Introduction: How to Make the Ranger Paper Airplane
Designed as a smaller but equally capable supplement to the larger, heavier Albatross paper airplane, the Ranger is a small, long range cruiser, like the Grumman S-2 Tracker to which it is an homage.
In the weeks between the publication of the Albatross and the Orion drone paper airplanes, no high-wing "cruiser" airplanes were designed. Due to the popularity of the Albatross, Dragonfly and Cardinal, I decided I would design a supplemental aircraft to follow the former. When beginning to design the Ranger, I turned to the airframe of the Cardinal and proceeded to develop the new aircraft off of it. Most of the airframe remained common, though in the end, the spars were extended. The wing was chosen for its simplicity and versatility. This wing enabled great cruising abilities like those of the older Albatross. In addition to being a cruiser, the wing of the Ranger is versatile enough to make it a very capable testbed aircraft. Because of this, this aircraft may be useful for educators seeking to introduce students to aviation.
Some potential experiments possible with this airframe include:
•Weight and balance
•Hangtime versus other aircraft
TAA USAF Designation: D168-1
Step 1: Materials
1 Piece of 8 by 10 inch graph paper (4 boxes per inch)
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 and 6 boxes in width).
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 and Stapling
Now it is time for you to work with your wing. Cut it out and fold along the given lines as shown. Then apply the fuselage to the bottom of the wing with tape. Cut off any excess that goes being the wings' edges. Now that the wing has been mounted, flip your airframe over. Then apply one staple to the airframe around the area of the counterweight.
Step 6: Flight
Like the Albatross, the Ranger is a simple, versatile little airplane with great cruising abilities. At launch, give the Ranger a moderate toss. Additional surfaces that can be applied to the airframe include slats, flaps, ailerons, flaperons, elevators, air brakes and a rudder. Enjoy!