Introduction: How to Make the Wanderer Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the Wanderer Paper Airplane

Fast, long range and aerodynamic, the Wanderer is a small "drone cruiser" paper airplane meant to complement other similar types.

Inspired by the success of the SkyTomahawk series (particularly the Simple SkyTomahawk), I decided to redesign the original SkyTomahawk to accommodate the tail design of the Wren. Although flight testing showed the aircraft were extremely comparable (in large part due to almost identical configurations (minus tail design) and weight), the Wanderer proved to be slightly simpler to make due to the nature of its tail design. Flight testing showed the Wanderer to be just as good as the SkyTomahawk, and given its unique shape and advantages I felt it was worthy of publication and approved it on that basis.

TAA USAF Designation: D402-1

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--12 full boxes apart (allow for a further box back behind the airframe). Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 12 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the stabilizers, spars and counterweight as shown. To avoid confusion, one line you will cut along has been omitted from the photograph.

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 4 boxes outward from the constant chord box; and a trailing edge sweep of 1 box of decay along the 5 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. Once this is done, fold along the vertical dotted line then fold the airplane in half along the center crease once again. Fold along the dotted horizontal lines then tape where indicated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings; Stapling

Picture of Applying the Wings; Stapling

Cut out your Wanderer's wings and lay them beneath the fuselage. Apply tape where designated to secure them to the fuselage. Apply tape to the LERX joint where noted. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight. The outer stabilizers should be perpendicular to the fuselage while the inner fins should be canted outward at roughly 45 to 60 degrees. This will complete the aircraft.

Step 5: Flight

Picture of Flight

With the fins properly configured, the Wanderer should fly quite nicely in a straight line where it is pointed. Launches should be done at moderate to high speeds at neutral attitude. Test flights should be conducted to check the aircraft. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, flaperons, elevators, ailerons, spoilers, spoilerons and trimmable rudders. 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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