How to Make the Vought F-8 Crusader Paper Airplane

Introduction: How to Make the Vought F-8 Crusader 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!

Among the many jets of its era, the Vought F-8 Crusader is arguably one of my favorites. The Crusader is a plane that I feel was both sleek and fast, two things which for its role as a fighter, impress me.

I designed this model of the Crusader today after deciding to try a new direction in paper aviation; by emulating an existing aircraft type. The Crusader, although not the most conservative option, was eventually chosen with great success. After over 50 flights, I am extremely pleased with my choice.

I believe anyone who enjoys miniature paper airplanes will like this one. It is a very fast, smooth little airplane that looks just as sleek as its real life counterpart. I am also sure Crusader pilots would have fun seeing one of these fly before them. The large surface area of this aircraft also enable it to be put into markings quite easily.

"When you're out of F-8s, you're out of fighters"

TAA USAF Designation: D173-1

Step 1: Materials

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

Step 2: Begin Construction

Start construction of your Crusader by sketching out the design featured in the first picture. The graph paper this is made on should have one set of boxes folded in half at its crease. The fuselage is 13 boxes in length and has a counterweight of 3 by 2 boxes. One box from the rear of the fuselage, make a mark that stretches 3 boxes forward. Then 2.5 boxes inwards from the rear of the fuselage, make a dotted vertical line. In addition, make a row of boxes spanning 1 by 3 along the crease. Then cut them out.

Once this is done, begin making the wings and horizontal stabilizer. The construction of the wings should be started by sketching a line with a slope (sweep) of 5/6. Along the leading edge, at the point where the thickness of the wing reaches 3 boxes, make a horizontal line that stretches 1.5 boxes inwards. Then connect its edge to that of the papers crease. Make sure that the line connecting the wingtip to the crease lose a box of length in the reach.  To make the horizontal stabilizer, mark out 3 boxes that have at least 1 box of clearance behind them. The slope of the leading edge should be 3/2 and the trailing edge 3/1.

Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Rudder and Fuselage

To start real hands-on work of your Crusader, cut it out. Then cut one of the two rudders off. Proceed to continue until the aircraft is like it is in the fifth photograph. 

Step 4: Constructing the Fuselage

Fold the aft section of the fuselage in half along the dotted vertical line that runs through this area. Once you've folded it, make a cut along the bold line half a box above the bottom of the fuselage. Once you've made this cut, unfold the rudder. Then tape the aircraft at its front, spars, counterweight and opposite the rudder.

Step 5: Assembling the Horizontal and Ventral Stabilizers

Cut out your horizontal stabilizers. Then put the horizontal stabilizers through the cut area you made under the rudder earlier. Once you've put it through, fold the stabilizers downwards. Then apply tape the their upper sides. Once you've applied tape to both sides, fold the stabilizers upwards. Once you've done this, take the 1 by 3 box row you made and cut it out. Put this through the same cut as the horizontal stabilizers. These ventral stabilizers should have an anhedral deflection.

Step 6: Making and Applying the Wing

Cut your wing out and unfold it. Flip your airframe inverted and apply tape to the spars. Then join the fuselage and the wing at the spars.

Step 7: Flight

Like the plane it was modelled after, the paper Crusader is a fast airplane. When launching, a moderately fast throw delivers best performance. The aircraft can be detailed, though too much can result in the loss of the aircraft's functionality. Enjoy!

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    5 Discussions


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Assuming all dimensions are done properly, yes--although the thickness and weight of the paper may become obstacles.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I suppose one can make it by following the box measurements (1 box = 0.25 inches) on a regular piece of paper, but I myself have never done so.