Introduction: How to Make the Pioneer Paper Airplane

About: Paper airplane maker: 400+ designs so far and more in development!

A tiny little airplane, the Pioneer is a new plane based off the highly successful Scoutpaper airplane. Like the Scout, the Pioneer is an easy flier and is a good plane for introduction to this size aviation.

I developed the Pioneer to be my first design on this scale with an upright tail fin. Although I went through several designs and prototypes, this model proved the best--though there was a very similar, competitive model that I may also post too.

TAA USAF Designation: D136-1

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--17 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 17 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the elevators, rudder, struts and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage and wings.

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

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 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.

Step 5: Taping the Fuselage

Now tape your fuselage together at the front, back and across the struts.

Step 6: Make the Wing

Now you will fold the wing to the appropriate shape. First, take your wing and fold it in half width-wise. Then unfold all but 2 rows of these boxes.

Step 7: Mate the Wing and Fuselage

Suspend the wings upside down and install the fuselage (but make sure you do not crush or bend the rudder). The struts should have 2 entire boxes on the wing section with no anhedral. A small section--roughly a quarter of a box should exist under the anhedral part of the wing.Then, tape the two boxes under the wing to the underside of the wing. Do not tape any other parts of the struts to the wing.

Step 8: Flight

Like the Scout before it, the Pioneer is a rugged, tough little airplane. With its struts, its also one of a select few planes on this scale that can perform relatively tough maneuvers. It is also notable that you can convert a Pioneer into a Scout by cutting off the rudder and retaping the back. Enjoy!

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