Introduction: Flapping Paper Plane

Picture of Flapping Paper Plane

This flapping paper plane folding method I am learning from a college student over ten years ago.

It happen at a Physics class, a paper plane competition. Tens of paper plane throw out altogether, one of them not fly too far but draw all students and my attention, because the paper plane flapping like a bird in the air!

I catch that student and teach me how to fold it. He say the folding method learn from the internet, but the page not mention it will flap. I have lost that web page but I guess this folding method designed before internet born.

Step 1: Prepare a A4 Paper

Picture of Prepare a A4 Paper

Any A4 paper should work, recycling paper preferred. In my experience, 80gsm is a bit too light, 100gsm or above is better.

Step 2: Fold in Half

Picture of Fold in Half

Step 3: Fold in Half Again

Picture of Fold in Half Again

Step 4: Same Fold in Other Side

Picture of Same Fold in Other Side

Step 5: Turn a Right Angle

Picture of Turn a Right Angle

Step 6: Fold in Diagonal

Picture of Fold in Diagonal

This is the most difficult step, it can help by drawing a diagonal line with ruler before folding.

Step 7: Flip Horizontal

Picture of Flip Horizontal

Step 8: Same Fold in Other Side

Picture of Same Fold in Other Side

Step 9: Fold a Triangle at the Corner

Picture of Fold a Triangle at the Corner

Step 10: Same Fold at the Other Side

Picture of Same Fold at the Other Side

Step 11: Flip and Turn a Right Angle

Picture of Flip and Turn a Right Angle

Step 12: Fold in Half

Picture of Fold in Half

Step 13: Fold 2 Upper Corner

Picture of Fold 2 Upper Corner

The folding angle for the corner is a little bit arbitrary, but you can see a straight line from the upper and lower triangle after the fold.

Step 14: Fold Lower Triangle Up

Picture of Fold Lower Triangle Up

Step 15: Flip Horizontal

Picture of Flip Horizontal

Step 16: Fold the Triangle Down

Picture of Fold the Triangle Down

Step 17: Fold in Half

Picture of Fold in Half

Step 18: Fold Out the Wing

Picture of Fold Out the Wing

The fold out portion is arbitrary, just the size that your fingers that can hold the paper plane body.

Step 19: Flip Horizontal

Picture of Flip Horizontal

Step 20: Same Fold in Other Side

Picture of Same Fold in Other Side

Step 21: Done

Picture of Done

keep the wings in v-shape

Step 22: Hold the Paper Plane Method

Picture of Hold the Paper Plane Method

Use 2 fingers hold the paper plane body thickest part, check the wings in v-shape and at the same angle.

Step 23: Play and Enjoy!


Rana311 made it! (author)2016-12-04

Looks awesome and flies awesome!

AhmedM370 made it! (author)2016-08-10

Wooow ,, this is awesome

MakerMan234 (author)2016-04-15

It is awesome but it does not flap

I made it thoght

embecca (author)2015-12-01

my only question is do the wings flap on its own?;)

PhantomOrion009 (author)embecca2016-03-10

how to do the 6 commend

plasticbaldy (author)embecca2015-12-15

No. You attach a lawnmower engine to make it flap.

SidA2 (author)plasticbaldy2016-01-16

I couldn't find a spare lawnmower around so I just salvaged a V8 from my car....

StephanP1 (author)embecca2015-12-02


hnolte made it! (author)2016-02-29


DucN3 (author)2016-01-28


SidA2 (author)2016-01-16

A4 is a bit too thick for me, but this flies really well anyways

evavw made it! (author)2015-12-17

Haven't managed to make it flap yet. The paper I'm using is very stiff. But it's an amazing flyer!

OmarJ3 (author)2015-12-06

Pretty good flyer. I used a 8.5" x 11" letter paper so the proportions are slightly different. Also, flight can vary with paper weight/thickness. One way to adjust this is by moving the last two wing folds (#19 & 20) closer or farther away from center fold, making the center section shallower or deeper. If too shallow, the plane will stall - too deep, it will nosedive. It is the way to balance wing loading vs. deadweight. Also the flapping depends on flexibility of the center fold vs. turbulence from the wing surface?

StephanP1 (author)2015-12-02

Amazing, it works really cool. Thank you!

Lone Ninja (author)2015-12-01

Very cool! I found that if you are standing about 30' away from your friend, aiming at their feet produced pretty good flights. Working the wings up and down really does help to loosen up the hinges for improved flapping. And after about 20 throws it starts to go out of "tune". All you have to do is refold the wings down and then reshape them back into a (sharp) "V" shape and your good to go for many more throws. Thank for sharing a very cool design.

embecca (author)2015-12-01

my only question is do the wings flap on its own?;)

kimseymd (author)2015-11-26

Could someone please send me the PDF file as paying $20 for this is unreasonable!

Thank you very much!

KzooK1 (author)kimseymd2015-11-30

Try going to File, Print, and selecting whatever pdf printer your computer has. It will save the page as a .pdf.

KzooK1 (author)2015-11-30

What a lovely, graceful design. Thank you so much for sharing it.

ericers (author)2015-11-29

Unbelievable ! The best ever

sagarmothra (author)2015-11-28

Great flier! Mine wasn't flapping at first, but I worked the wing folds back and forth a bit to soften them & now it flaps beautifully! Great i'ble. Easy to follow instrux. TY!

igandhi21 made it! (author)2015-11-28

Nice and beautiful.

Ravundra Pardeshi made it! (author)2015-11-27

I didn't believe that this will flap. But it does. Great instructable. I am sharing it with my grand children

ursus thibetanus made it! (author)2015-11-27

we may use airmail paper. good one

Hylexuly made it! (author)2015-11-26

Say WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! Awesome plane, gonna show it to my design teacher tomorrow!

thundrepance (author)Hylexuly2015-11-27

agreed; that flapping plane is what i call FREAKY! ( :^0 .... super COOL! ☺

g3rm4n made it! (author)2015-11-27

Really flapping!!!! It looks like a bat. Thank you

CarloF5 (author)2015-11-26

Great Contribution. Thank you.

ethanforns (author)2015-11-26

Fantastic. Throw it softly and it glides great. Toss it harder and the wings flap. Definitely fold it more of a V as others said and it flaps better

s_hirsh made it! (author)2015-11-26

Amazing, when the wings are "flat" it flies really well and when more in a "v" the wings flap just as the author says!
What fun, thank you!

londobali (author)2015-11-26

Wow! This is incredible! Increstructables! :)
Cant wait to show off to my son..

MikkoM1 made it! (author)2015-11-26

The first version doesn't flap that well, but it's getting there. Can't wait to show this to my son!

robilincoln (author)2015-11-26


bwheelerlcc made it! (author)2015-11-26

Great instructable! The steps were easy to follow. It looks like a giant moth in flight.

KaanÜ made it! (author)2015-11-26


DougP4 (author)2015-11-26

I made it but have not achieved more than a single opening of the wings from sharp V to more or less flat. Will continue reading comments for tips.

sitearm (author)2015-11-26

I wonder what produces the flapping effect. Ty for posting!

fpiantini made it! (author)2015-11-25

Very Nice, I can't wait to show it to my chld!

Sarah FaithD (author)2015-11-23

thank you for sharing!! it was really cool!! (done this at the office, it made our day! hehe)

dogma26 made it! (author)2015-11-23

It's awesome.
Just a tip: keep the wings the most you can as a V for better results

dogma26 made it! (author)2015-11-23

It's awesome.
Just a tip: keep the wings the most you can as a V for better results

avatarawesome made it! (author)2015-11-22

im using a computer so i cant send a picture but i made it

ramadama made it! (author)2015-11-22

it does fly well but I couldnt get my plane to flap in air..

陳亮 (author)ramadama2015-11-22

Try keep the wings more in v-shape, raise up the hand, throw it in forward and a little bit downward.

mdeore (author)2015-11-21

It flies beautiful! Awesone plane! Thanks a lot! You just made my day ?

dbudell made it! (author)2015-11-21

Pretty sweet my son enjoys it alot.

陳亮 (author)dbudell2015-11-21

Great! I have also taught many kids and volunteers how to make it these years. Hope more kids enjoy it with this channel.

EduD3 made it! (author)2015-11-21

Flying free

陳亮 (author)EduD32015-11-21

Yes, making free toy with recycling paper is great!

swagato koyal (author)2015-11-21

great concept.
this simple plane flies surprisingly well.

About This Instructable




Bio: Do it yourself if you cannot buy one!
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