Introduction: How to Make the AeroLancer Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the AeroLancer Paper Airplane

Fast, long range and tiny, the AeroLancer is a simple "drone fighter" paper airplane. It is designed to succeed the Lancerseries it was developed from.

The AeroLancer was developed to modernize the Lancer with new design features developed during 2016 to give the aircraft better performance. This change primarily centered on the tail, where the stabilizers were reworked. The reworked aircraft showed the concept was sound, and after successful flight testing, the AeroLancer was approved for publication.

TAA USAF Designation: D429-1

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

Tape

Scissors

Pencil

Ruler

Stapler

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--11 full boxes apart. 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 rudder and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, mark out the wing spars and landing gear. From the back, measure 1 box forward and make a solid line 2 boxes long. Measure 1 box back from the beginning of this horizontal line and mark out a dotted vertical line. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage. Along the bottom of the fuselage, measure 4 boxes from the back. At the back, measure 0.5 boxes above the bottom of the fuselage. Then make a diagonal line connecting these two marks.

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 3 boxes of wingspan). This will complete the wings. To make the horizontal stabilizers, 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; Stapling

Picture of Making the Fuselage; Stapling

Begin constructing your fuselage by folding the counterweights into the fuselage. Once they have been folded, unfold the fuselage and cut off the right vertical stabilizer. Once this is done, restore the fold. After doing this, fold the vertical stabilizer forward along the dotted line that indicates the center of what will be the slot for the horizontal stabilizers, then cut and unfold the fin.

Apply tape where designated. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight, as shown. Cut away the bottom of the fuselage beneath the diagonal line near the rear of the fuselage.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers

Picture of Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers

Cut out and unfold your wing and flip your airframe inverted. Tape the wing to the fuselage by applying tape to the spars, with the overhang grabbing the wing. Cut off any excess tape. Flip the airframe over and then apply tape to the leading edge of the wing that sits atop the leading edge root extensions. The wings should be bend down enough so the skids can touch the ground while parallel to the fuselage.

Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and thread them through the fuselage beneath the rudder. Fold them up once through and tape them to the fuselage. This will complete your AeroLancer.

Step 5: Flight

Picture of Flight

The AeroLancer flies in a very conventional manner, similar to most other dart paper airplanes--where it is pointed it'll head.

Launches should be done at neutral or positive attitude at moderate to high speeds. Test flights should be conducted to see what trim, if any, is needed. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, ailerons, elevators and a trimmable rudder.

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