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Fast, long range and small, the StratoTrekker is a simple and tiny drone cruiser paper airplane meant to compliment its basis, the Trekker, with a variant that is even easier to make.

Development of the StratoTrekker was initiated after I decided that, without significant developments, few things could be done to improve performance or reduce complexity. As such, I decided to refine older aircraft and to use newer techniques to improve their performance and reduce their complexity. Redesigning the vertical stabilizer resulted in the genesis of the StratoTrekker from its namesake. Flight testing showed the aircraft as sound and given its reduced complexity, I approved it for publication.

TAA USAF Designation: D372-4

Step 1: Materials

Required:
1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

Tape

Scissors

Ruler

Pencil

Stapler

Step 2: 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.

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 3 boxes outward from the constant chord box; and a trailing edge sweep of 1 box of decay along the 4 boxes of wingspan). This will complete the wings. In addition, measure 2 boxes along the crease and 2 boxes upwards from one side and the 1 box forward. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this line the other edge of the line along the crease. This will make the horizontal stabilizers. 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 Fuselage

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. After this cut has been made, cut away the bottom of the fuselage beneath the diagonal line near the rear of the fuselage. Apply 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. Once you have finished with the wings, 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. Then apply one staple in the area of the counterweight. This will have completed your aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

The StratoTrekker is a conventional drone cruiser paper airplane and handles similar to most others of that class; people with experience with other drone cruisers should be able to transition easily. Launches should be done at moderate speed at neutral attitude. Test flights should be conducted to check the aircraft's handling. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, flaperons, elevators, ailerons, spoilers, spoilerons, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

I absolutely love these things. I designed my own to look like a F-15 (not pictured) but I didn't make it large enough to be flight capable. I remade it almost exactly the same, just with a different nose shape and scaled up in size. It's capable of flying around thirty feet if trimmed only slightly and launched at high speed, and 25-30 feet if trimmed more aggressively and launched from a low-to-medium speed. It has two staples in the nose: one actually through the nose and one glued inside it. The main wing is held in place by small extensions in the front and rear and strengthened by two drops of glue. The rear elevator is glued into the body at a slight angle and trimmed according to preference. When launching, I do not hold it with my fingers as this tends to cause unpredictable launches, I rather use a pair of tweezers out of a Swiss Army knife. <br><br>All in all, I'm happy with it. Thank you for the idea! (note: my graph squares are much smaller than yours, at only 0.5mm each)

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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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