as it requires no paper clips to obtain a correct CG, it illustrates the true efficiency of a canard design. Properly trimmed, this design will fly at about a five-degree nose-up attitude and at an amazingly slow speed. The front wing, which is made from a common business card, is known as a fore plane, and should have a pronounced negative dihedral (or anhedral), while the main wing should have the standard dihedral.
This design was conceived for a canard with a little more wing area and a little more weight than design #25, for better wind penetration for outdoor flying. As with all canards, it is extremely stable. Again, it requires a gentle nose down launching technique. This design rides outside air currents very well.
This design has a smaller main (rear) wing for a higher wing loading than #25 and #26. This will give it a higher glide speed for outdoor use and as a result, is perfect for high roof top launching in a windy city. Plus, since its front wing is made from a business card and the main wing from a 4” X 6” index card, it will hold up better for the rigors of outdoor flying.
This spin stabilized missile was designed to fly on an intended course and will fly through turbulence and cross winds with no change in direction, as if it has an autopilot on board. The wing ratio between the front and rear wings insures proper flight attitude. This is the perfect design for flying off of high roof tops in a city with changing cross winds from the buildings – it will plow on through them. It is a very unique design that flies amazingly well.
This is a high-speed “high apartment window” type design. The wing has all of the lift producing devices for achieving high lift from the wing. The cruciform tail provides a great deal of stability enabling it to cut through turbulence and cross winds. The flaps add lift while keeping the airplane’s speed in check and while optional, I recommend them to get the maximum amount of flight time.
I have saved the best for last. This is a canard with a forward-swept main wing, and it flies surprisingly well, despite its alien appearance. If you have experimented with the some of the designs preceding this one, you will see that this one has a high degree of stability, which is the benefit of the forward sweep the main, or rear wing - it flies as though it is on rails.