The OmniWing Paper Airplane

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How to Launch and Fly the OmniWing Paper Airplanes.

Launching Your Proto-OmniWing

Launching Your Paper AirplaneChoose a large room to test fly your wing.  The larger the better, but you can get some reasonable flights in your living room if necessary.  Just tell mom it's for  a science project at school.  Or if the air is still outside and there is no dew on the grass you can do launches outdoors. 

If properly folded, your Proto-OmniWing should fly fairly straight and level.  It may take several tosses to learn the natural speed of the wing.  You will want to match that speed with the forward motion of your arm.  It is more of a gentle steady push rather than a throw.

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Hold the wing as shown.  The wings should be level and the nose pointed down ever so slightly.  Launch motion should start with your hand above your head and straight up above your shoulder.  With a forward motion move the wing through the air at a constant speed, releasing the wing at the full extension of your arm. 

If your arm motion was to slow, your wing will immediately stall.  There will be a sudden dropping of the nose, and the wing may strike the ground only a few feet in front or may gain enough airspeed to to obtain some level flight. 

If your arm motion is to quick, your wing will rise for a short distance and then may either stall and again crash, or may regain level flight.

The secret is in finding the natural flight speed of the wing.  Remember this is not a baseball, not is it a dart.  It has a speed at which it is designed to fly.  Find that speed and you will have a perfect flight. 

The wing is a glider.  Which means that in its natural flight it is always descending through the air. 

Another important feature of the launch is to not have the nose pointed to high or to low.  Launching your paper airplaneAs a glider it will fly with its nose ever so slightly lower than level with the ground.  We're talking just a degree or two.  You will want to find this sweet spot during your launch. 

If the nose is held to high the wing will pitch up into a stall.  To low and it will dip down and will possible gain to much airspeed, causing the wing to rise into..... yes you guessed it a stall. 

Hold the wings level.  If for example you have Launching techniquethe wing leaning so that the right wing is lower than the left, then the wing will take off into a turn. 

I know this all sound pretty tedious, but with a little practice and patience you will quickly master the launch. 

Because this wing is built like a true aircraft rather than a dart, it is subject to all the physics of flight.  

See various OmniWings in flight on YouTube .

Click Here for Video #1 showing launches of several models
Click Here for Video #2 showing soaring flights at Mt. Nebo
Click Here for Video #3 a "Great Flight" Mt. Nebo
Click Here for Paper Airplane Aerodynamics 101 

Tuning Your Proto-OmniWing

If after several attempts and you are fairly confident that you are giving a good launch and you are experiencing flight irregularities, they usually can be fixed with minor adjustments. 

If your wing flies at to steep of a downward  angle, you can correct this by bending a small amount of reflex into each wing tip.  Visualize from the rear to check for equal reflex.  Remember.... just a small amount. 

The Photos below demonstrate the application of added reflex to a right wing tip.  I use my index finger nail pressing against my thumb and lightly from from to back causing a slight upward reflex.  The reflex shown in the photos below is greatly exaggerated beyond what you would need for fine tuning. 

Paper Airplane Tuning

Paper Ariplane Tuning

Paper Airplane Tuning

Just the opposite if the wing flies at to high of an angle causing it to stall, correct by the tips downward just a little. 

To correct a right turn apply a little amount of upward reflex to the left wing tip.  Just the opposite for to correct for left turns.    

Another way to speed up a wing is to add more weight to the nose.  This can be done by adding a little more paper and tape to the nose.  If competition restricts you to the single piece of paper then rely on tape only. 

Remember you may have to build a few wings before you get the steps right.  Don't get frustrated.  Stick with it until you get that wing that will fly 50 to 75 feet or more with a good launch.  

Once you have mastered the folding and flying of the Proto-OmniWing, experiment with some different trailing edge cuts.  See some examples below. 

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Copyright 2012 - Mike Kelsey  - All Rights Reserved