Introduction: How to Make the Turbo StratoDragon Paper Airplane

Long range and aerodynamic, the Turbo StratoDragon is a small drone cruiser paper airplane with high aspect ratio wings, twin vertical stabilizers and leading edge root extensions. With all of these features, the Turbo StratoDragon has great stability and range and handling is quite docile. The Turbo StratoDragon was designed as a spiritual successor to its namesake, the largerStratoDragon.

I began work on the Turbo StratoDragon in order to design a more advanced, more aerodynamic successor to the StratoDragon with straight wings, enabling better low speed handling. Previously, I had designed the StarDragon which had success but had had swept wings, and was not easily capable of flying at low speeds. When the prototype first flew, its largely orthodox design made it predictable--however, my attention did briefly shift away from the Turbo StratoDragon, and so it was delayed several weeks. Eventually, I reevaluated the design and found it very impressive. Given the noted popularity of miniature paper airplanes on Instructables, I decided it was only fitting to add this aircraft to the fleet.

TAA USAF Designation: D293-1

Step 1: Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper (4 boxes per inch)
Tape
Scissors
Pencil
Ruler
Stapler

Step 2: Begin Construction

Start construction of your Turbo StratoDragon by sketching out the design featured in the first picture. The graph paper this is made on should have one set of boxes folded in half at its crease. The fuselage is 10 boxes in length and has a counterweight of 3 by 2 boxes. One box from the rear of the fuselage, make a solid line along the graph line 0.5 boxes above the crease that stretches 2 boxes forward. Then 2 boxes inwards from the rear of the fuselage, make a dotted vertical line. The layout of the lines is complex, so it is easier to show than explain. Proceed to then cut it out.

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 3 by 5 box area of wing with a taper of 1 box of chord eliminated every 5 boxes away from the fuselage on both the leading and trailing edges of the wings. Measure 2 boxes along the crease, measure two boxes upwards from one mark and make another point. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this new mark to the one further away. From the mark you just made, measure one box further away from the one now connected to the line and make a mark. Sketch a line between this mark and the other mark along the crease. Then cut the horizontal stabilizers out.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Cut out your fuselage and fold its counterweights into place. Once this is done, fold along the vertical dotted line and cut along the solid horizontal line. Once the cut has been made, undo the fold. At this point, fold down the spars and landing gear, and then fold the vertical fins up. Now tape where designated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Cut out your wings and lay them out flat. Align the fuselage over top so the spars align with the wing as shown. Then apply tape. Cut off any excess. Flip the aircraft over and apply tape to the leading edge of the wing above the leading edge root extensions.

Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and slide them through the slit in the fuselage you made earlier. When through, fold them up and apply tape to the underside; then fold down. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight. This will have completed your aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

The Turbo StratoDragon is a fairly simple paper airplane, and can be flown by origami aviators with even limited amounts of experience. Launch for the Turbo StratoDragon should be done at (slightly) negative or neutral attitudes at moderate speed. Nose up elevator trim may be necessary, (determine if this is required with test flights). Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, spoilers, ailerons, elevators, air brakes and trimmable rudders. Enjoy!

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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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