How to Make the Ascender Paper Airplane

Introduction: How to Make the Ascender Paper Airplane

About: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter. Follow me there to keep up with the latest developments!
As one of my most radical, advanced airplanes, the Ascender is an excellent little cruiser airplane that can fly with great stability and balance. The Ascender is a paper airplane that can easily demonstrate many flight principles.

My motivation for pursuing this project was to simply progress in a new direction, and this airplane did just that. To my knowledge, no other airplane on Instructables has ever been configured like this one.

Because of its great stability and stall resistance, the Ascender is a great choice for an educational demonstrator. Some potential usages for educators could include studies of:
  • Glide ratio
  • Hangtime versus other aircraft
  • Weight and balance

TAA USAF Designation: D203-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 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--15 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 15 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the rudder and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. 1 box behind the counterweight, mark a line 3 boxes in length along the line in the fuselage. 1.5 boxes back from the beginning of this line, make a dotted line vertically. Then, below the rudder, mark a line that stretches 3 boxes. 1.5 boxes back from the beginning of this line, make a dotted line vertically. 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 by 12 boxes), with a dotted line 0.5 boxes in from the.wingtip. Then mark out the canard as 2 by 4, plus a swept portion with a sweep of 1 box of chord decaying every 4 boxes outwards from the wing root. Mark the elevators as shown. 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

Cut your Ascender's fuselage out along the outer solid lines as shown. Folding the counterweight into the fuselage as shown. Fold the fuselage along the dotted lines in the forward fuselage and cut along the solid line. Then unfold. Fold along the dotted line of the rudder and cut along the solid line. Then unfold.

Step 4: Applying the Wing and Winglet Folding

Cut the wing out and thread it through the slit beneath the rudder. Once through, fold the wing up and apply tape to its underside and the fuselage. While the wing is folded up, fold the wingtips down along the dotted line to make the winglets/skids.

Step 5: Applying the Canard and Stapling

Cut the canard out and cut along the solid lines. Thread it through the slit beneath the fuselage. Once through, fold the canard up and apply tape to its underside and the fuselage. While the canard is folded up, fold the elevators down along the dotted line. once this is done, unfold the canard and the elevators. The deflection of the elevators should be roughly -30-45 degrees.

Apply 2 staples, one each side to the airframe in the area of the counterweight. Then apply tape to the fuselage between the canard and the rudder.

Step 6: Flight

The Ascender is a very stable paper airplane that can fly very gracefully, and cannot be stalled easily. Launches should be conducted at slow to moderate speeds and at neutral or negative attitudes only. Your Ascender my need several test flights and trimming, but after this process is done, the aircraft is an excellent--nearly flawless performer. Additional applicable surfaces include spoilers, spoilerons, a trimmable rudder and air brakes. Enjoy!

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    5 years ago

    This design is amazing! I love it