Introduction: How to Make the Cardinal Paper Airplane

About: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter. Follow me there to keep up with the latest developments!

Designed specifically for the classroom, the Cardinal is a small, simple little glider paper airplane made for lessons in the classroom. Its range and speed are sufficient for classroom glide experiments, as well as plane fun after school too. It is also very simple and requires fewer tools than some other "drone" paper airplanes but still retains landing gear for longevity.

The Cardinal is my response to teachers' wishes for a paper airplane that could be used as an experimental platform in the classroom. This plane is very able, and I believe it could be used in any classroom. I would also like to add that I am happy to assist educators, should they have any questions or concerns; or if they have a lesson plan that they'd like to find an aircraft for.

Some potential experiments possible with this airframe include:
•Glide ratio
•Weight and balance
•Hangtime versus other aircraft

TAA USAF Designation: D160-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

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--13 full boxes apart. 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 elevators, rudder, spars, landing gear and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage.

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 (3 boxes in length, each with an intersection sweep of 1/4 (1 box length lost for every 4 boxes outward from the fuselage.). 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 Rudder

Begin making your rudder by separating it from the elevators. Then cut one of the two layers of paper where the rudder should be off (I usually cut off the left myself). After you've cut these 6 boxes (3 by 2) off, you may discard them.

Step 4: Making and Taping the Fuselage

After having cut out all of the fuselage. Begin folding it along the dotted lines. After you've folded all the lines correctly, it should appear as it does in the second picture. Then tape your fuselage together at the noted places in the photograph.

Step 5: Applying the Wing

Now it is time for you to work with your wing. Cut it out along its lines as shown. Then apply the fuselage to the bottom of the wing with tape. Cut off any excess. Your Cardinal is now ready for flight.

Step 6: Flight

To keep with its concept of being a simple classroom research plane, the Cardinal is a plane that needs a quick little toss forward. Its small landing gear provide stability during landing, and its large surface area provides plenty of room for students to mark their individual aircraft. This plane has provisions for trimming the rudder, elevators and ailerons for even more advanced research. Enjoy!

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