Introduction: How to Make the Dragonfly Paper Airplane
A fast, long range, and nimble aircraft, the Dragonfly is a small airplane with two variations that fill somewhat different roles.
The "-1" variant is heavier and has a larger wing for long, smooth flights--making it a great cruiser. The "-2" variant, on the other hand, is lighter and has a smaller, tapered wing for speed and agility--making it an excellent choice for a small stunt plane. Due to their great commonality, a "-1" can be converted into a "-2" with a few cuts and the removal of one staple.
TAA USAF Designation: D146-1 (Straight wing with leading edge extensions)
D146-1G (A "-1" with landing gear)
D146-2 (Tapered wing)
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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--17 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 17 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the elevators, rudder, spars and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage. Out of a (separate) piece of graph paper that has a lined center crease, make the wing by marking a rectangular box out 7 by 3 boxes, with the box fattening by 1 box over the inner 3 boxes.
Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.
Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches
Step 3: Making the Rudder
Begin making your rudder by separating it from the elevators. Then cut one of the two layers of paper where the rudder should be off (I usually cut off the left myself). After you've cut these 6 boxes (3 by 2) off, you may discard them.
Step 4: Making and Taping the Fuselage
After having cut out all of the fuselage. Begin folding it along the dotted lines. After you've folded all the lines correctly, it should appear as it does in the second picture. Then tape your fuselage together at the front, back and across the spars.
Step 5: Applying the Wing and Stapling
Now it is time for you to work with your wings. Cut them out along their lines as shown. Then apply the fuselage to the bottom of the wing with tape. Cut off any excess.
For the "-1" variant, apply two staples to the aircraft in the area of the counterweight fold. For the "-2" variant, apply only one at the same place.
Step 6: Flight
Because of their great commonality, the two models of the Dragonfly need roughly equal launches. Give each a very light but quick throw, holding with your dominant hand's index finger and thumb and let go. If your Dragonfly has stability or heading issues, apply a slight dihedral deflection to the tailplane and/or wings. Enjoy!