Introduction: How to Make the StratoMite Paper Airplane

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Fast, small and nimble, the StratoMite is a very good little "drone-fighter" paper airplane. While it has been some time since its design, the StratoMite remains a very capable airplane with performance comparable to the newest similar airplanes.

The StratoMite was designed at the same time as and as a lightweight variant of the StratoGnat, which featured a larger wing and a staple. The StratoMite was designed with the same concept in mind as the original Mite--a small but capable drone fighter. To emphasize simplicity and commonality, all but the wing design of the StratoGnat was retained. Flight testing demonstrated the StratoMite to be a stable, capable aircraft and it was cleared for publication. Due to the appearance of other drone aircraft, I decided not to publish the StratoMite for several months.

TAA USAF Designation: D288-2

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 by 3 boxes in width, and a swept portion in front of this box of 2 boxes eliminated every 3 boxes away from the root). In addition, measure 2 boxes along the crease and 2 boxes upwards from one side and the 1 box forward. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this line the other edge of the line along the crease. This will make the horizontal stabilizers. 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

Cut out your StratoMite'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.

Step 5: Flight

The StratoMite is quite straightforward in its flight characteristics; origami aviators with experience with the StratoGnat or SkyGnat should have little difficulty transitioning. Launches should be at high speed at neutral or positive attitudes. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, elevators and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

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