Introduction: How to Make the Scout Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Make the Scout Paper Airplane

Smaller than a child's hand, the Scout paper airplane has an impressively small wingspan of only 7.5 centimeters. This plane is different from other similar planes because of its structure, which allows it to perform tighter maneuvers. 

Due to the recent popularity of these small gliders, I decided to design my own. Originally I hadn't incorporated the inverted gull or the parasol wing arrangements, but for stability and aesthetic reasons, I later added both.

TAA USAF Designation: D132-1

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper

Step 2: Begin Construction

Picture of 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 elevators, struts and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage and wings. 

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

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Picture of Making 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. 

Step 4: Taping the Fuselage

Picture of Taping the Fuselage

Now tape your fuselage together at the front, back and across the struts. 

Step 5: Make the Wing

Picture of Make the Wing

Now you will fold the wing to the appropriate shape. First, take your wing and fold it in half width-wise. Then unfold all but 2 rows of these boxes.

Step 6: Mate the Wing and Fuselage

Picture of Mate the Wing and Fuselage

Suspend the wings upside down and install the fuselage. The struts should have 2 entire boxes on the wing section with no anhedral. A small section--roughly a quarter of a box should exist under the anhedral part of the wing.Then, tape the two boxes under the wing to the underside of the wing. Do not tape any other parts of the struts to the wing.

Step 7: Flight

Picture of Flight

Surprisingly for its size, the Scout is remarkably forgiving and tough. With struts, it is also one of a select few planes on this scale that can perform relatively tough maneuvers. Before flight, make sure the tail has a "butterfly" configuration. Launch should be made at a moderate pace at a neutral or negative attitude. Additional applicable surfaces include flaps, ailerons, and trimmable elevators. Enjoy!


kittknight (author)2011-01-20

mine was nose heavy the 1st try so I cut elevators in the tail and it increased the stability and flight time, cool little plane!

Sandra88 (author)2011-01-19

Great concept!

rocketman221 (author)2011-01-12

Cool Design, it flys well for its size.
I made a vector image of the layout.

Flying_MashedPotatoes (author)2011-01-10

very cool, and it glides awesomely

sf49ers (author)2013-11-21

Hey man can you look at my mini airplane and tell me what you think about it? Just search mini airplane glider or my username.

legoman111 (author)2013-02-14

I stapled my Scout in the front and it flew better than when I put a small paperclip in the front.

legoman111 (author)2013-02-14

My graph paper has boxes a little bit bigger than .25 in. x.25 in. I added a small paperclip at the front, and it flew a lot better than before.

ked1997 (author)2012-01-29

Wish I didnt lose my graph paper

Graph paper isn't necessarily required. Paper that is similar in weight like notebook paper can be used as a substitute, but your have to measure everything yourself.

jliberman13 (author)2011-09-03

Looks really cool! I haven't goten a chance yet to build it, but from what everyone is saying it flies awesomely. You should check out on of my 'ibles.

jack691 (author)2011-06-04

i forgot to butterfly the tail and it would spin out flying good plane fun to watch fly

aarij007 (author)2011-05-18

I designed a new plane and showed how to make it on youtube.Please view this link and tell me how to make it better

Well, getting to know the terminalogy better always helps. Otherwise, I suggest just posting an instructable! :D

legoman326 (author)2011-03-25

pretty cool :D

Thanks. :)

Tomcat94 (author)2011-02-21

A scout paper airplane? Does it shout "BONK" when it hits you?

Still a great instructable. I love the design!

Haha, thanks. I'm going to be posting a very similar plane soon too. :D


OrigamiAirEnforcer (author)2011-01-28

For those of you who want another simple-to-operate mini glider similar to this, see my "Tomahawk" instructable (

wert456 (author)2011-01-19

its cool but wen i throw it goes the wrong way

Well, if it flies inverted you might need to add more dihedral to the tail. That should cure any stability issues.

nigelh (author)2011-01-13

@hellvig - rename the file to .svg then IExplorer will open it.

hellvig (author)nigelh2011-01-14

Thanks! I have a Mac and use Safari, but it still worked. I didn't know .svg was a browser document format.

mpep (author)nigelh2011-01-13

Hi Nigelh,

I have tried that but didn't work for me. Any suggestions?

nigelh (author)2011-01-14

Hello Helvig,
Well the simple way is to open either Firefox or IExplorer and drag the .svg file and drop it into the window..... that should do it.
Or right click on .svg file and go to properties and change the program to open it by browsing and selecting IExplorer. Hope that helps.

hellvig (author)2011-01-13

I cannot open that Glider.svg. What format is it supposed to be in? When I download it, it saves as:

topbag (author)2011-01-13

thanxx for support! a lot of diff layouts are here:

About This Instructable




Bio: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter and Google+. Follow me there ... More »
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