Introduction: How to Make the Apprentice Paper Airplane

Simple, durable and versatile, the Apprentice is a paper airplane that can work great for a new origami aviator's introduction to paper airplanes. In addition, its large airframe allows for easy augmentation with numerous additional surfaces. It is an excellent primary trainer choice for those who wish to fly types such as Dagger, Eaglet, Starhawk, and/or StratoDart paper airplanes. New Apprentices can be made out of existing Simple Skystreak airframes.

For those converting an existing Simple Skystreak, proceed to the second part of this step here.

The Apprentice is my response to my own belief an alternative to the Turbo Cadet primary trainer was needed. Although it fulfilled all criteria in testing, the Turbo Cadet was somewhat single-purposed in its training abilities. For the new primary trainer design, I followed what has essentially been the pattern for my primary trainer designs; I selected a flying wing that I would augment. For this project (PT-X), I chose to augment the Simple Skystreak, one of my easiest aircraft to make.

When I began making the prototype, I decided the new airframe would not have what I felt were weak points of the original Cadet (primarily its lack of landing gear and skids). Instead, I decided to incorporate elements of several airplanes into the new aircraft. Skids were made out of the fins which would now be made ventral, and additional stability would come from dorsal winglets. This would leave plenty of space on the fuselage for additions. Although these changes were made, none of them compromised the ability for new Apprentices to be made out of existing Simple Skystreak airframes (this had been an original design goal). The Apprentice proved itself a great airplane in testing, and it can serve as a primary trainer and aerial testbed with ease.

TAA USAF Designation: TF115-1

Step 1: Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch Paper
Tape
Ruler
Scissors
Pencil
1 large paper clip
or
1 prebuilt Simple Skystreak

Step 2: Fourth Folding

Fold your paper in half along its length. Then unfold and fold along its width. Then unfold.

Step 3: Counterweight Folding

While your paper is aligned with its length perpendicular to you, fold down the top fourth. Then unfold. Fold the corners of this fourth down then fold the diagonal edges down over themselves again as shown. Then pull the fourth down as shown. Pull the front over this again and then fold again by the crease of the center fold. Then apply tape where directed.

Step 4: Wing, Fin and Winglet Folding

Begin working with your fins by folding the paper in half as shown. Measure 0.75 inwards from the trailing edge along the wingtip and make a mark. Then measure 1 inch inwards from the wingtip along the trailing edge and make a mark. From the mark, make a line 1 inch long, parallel to the center crease. Then connect the mark on the wingtip to this line's edge as shown and cut along it.

Proceed to the center crease and measure 1 inch outwards from it and make a mark. Fold the wing down along this mark, parallel to the center crease. You can do this by aligning the trailing edges of the wings with those of the fuselage. Once you've folded both of the wings down as shown, fold the fins down as shown. Align their trailing edges with those of the wing. One the fins have been folded beneath the wing, fold the wingtips upwards to the edge of the fin fold. You can align the winglets with the fuselage by folding them so their leading edges align with those of the wing.

Step 5: Taping and Paper Clip Application

Tape your Apprentice at its front, back and across the wing root. Now apply the paper clip to the front of your aircraft.

Step 6: Flight

As a trainer, the Apprentice is meant to fly fairly easily and steadily. At launch, a moderately quick toss is necessary for the best for the longest range flights. If your Apprentice has stability problems, pinch the wing roots near the back to give them a slight dihedral deflection. Additional surfaces applicable include elevators, ailerons, elevons, spoilers, spoilerons, rudders and air brakes. Enjoy!

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