Introduction: How to Make the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Paper Airplane

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, commonly known as the "BUFF" is perhaps the airplane destined to have the longest military career in history. For over 50 years, the B-52 has been a primary component of the United States Air Force's heavy bomber force, only later being complemented by newer types like the Rockwell (now Boeing) B-1 Lancer and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.

With such a long active service history, I decided that to make a B-52 replica in tribute to the very effective heavy bomber. This particular replica closely resembles the design of its A-F variants, though to be thorough the basis for the replica was the B-52D. Subsequently, the rudder design of the B-52G/H was noticably shortened by several feet. I decided to omit adding engine pods due to the added complexity of measurements and cutting.

I believe that even without engine pods, the general shape of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is recognizable as it is; and that this replica can put a smile on B-52 crew members both from the past and now.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch Graph paper
Tape
Scissors
Stapler
Pencil
Ruler

Step 2: Begin Construction

Picture of Begin Construction

First, begin by folding your your graph paper in half (excluding three boxes on the perforated side). Once the paper has been folded appropriately, make two marks--12 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 12 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Along the half box line near the fold, add a dot forward of the counterweight and draw lines from the fuselage to connect it. Then make the rudder, spars, outriggers and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, below the rudder, mark a line that stretches 2 boxes. 1 box back from the beginning of this line, make a dotted line vertically. Measure 4 boxes forward of the rear of the fuselage and make a line connecting it to the half box line at the rear of the fuselage as shown. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage.

After the fuselage is made, take another sheet of paper that is folded in half along the lines of boxes. Mark out the wing as shown (3 by 11 boxes). The rate of chord decay on the leading edge should be 2 boxes of chord every 3 boxes of span. The rate of chord decay on the trailing edge should be 1 box every 2 boxes of span. Then mark out the horizontal stabilizers; along the folded side, the length should be 0.375 inches in chord, with the tips being only 3/16ths of an inch in length. Then cut these out.

Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Picture of Making the Fuselage

Begin making your fuselage by cutting it out and folding the counterweights. Proceed to then unfold the fuselage and cut off the right nose section forward of the counterweight and the right rudder. You may then discard these pieces. Round the nose by cutting off a little part of it as shown. Along the vertical dotted line, fold the rear fuselage forward and cut along the horizontal solid line. Once you have done this, unfold. With this done, tape where designated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Picture of Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Cut out your B-52's wings and place them for mounting. Invert and align the airframe below the wings and tape it. Cut any excess tape. Once you have mounted the wing and removed all excess tape, flip the airframe back over. Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and slide them through the slit under the rudder you made earlier. Fold it upwards and apply tape to connect them to the fuselage, then fold them back down perpendicular to the rudder. Once this is finished, focus your attention to the counterweight area and apply 1 staple in its vicinity. This will complete your B-52 replica.

Step 5: Flight

Picture of Flight

The B-52 replica has fairly docile handling characteristics, so usually only minor trimming is the required. Because its nose is weaker ahead of the counterweight, it may need to be observed and repaired after each landing. To launch the replica, toss at a moderate speed at a negative or neutral attitude. Additional applicable surfaces include elevators, ailerons, flaps, slats and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

Comments

SN1P3RL0RD (author)2012-10-26

Built it. I colored all of it green to make it look more like a bomber.

sf49ers (author)SN1P3RL0RD2013-11-22

I would color it grey.

That sounds like the color the B-52D's had during the 70's.

Could you post pictures?

sf49ers (author)2013-11-23

Have you made a blue angel?

I have published an F/A-18 Hornet replica previously.

sf49ers (author)2013-11-22

can you make the lancer?

I will look into replicating the B-1 Lancer, but I cannot guarantee such a replica could or would actually be made.

I have designed an experimental aircraft with variable-geometry wings before, but testing revealed problems. I am willing to look into another similar project, because advances made since the development of that test aircraft may enable success.

sf49ers (author)2013-11-21

How does it fly?

The B-52 replica flies quite well. Its performance is comparable to other mini airplanes I have made, like the StarDragon. Flights across a fairly large room have been regular and stability was never a problem I encountered.

I like the Super Voyager that you made, it has flown quite well for me. Oh and can you please look at my plane I made and leave comment on what you think about it, like how it handles?

While I have been unable to review your airplane as of yet, I intend to do so soon, because I find its configuration fascinating.

Oh and if you could be shrunk and have to fly in one of your paper airplanes which one would you be most comfortable in?

There are so many, it'd be too hard to choose any one particular airplane.

SN1P3RL0RD (author)2012-10-31

Sure.
Sorry it won't let me reply.

Nice. We were able to walk through a B52 at the Sacramento Air Show... awesome experience.

I was inside a C-17 a while back--an impressive piece of equipment, that's for sure.

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