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Old Aug 16, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Brandano View Post
Personally I never stuck by these "rules" but it might just be me...
Remember that this forum is full of people who are intimately familiar with the flight of small aircraft. The fact that you have not been bound by the rules is not a surprise. The fact that most people are, is. The vast majority of people who make model aircraft are actually people who make paper darts and nothing else- that's a huge number of people. Those that make any other sort of model aircraft are a very small group by comparison. The dart as a paradigm is everywhere- on logos, on email send icons, heck it's even a sculpture here in Kingston Upon Thames in England, spiritual home of Sopwith and Hawker and where all the Hawker aircraft were designed and the Harrier was built.

It is ironic that it has become a symbol of design when in fact it is an excellent example of poor design, or ver 1.0 design, if you like.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by x-surfer View Post
It is instructive to look at nature for lousy aerodynamics and what survival value it has...
But for sustained flight, even soaring flight, these animals have a long way to go.
I'm a biologist by training. I see you and raise you a
http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/cl...ers/12850.html
I saw this after I designed my planes.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 12:00 AM
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I've been building planes for over 20 years now. And for at least 18 of those years I build mostly paper airplanes.

I've never considered that the "origami" rules as the definitive rules. I've always known it. Except that I don't count building material or aspect ratio of the source material as part of the rules. Instead, for me it has always been a kind of category, or "class" like you get in sailing or indeed competition free-flight.

Actually, up to roughly 5 years ago I didn't even know that competition free-flight exists. So for me it wasn't my awareness of free-flight that made me ignore the origami rules (indeed I don't ignore them to this day). Rather it was my obsession with rules per-se that led me to invent new rules by modifying established rules a bit at a time.

One of the first set of rules I came up with was the office supply rules. My dad ran a graphics design company so I spent a lot of time as a kid in his office. The rules are simple: you're only allowed to use paper, tape and paperclips to build a plane (later I modified the rule to include modelling clay because adjusting CG with paperclips alone can get very annoying). I built lots of planes this way, scale and non-scale. Mostly non-scale because I like to try my own designs.

Another set of rules I build to is the no-gluing rule. That is, you can cut up the paper to any shape you want and fold as much as you want but the plane must be a single unglued piece of paper. This is similar to the origami rules but it doesn't prohibit cutting the paper. Actually, I didn't come up with this rule. In my country, this is the "default" rule. I independently came up with the "original" origami rules myself when I was 13 as an added challenge. Didn't realise that "my" rules was the international default.

These days, I usually build office-supply-rules paper planes as prototypes for my foamy RC planes. Not that it's easier than cutting foam. It's just that sometimes I get ideas at work and just have to cut out a simple prototype to see if it would work.

One thing I do disagree though is your assertion that the traditional dart (BTW, the traditional dart in my country is different) is bad design. It is the opposite of bad design. In fact, if you build gliders you'll appreciate how surprisingly well designed the dart is. It doesn't need additional nose weight for good CG (because being a delta the correct CG is at 50% root chord). It's mostly well trimmed right out of the box. It flies well in a very-very wide range of speeds (unlike your paperang). And, it is surprisingly efficient - a well built and trimmed paper delta has a very shallow glide slope. As an engineer, I marvel at how perfectly balanced the design is while being so simple that a two year old can build one.

I myself never appreciated the simple flat delta form (what? no airfoil? no reflex?) until I challenged myself to build a foam glider to cross the width of the parking lot behind the office. A foam version of the traditional dart was the first design to be able to do it. Most people don't try to fly their dart that far so they don't realize that there's trimming involved to fly it well. One of the best features of the dart is that it can absorb a very large amount of initial launch velocity without stalling. Very few other designs can do this unless you start building planes out of balsa. This means you can trim it like a rubber powered plane with 2 phases of flight.

Anyway.. here are some pictures of my paper planes:
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by slebetman View Post
I've been building planes for over 20 years now. And for at least 18 of those years I build mostly paper airplanes.

I've never considered that the "origami" rules as the definitive rules. I've always known it. Except that I don't count building material or aspect ratio of the source material as part of the rules. Instead, for me it has always been a kind of category, or "class" like you get in sailing or indeed competition free-flight.

Actually, up to roughly 5 years ago I didn't even know that competition free-flight exists. So for me it wasn't my awareness of free-flight that made me ignore the origami rules (indeed I don't ignore them to this day). Rather it was my obsession with rules per-se that led me to invent new rules by modifying established rules a bit at a time.

One of the first set of rules I came up with was the office supply rules. My dad ran a graphics design company so I spent a lot of time as a kid in his office. The rules are simple: you're only allowed to use paper, tape and paperclips to build a plane (later I modified the rule to include modelling clay because adjusting CG with paperclips alone can get very annoying). I built lots of planes this way, scale and non-scale. Mostly non-scale because I like to try my own designs.

Another set of rules I build to is the no-gluing rule. That is, you can cut up the paper to any shape you want and fold as much as you want but the plane must be a single unglued piece of paper. This is similar to the origami rules but it doesn't prohibit cutting the paper. Actually, I didn't come up with this rule. In my country, this is the "default" rule. I independently came up with the "original" origami rules myself when I was 13 as an added challenge. Didn't realise that "my" rules was the international default.

These days, I usually build office-supply-rules paper planes as prototypes for my foamy RC planes. Not that it's easier than cutting foam. It's just that sometimes I get ideas at work and just have to cut out a simple prototype to see if it would work.

One thing I do disagree though is your assertion that the traditional dart (BTW, the traditional dart in my country is different) is bad design. It is the opposite of bad design. In fact, if you build gliders you'll appreciate how surprisingly well designed the dart is. It doesn't need additional nose weight for good CG (because being a delta the correct CG is at 50% root chord). It's mostly well trimmed right out of the box. It flies well in a very-very wide range of speeds (unlike your paperang). And, it is surprisingly efficient - a well built and trimmed paper delta has a very shallow glide slope. As an engineer, I marvel at how perfectly balanced the design is while being so simple that a two year old can build one.

I myself never appreciated the simple flat delta form (what? no airfoil? no reflex?) until I challenged myself to build a foam glider to cross the width of the parking lot behind the office. A foam version of the traditional dart was the first design to be able to do it. Most people don't try to fly their dart that far so they don't realize that there's trimming involved to fly it well. One of the best features of the dart is that it can absorb a very large amount of initial launch velocity without stalling. Very few other designs can do this unless you start building planes out of balsa. This means you can trim it like a rubber powered plane with 2 phases of flight.

Anyway.. here are some pictures of my paper planes:
Sorry to quote all of your post- so much good stuff there!
There's no doubt you need rules, otherwise there is no limit to the sophistication. Let's face it, if you have a fine carbon fibre skeleton you could hang whatever shaped paper you like off it to create something wonderful, but time is the biggest rule of all. If you are allowed to spend unlimited time on the creation, you might as well make it out of anything and any way you like. If there's any general appreciation of what a paper airplane really is, it would be as you say made out of office supplies, but in my opinion in a few minutes- as in a break from some 'proper' office activity. Any more than that and it would fold completely into the rest of aeromodelling.

I don't see the problem with glue, especially 'stick' glue like Pritt. It's fast and relatively non distorting and is certainly a typical office supply.

On the dart, I have some comments:
1. Very interested in which country you're from and what the standard dart is there.
2. Agreed- if you have a very long dart it works like a javelin and will fly straight with high launch velocities. The paperang will fly at a huge range of launch speeds, but it loops just like any high performance glider would with no trim change. My launching of the paperang at normal glide speed is only to show its natural L/D ratio. I've had 3 consecutive loops out of a paperang that is trimmed to fly straight and level. Paperangs are properly balanced with no additional ballast.
3. Very interested in what you consider to be a shallow glide slope. For me, a 'dart' which has a V shaped fuselage (that's what I consider to be an abomination) doesn't have much more than a L/D of 5 at its normal gliding speed (with no excess speed from the launcher). Paperangs and other flying wings have L/Ds of 15, occasionally 20 when on the limits of their trim, yet can be made in a similar time as a traditional dart, by children. That's the basis of my proposition that darts are poor designs. Obviously I can't argue that the design is poor by any ordinary measure, since they are without a doubt the most successful self-build aircraft ever designed. They just don't fly very well, that's all.
4. I have no objections to the delta shape; only that aspect ratio is important and if we don't consider javelin launches, sweepback reduces efficiency. I use only enough in the paperang to retain yaw stability (too little and you get dutch roll).
5. Your canard is clearly a high performance design. I've always seen that if you include a fuselage you can get a better performance. The lack of a pure fuselage is my own 'rule', which I obey because I feel that the problems of incidence between the two surfaces, and the need for structural strength and accuracy, will always make it difficult to reproduce in a short time, and also to be reproduced by many people.

Thank you for your post, and it's clear we've both been working on this for a very long time...
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Edmond Hui View Post
I don't see the problem with glue, especially 'stick' glue like Pritt. It's fast and relatively non distorting and is certainly a typical office supply.
Oh, yes I guess that would fit within office supply rules. I was refering to specialist glue like thick CA or canopy glue or epoxy etc. On some of my more complex models they're sometimes necessary but I feel they're cheating because you can get a lot of structural strength by wicking CA into paper or coating paper with epoxy.


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Originally Posted by Edmond Hui View Post
1. Very interested in which country you're from and what the standard dart is there.
The following are pictures of the traditional paper airplane here in Malaysia. Everyone I know learns how to fold this almost as soon as they mastered the simple double folded dart. It has a much more controllable flight path which I attribute to it having a much more forward CG. As for glide ratio, I haven't precisely measured but I consider anything that glides cleanly across a typical living room to be good (roughly 40ft).

PS: Glad to find like minded people. Very few understand my obsession even among my aeromodeller friends.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Oh, yes I guess that would fit within office supply rules. I was refering to specialist glue like thick CA or canopy glue or epoxy etc. On some of my more complex models they're sometimes necessary but I feel they're cheating because you can get a lot of structural strength by wicking CA into paper or coating paper with epoxy.

The following are pictures of the traditional paper airplane here in Malaysia. Everyone I know learns how to fold this almost as soon as they mastered the simple double folded dart. It has a much more controllable flight path which I attribute to it having a much more forward CG. As for glide ratio, I haven't precisely measured but I consider anything that glides cleanly across a typical living room to be good (roughly 40ft).

PS: Glad to find like minded people. Very few understand my obsession even among my aeromodeller friends.
Your standard dart is my standard dart. I even included it in my book Amazing Paper Planes (also known as Fold it- Fly it) published in 1987, as a reference design. I originally saw it in a 1961 book called How to make Origami. I used the longer one in the videos for TEDx because it's the simplest that people make. You really ought to make a paperang (instructions and photos are at paperang.com) and compare. You should get it across your room when launched at steady gliding speed. Likewise on like mindedness.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 11:58 AM
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I'm a biologist by training. I see you and raise you a
http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/cl...ers/12850.html
I saw this after I designed my planes.
Yes, Alsomitra seeds are a wonderful example of advanced aerodynamics in plants! We also have the helicopter maple seeds. It is really amazing that a plant can create trimmed gliders to disperse its seeds. Using sliced foam, this group has made Alsomitra seed shaped model walkalong gliders:
Zanonia / Alsomitra Walkalong Glider (0 min 27 sec)
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 03:37 PM
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Yes, Alsomitra seeds are a wonderful example of advanced aerodynamics in plants! We also have the helicopter maple seeds. It is really amazing that a plant can create trimmed gliders to disperse its seeds. Using sliced foam, this group has made Alsomitra seed shaped model walkalong gliders:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8rLVdswcqM
Those are truly beautiful. Sliced foam eh? Whatever it is, it's less dense than paper. Really that's what we need- I don't know about you, but there seems to be a standardisation of paper to the 80-90 gsm used in laser printers nowadays, and apart from the thinner stuff you can get in lined pads, it's very difficult to find thinner paper of any size. I'd love to get hold of 60gsm A4.
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Old Aug 19, 2012, 02:30 PM
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Those are truly beautiful. Sliced foam eh? Whatever it is, it's less dense than paper. Really that's what we need- I don't know about you, but there seems to be a standardisation of paper to the 80-90 gsm used in laser printers nowadays, and apart from the thinner stuff you can get in lined pads, it's very difficult to find thinner paper of any size. I'd love to get hold of 60gsm A4.
The trick is lighter material for slower flight. I still can't believe how easy it gets:
蘇老師紙飛機-手溜紙飛機教學(Walkalong glider hand flight) (1 min 49 sec)


I'm pretty sure this is sliced foam with a ballast of some kind.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 03:12 AM
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The trick is lighter material for slower flight. I still can't believe how easy it gets:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwFtzwtRh_M&feature=plcp

I'm pretty sure this is sliced foam with a ballast of some kind.
I think it's paper. It's absolutely true- reduce the wing loading for a given reynolds number and you'll reduce the natural flying speed. When you go from trot-along glider to genuine walkalong glider, something magical happens. I think this is an important video for all schools. Why is something so obviously achievable, technologically both advanced and simple, full of handles into flight and evolution, not taught as a standard part of the curriculum? It should be one of those classes that you remember forever.

Thanks for sharing that. My Paperang Moth looks like a cargo ship by comparison. Does anyone know definitively what the material is?

By the way, the original blog that the video comes from is translated by google thus:
http://translate.google.com/translat...901%2Fpaperfly

Lots more interesting stuff there. It think it's definitely paper. And it's clearly a part of a fairly big project in Taiwan.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 04:53 AM
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Onionskin paper ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onionskin ) was used with typewriters to allow better results when using carbon paper, and by traditional animators to be able to see the previous keyframe. It might still be possible to find it in art supply stores. Some types of tracing paper weight 45gsm, but might be hard to find. Another option that springs to mind is the plastic covered paper that is commonly used to weight food on scales. The plastic is easily separated, and the weight of the paper sheet is minimal, to avoid influencing too much the final weight.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 05:20 AM
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Onionskin paper ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onionskin ) was used with typewriters to allow better results when using carbon paper, and by traditional animators to be able to see the previous keyframe. It might still be possible to find it in art supply stores. Some types of tracing paper weight 45gsm, but might be hard to find. Another option that springs to mind is the plastic covered paper that is commonly used to weight food on scales. The plastic is easily separated, and the weight of the paper sheet is minimal, to avoid influencing too much the final weight.
Thank you. I've been experimenting this morning with just lined paper (which I estimate is 70gsm) and I think that is approaching what they do in the video. I'll report back if I can replicate their performance- trim problems at the moment and I have to go out!
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Edmond Hui View Post
Thank you. I've been experimenting this morning with just lined paper (which I estimate is 70gsm) and I think that is approaching what they do in the video. I'll report back if I can replicate their performance- trim problems at the moment and I have to go out!
People have been known to build walkalongs using condenser paper which weighs roughly 9 gsm.

Shaved foam is a bit heavier but quite easy to get. Every time you buy a TV or microwave or printer you get the foam for free. Just build a hot wire cutter and shave 1 mm slices off. It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Cutting thin slices of foam is really easy. Search YouTube to see how people do it.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 10:52 AM
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I am not sure how well the hot wire cutter works with them, but meat tray foam is also relatively light, doesn't have the "bubbles" that most packing foam has, and it could be cut so that one of the surfaces would be smooth. Though at these scales a slightly rough surface might work better? If you don't mind dealing with the horrible mess it can also be sanded.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Lately ive had interest in these paper planes,gliders,enjoyed the TED talk video,the idea that people invent things but not know someone else or nature has already invented it prior and the term ''Inventive Thinking'' really holds true. After reading this thread it has brought back memories of when i was very young. Like many kids i made spit ball,paper clip shooters and paper airplanes etc. I remember building small planes with tooth pics,paper,and sewing pins,scissors,and sharpie markers to give them graphics..will have to try and recreate one but its been decades.. they looked pretty neat and flew pretty good although much smaller than any traditional paper airplanes made in school using notebook paper and trimming,cg,etc was experimented with as well with them. I really identify with the thought that we limit design etc some what do to design constraints we believe cant be overcome etc.. im a firm believer of ''thinking outside the box''.

This is probably my favorite TED talk video related to aircraft,there is also a very good video on radio control ornithopter flight/design on the TED talks.

Burt Rutan: Entrepreneurs are the future of space flight (20 min 17 sec)
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