Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/25/vulture_wing/

PARIS team cracks Vulture 1-X wing

Knocks together proof of concept structure

By Lester Haines

Posted in SPB, 25th August 2010 14:26 GMT

The Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) team has spent the last couple of days working on a definitive Vulture 1-X wing structure, having already tried and rejected a few options.

Naturally, we took on board all of your suggestions as to how we might go about making an aircraft wing entirely from paper, and reckon we've cracked it.

First up, we looked for suitable wing profile, and decided to nab one from the Horten Ho IV, which will need no introduction to the aircraft enthusiasts among you.

Since we're using paper straws for the main Vulture 1-X structure, it made sense to convert this profile into a paper rib which can accept four continual spars, as you can see in our template pic:

The Vulture 1-X wing section, showing paper straw spar locations

So, we printed out a load of these ribs, punched out the holes for the straws with a 6mm leather punch and bodged together a proof of concept section of wing.

On the next couple of pages are the construction snaps. Don't bemoan the sloppy hot glue technique - we knocked this up in around half an hour and the final structure of the wings will be lovingly and carefully put together with epoxy...

First up, here are three ribs with a matching number of straws running through:

The wing ribs with three straws running through

Once they were glued together, we attached the leading edge straw:

The leading edge straw attached to the ribs

Obviously, the ribs are a tad flimsy, so we put in some spacers to maintain the correct distance between the straws:

Reinforcing struts between the spar straws

The trailing edge is even flimsier, so cue some spacer struts to keep it in good shape:

Spacing straws between the ribs at the trailing edge

It was also important to add some diagonal reinforcement to stop the spars skewing:

Diagonal reinforcement between the spar straws

Finally, we used some paper to form the leading and trailing edges:

We're pretty pleased with the result, and for the record the whole section of wing shown above is a featherweight 10 grammes.

We'll certainly need to construct the final wings in a jig, so our next task is to put that together and get on with giving the Vulture 1-X some lift. ®

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