Introduction: How to Make the StratoCruiser Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the StratoCruiser Paper Airplane

Fast, small and aerodynamic, the StratoCruiser is a quick, capable little "drone cruiser" paper airplane. The inspiration for the StratoCruiser was the Mini Staple Sailplane aircraft designed by pmet, which I have found an impressive aircraft. The StratoCruiser is itself reminiscent of the McDonnell Douglas YC-15 tactical transport aircraft prototype.

For some time, I have tried to develop a T-tail aircraft, in order to have experience with another different configuration. For several months, success with this configuration eluded me and I continued to make attempts at integrating it into new designs. I felt that an aircraft like the Mini Staple Sailplane would benefit from being equipped with leading edge root extensions (LERX) and landing gear, which I've found improve performance and airframe longevity. Eventually, the StratoCruiser's prototype was developed, and it fit to these specifications. Its handling was found to be good--its speed particularly high for a straight-wing cruiser--and was approved for publication.

TAA USAF Designation: D316-1

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

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--9 full boxes apart (allow for a further box back behind the airframe). Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 10 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, spars and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings.

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 (1 box of constant chord at the root; a leading edge sweep of 1 box of chord decaying every 4 boxes outward from the constant chord box; and a trailing edge sweep of 1 box of decay along the 5 boxes of wingspan). This will complete the wings.

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Picture of Making the Fuselage

Cut out your fuselage and fold the counterweight into the fuselage. Fold down the horizontal stabilizers, landing gears and spars. Once this is done, unfold down the stabilizers, skids and spars. Then apply tape where designated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings; Stapling

Picture of Applying the Wings; Stapling

Cut out and unfold your StratoCruiser's wings. Once this is done, align the airframe with the wing and secure the wings to the spars with tape. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight folds, and apply tape to the leading edge of the wing at its intersection with the LERX. This will complete your aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

Picture of Flight

The StratoCruiser is a fast paper airplane, and so launches are more similar to those of drone fighters. Launches should be at neutral attitudes at medium to high speed. Launches can be done at a positive attitude, but launch speed should be increased (range may be reduced) and deep stalls avoided. Elevator trim may need adjustment, so test flights are highly recommended. The rear ventral fuselage may clipped if desired, see step 2 for the location of this cut. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, flaperons, elevators, ailerons, spoilers, spoilerons, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!


CJR2115 (author)2013-09-21

Where do you purchase this paper?

I have found this type of paper in many places, including my local grocery store, Walmart and Amazon.

This is the specific type used.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter and Google+. Follow me there ... More »
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