Introduction: How to Make the Turbo Predator Paper Airplane

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

Very fast, long range and capable, the Turbo Predator is a dart paper airplane with a heavy nose which makes it rugged and stable. In addition, this configuration also improves its handling in wind versus lighter types. The Turbo Predator is derived from the Vulcan Predator and possesses strengthened wings with higher sweepback for better high speed handling.

The Turbo Predator's lineage is shared with the original Predator which was also based upon the Vulcan Predator. While the angled configuration of the Predator's wings made them easy to make, they could also make the aircraft more difficult to handle once completed. As a result, I decided to develop another variant without any anhedral or dihedral angling to eliminate this. In testing, the Turbo Predator showed itself greater roll stability in flight at the expense of slightly more complexity in construction. Flight testing went well and the Turbo Predator was approved for publication.

TAA USAF Designation: F415-2

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper





Scissors (for additional surfaces only)

Step 2: Length, Width and Nose Folding

Fold the paper in half along its length. Then fold the paper in half along its width. Once this is done, pull the width edge of one side of the paper into the width center crease and make a crease. After doing this, unfold the paper. Taking the same width edge again, pull the paper into this fourth crease and make another crease. When you have pulled the edge of your paper into this crease, you will have completed the step.

Step 3: Leading Edge Folding

Pull the corners of the paper with the folded edge down to the center crease on each side. After making creases for these folds, pull the new creases themselves in over the center crease. Unfold these new diagonal folds and pull the inner tips of the folded sections forward again as shown. Then reverse the fold and tuck the paper underneath itself. Repeat on the other side.

Step 4: Canard Fold Preparations

Pull the length edges into the diagonal creases on each side. After doing this, unfold the paper and then pull the corners of the paper into the new creases as shown in the fifth and sixth photographs.

Working with these new corner folds, pull them forward until you reach the rear edge of the nose fold on each side and crease them. After completing that, pull the leading edges of these folds back to the creases that have resulted and then the creases back over themselves, as shown between photographs nine through twelve.

After the folding has been done, reverse the folds on each side to tuck the paper under itself. Finishing this, pull the leading edge of this angled portion itself into the crease and make a new crease. Repeat on the other side.

Step 5: Canard Folding

Fold the airfoils down along the existent creases as shown in the first photograph. After doing this, pull the overhanging portions of paper back above the center crease by way of the existent fold line at it. These portions you fold up on each side will become the canards.

Lay out the paper flat and allow the diamond to be spread out as shown in the fifth photograph. Pull the tip backward until the apexes of the diamond are reached on each side. After doing this, pull the tip forward again until it reaches an existing line on itself and crease it at that point. Proceed to then tuck this portion of the paper in as pictured.

Step 6: Winglet and Nose Folding

Along the trailing edge, measure 1 inch from the center crease and make a mark. After this mark has been made, measure 1 inch from the wingtip on each side and make a mark. These two marks will be used as references for folding points later in this step.

Fold the winglets by pulling the parts of the wings outboard of the marks you made earlier inward, creased at the 1 inch markings on each side as shown in the third and fourth photographs.

Pull the nose of the paper airplane back to the trailing edge as shown while keeping the center crease aligned with itself. At the existing crease, pull the nose back forward and fold. With the nose folded into this position, fold the leading edges as shown. Open the leading edges then fold their outer edges into the creases as shown in the tenth photograph. Fold along the creases again then pull nose forward until you can no longer. This will complete the step.

Step 7: Canard and Wing Folding; Taping

Fold the canards down on each side by pulling the to the limit imposed along the forward edge while aligning the leading edges of the canards with that of the nose.

At the one inch mark you made earlier, fold the wings down. Align the trailing edge of the wing with the trailing edge of the fuselage to keep the angling correct. Repeat the fold on the other side.

Apply tape where designated in the photographs to complete the Turbo Predator.

Step 8: Flight

The Turbo Predator flies like most dart paper airplanes--where it is pointed, at a fair speed. As they are configured similarly, origami aviators familiar with the Vulcan series should be able to handle the Turbo Predator well.

Launches should be conducted at moderate to high speed at neutral or positive attitude. Test flights should be conducted to see what trimming (if any) is required. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudders, air brakes and an "electronic warfare" tail. Enjoy!