Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Nakajet

Okay, I’m finally going to get this post up.  Unfortunately, I don’t have pix yet, but if I put the rest of the blog up I’m more likely to remember to get the pictures I need.

       This paper airplane design is one I thought up somewhere around a year ago.  For one reason or another, we didn’t have much to do in Band that day, so some of the percussion guys and I started making paper airplanes and throwing them at each other.  None of the designs they had made work very well if you just fling them, which is what the guys were doing, along with wondering why I could get the airplanes to go farther.  I knew exactly two designs: the really simple jet that everyone learns in elementary school (which we already had one of), and a really good airplane of a design that a lot of people learn in middle school.  Not many actually know what it’s called, but it’s a Nakamura Lock.  The latter is the one I like better, so I made one.  Turns out that it doesn’t like being flung.  It works best with a slowish throw.  I’m not exactly the most original/knowledgeable person when it comes to paper airplane design, so I decided to combine the two.  Whaddaya know, it worked.  And it goes really far with a really hard throw, as long as you don’t throw it at the ground, or straight up.  I think we eventually lost that one under a drum set or something, but I can still make one.  It’s super easy as long as you’re accurate with your folds.

       First, fold paper in half lengthwise and unfold. (Pretty standard for most airplanes)  Second, you fold the first two steps of the elementary jet. (fold 2 corners to center, do it again)  Then, fold the top half down so the point is at the bottom and along the crease you made in the first step.  Fold the top layer in half back so the point lies on the line at the top; then unfold.  Fold top two corners to the center line, NOT flush with the line, but instead so the corners match and the edges rest on, but not below, the ends of the crease you made by folding the point up.  Then, fold the point back up.  Fold in half so the point is out, then make the wings.  I can’t give exact sizes on the wings, but fold them so they’re level with or below the bottom of the plane.  Tweak it so when it’s resting in your hand the wings go slightly up.  Confusing? I’ll have pictures soon, I promise.  I might also have a paper with fold lines and order numbers you can print.

       I call this design a Nakajet (hence the title of this post).  The elementary plane doesn’t have a name, but it’s a jet.  Combine that with Nakamura, and you’ve got Nakajet!

Again, sorry about pix, they're coming eventually.