Introduction: How to Make the StratoCirrus Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the StratoCirrus Paper Airplane

Aerodynamic and capable of flying long ranges, the StratoCirrus is a tiny "drone cruiser" paper airplane designed to succeed the older and more complex UltraTrekker.

Following the successful testing of the Cirrus and the discovery of its simpler, more aerodynamic design I decided to rework the airframe to accommodate larger wings for longer ranges and potentially superior glide capabilities. The changes involved were fairly rudimentary with the spars being enlarged to support the bigger wing (recycled from the UltraTrekker). As the horizontal stabilizers would now be an integral part of the airframe and its stabilizers were smaller, the new StratoCirrus featured greater simplicity and less drag than its predecessor. Flight testing proved the new aircraft worthy of publication and so it was cleared to takeoff online.

TAA USAF Designation: D416-2

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Required:

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

Tape

Scissors

Ruler

Pencil

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--13 full boxes apart (allow for a further box back behind the airframe). Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 13 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the stabilizers, spars and counterweight as shown.

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 6 boxes outward from the constant chord box; and a trailing edge sweep of 1 box of decay along the 7 boxes of wingspan). This will complete the wings.

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Picture of Making the Fuselage

Cut out your fuselage and fold its counterweights into place. Cut along the solid lines and cut off the left fin at the bisected solid line as shown. Once this is done, fold along the vertical dotted line then fold the airplane in half along the center crease once again. Fold the spars down along the dotted horizontal lines then tape where indicated.

After the taping is done, cut the rear fuselage away below the diagonal line. Fold the horizontal stabilizers down then apply one staple in the area of the counterweight as noted in the photograph.

Step 4: Applying the Wings; Stapling

Picture of Applying the Wings; Stapling

Cut out your StratoCirrus' wings and lay them beneath the fuselage as shown. Apply tape where designated to secure them to the spars. Apply tape to the LERX joint where noted. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight as shown. This will complete the aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

Picture of Flight

The StratoCirrus handles in a very conventional manner and will tend to fly where pointed; any origami aviators with experience with the UltraTrekker or Cirrus should have little difficulty transitioning to the new type.

Launches should be done at neutral or negative attitude at slow to moderate speed. Test flights should be conducted to see what trim (if any) the aircraft needs. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, ailerons, elevators and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

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