Introduction: How to Make the StratoCardinal Paper Airplane

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Fast, long range and small, the StratoCardinal is a great little drone paper airplane that can fly as a cruiser or as a fighter. The StratoCardinal is intended as a complement to the popular SkyRanger,which has proven a tricky aircraft for some origami aviators.

Development of the StratoCardinal came rapidly, as its design drew greatly upon existing aircraft like the StratoGnat and Cardinal.  The airframe of the StratoCardinal is essentially the same as with the StratoGnat, with slight differences in the spars while the wing used by the StratoCardinal is identical to that of the Cardinal. Because of this commonality and its conventional design, the StratoCardinal went through testing easily and was soon cleared for publication.

TAA USAF Designation: D323-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper (4 boxes per inch)

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. 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 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 your StratoCardinal's wings and lay them beneath the fuselage. Apply tape where designated to secure them to the fuselage. After securing the wings, cut out the horizontal stabilizers. Thread them through their slit and then secure them with tape as designated. Apply one staple to the counterweight area of the StratoCardinal to complete it.

Step 5: Flight

The StratoCardinal is a fast paper airplane and so its launches are more similar to those of drone fighters. Launches should be at neutral or positive attitudes at medium to high speed. Elevator trim may need adjustment, so test flights are highly recommended. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, flaperons, elevators, ailerons, spoilers, spoilerons, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!