Introduction: How to Make the Voyager Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the Voyager Paper Airplane

Designed to supplant older "cruiser" paper airplanes and provide a newer, more accurate model of a typical aircraft, the Voyager is a simple drone paper airplane that can be used by more than just paper aviators.

I began designing the Voyager to fully replace the aging Pioneer and Condor paper airplanes, as well to supplant the Albatross, Dragonfly, Jayhawk and Rangerpaper airplanes, among others. To this end, I decided to take advantage of developments discovered since the last drone "trainer-cruiser" paper airplane. The empennage underwent several redesigns for weight reduction and realignment. One of my goals in designing the Voyager was to make it an excellent cruiser--and to make it an airframe from which students can learn. For that reason, I retained the constant chord wing so as to simplify the placement of additional surfaces (such as flaps) on the wing.

Because of its simple layout, I believe the Voyager would be a suitable student testbed aircraft. It may be useful for educators seeking to introduce students to aviation, flight dynamics and geometry.

Some potential experiments possible with this airframe include:
•Glide ratio
•Weight and balance
•Hangtime versus other aircraft
•How surface inequality can affect aircraft (geometry/shape studies)

TAA USAF Designation: D187-1

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

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

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--15 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 15 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the rudder, spars, landing gear and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, below the rudder, mark a line that stretches 3 boxes. 1.5 boxes back from the beginning of this line, make a dotted line vertically. 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 12 boxes). Then mark out the horizontal stabilizers as 2 by 3, plus a swept portion with a sweep of 1 box of chord decaying every 3 boxes outwards from the wing root.  Then cut it out.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Rudder and Making and Taping the Fuselage

Picture of Making the Rudder and Making and Taping the Fuselage

Begin making your rudder by separating it from the other vertical stabilizer. Then cut one of the two layers of paper where the rudder should be off (I usually cut off the left myself). After you've cut these boxes off, you may discard them. Then, after having cut out all of the fuselage. Begin folding it along the dotted lines. Then fold your vertical fin along the dotted line and cut along the solid line in the center of the fuselage and then unfold.

Step 4: Applying the Wing, Horizontal Stabilizers and Stapling

Picture of Applying the Wing, Horizontal Stabilizers and Stapling

Now it is time to work with your Voyager's wing. Cut your wing out and unfold it. Flip your airframe inverted and apply tape to the spars. Then join the fuselage and the wing at the spars. Then put your horizontal stabilizers through their given attachment point. Fold them up and then apply tape to their undersides, attaching them to the fuselage. Once this is done, apply one staple to the counterweight.

Step 5: Flight

Picture of Flight

The Voyager is a nimble little paper airplane capable of all sorts of flights. For longest range flights, give your Voyager a moderately fast toss. Additional applicable surfaces to the Voyager include flaps, slats, ailerons, flaperons, elevons, air brakes, and a trimmable rudder. 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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