Introduction: How to Make the Simple Lancer Paper Airplane

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

Fast, long range and small, the Simple Lancer is a tiny "drone-fighter" meant as a simpler alternative to its namesake, the original Lancer and other similar designs.

Development of the Simple Lancer began as a response to the apparent complexity of the Lancer, which was greater than other drones, primarily because of its tail configuration. To remedy this, I decided to mate the Lancer's forward fuselage design to the tail design of the StratoGnat series. In flight testing, the prototype proved itself capable and was cleared for publication.

TAA USAF Designation: D341-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper






Step 2: Begin Construction

Fold your paper in half so that half a box is at the crease line. Make a mark, then measure 6 boxes back and make another mark. From this second mark, measure half a box up, three boxes behind. From this third mark, measure and mark 3 boxes upwards over 1 box backwards. One box in front of and below the last mark; then make a line stretching two boxes forward from this fifth mark. Beyond this, the pictures explain the other marks needed with less confusion--better than I can explain with words. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage.

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 3 boxes of wingspan). This will complete the wings. To make the horizontal stabilizers, measure 2 boxes along the crease, measure two boxes upwards from one mark and make another point. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this new mark to the one further away. From the mark you just made, measure one box further away from the one now connected to the line and make a mark. Sketch a line between this mark and the other mark along the crease. Then cut the horizontal stabilizers 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. Following this cut, cut along the vertical line of the ventral fins. Apply tape where designated and fold the ventral fins as shown.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Cut out and unfold your wing and flip your airframe inverted. Tape the wing to the fuselage by applying tape to the spars, with the overhang grabbing the wing. Cut off any excess tape. Flip the airframe over and then apply tape to the leading edge of the wing that sits atop the leading edge root extensions. The wings should be bend down enough so the skids can touch the ground while parallel to the fuselage. Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and thread them through the fuselage beneath the rudder. Fold them down once through and tape them to the fuselage. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight. This application will complete your Simple Lancer.

Step 5: Flight

The Simple Lancer flies very similar to its namesake, so origami aviators with previous experience with the Lancer or other comparable drones should have little difficulty transitioning to this aircraft. Launches should be done at neutral or positive attitude at moderate to high speeds. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, ailerons, spoilers, elevators, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

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