Introduction: How to Make the Predator Paper Airplane
Very fast, long range and capable, the Predator is a dart paper airplane with a heavy nose which makes it rugged and stable. In addition, this configuration also improves its handling in wind versus lighter types.
The Predator was developed from an unpublished HelioVulcan-like prototype (which had been made in March 2015) to replace the aging Ultraceptor series. For better high speed performance, the Predator was modified to incorporate advancements made for the newer Swift Vulcan. As a result, the Predator looks almost identical, differing only in size. Flight testing of the Predator showed it to be fast, stable and sturdy just as desired; with its excellent handling shown, I decided it was the right time for this airplane to be published.
TAA USAF Designation: F415-1
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper
Scissors (for additional surfaces only)
Ruler (for additional surfaces only)
Pencil (for additional surfaces only)
Step 2: Length and Fourth Folding
Fold the paper in half along its length, then fold the outer length edges of the paper into the crease on each side.
Step 3: Width Folding
Align the length fourth fold creases with themselves as you pull one width edge to the other, as shown in the second photograph and then unfold it. Pull the same edge back into the crease you have just made to make a width fourth fold and then unfold as seen in the fourth and fifth photographs. Pull the width edge inward to this second crease and make another crease as shown in the eighth and ninth photographs.
At the outer corners of the paper, fold the corners in so the outer most width crease is aligned with the edge of the folds as pictured. Restore the width crease made earlier as shown in the eleventh photograph.
Step 4: Airfoil Folding
Pull the corners of the paper with the folded edge down to the center crease on each side. After making creases for these folds, pull the new creases themselves in over the center crease. Unfold these new diagonal folds and pull the outer edges into the diagonal creases on each side as shown.
Pull the folds' back outward as shown in the ninth and tenth photographs to prepare them for the next step.
Step 5: Airfoil Folding
Reverse the direction of the last two folds you made on the previous step. After doing this, pull the rear portion forward. Stop at the outer edge and the rear edge of the inner edge as shown. Pull the outer edge of this paper back over the crease and fold. Pull the crease that has no resulted back over the first crease you made on this step. With this done, tuck the paper into itself as shown in the sixth and seventh photographs.
Repeat this process on the other side.
After making all the preceding folds and progressing to the fourteenth photograph, pull the outer diagonal leading edges on each side into line with the creases as shown in the fourteen to seventeenth photographs. This will complete the airfoils.
Step 6: Canard Folding
Fold the airfoils down along the existent creases as shown in the first and second photographs. After doing this, pull the overhanging portions of paper back above the center crease by way of the existent fold line at it. These portions you fold up on each side will become the canards.
Lay out the paper flat and allow the diamond to be spread out as shown in the fifth photograph. Pull the tip backward until the apexes of the diamond are reached on each side. After doing this, pull the tip forward again until it reaches an existing line on itself and crease it at that point. Proceed to then tuck this portion of the paper in as pictured.
Step 7: Nose, Winglet and Airfoil Folding
Pull the nose of the paper airplane back to the trailing edge as shown while keeping the center crease aligned with itself. After doing this, pull the wingtips into the fourth fold as shown in the fourth and fifth photographs. Pull the paper between the leading edges of the nose and winglet folds backward on each side, as shown in the sixth photograph. After doing this, unfold these two folds and fold the outer edges into the creases as pictured in the seventh and eighth photographs. With that done, fold the nose back to the trailing edge and fold the airfoils back over themselves once more. Pull the nose forward again until you can go no further (you will pass the previously established point in doing so) and crease.
Step 8: Canard and Wing Folding; Taping
While keeping their leading edges parallel with that of the nose, fold the canards down as shown in the first three photographs. After doing this, fold the wings down so the length fourth folds sit over top of the fuselage center crease.
With this folding done, being taping where noted in the order designated in the photographs. Once you have taped where directed, the airplane is complete.
Step 9: Flight
The Predator flies like most dart paper airplanes--where it is pointed, at a fair speed. As they are configured similarly, origami aviators familiar with the Vulcan series should be able to handle the Predator well.
Launches should be conducted at moderate to high speed at neutral or positive attitude. Test flights should be conducted to see what trimming (if any) is required. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudders, air brakes and an "electronic warfare" tail. Enjoy!
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