Introduction: How to Fold a Long Distance Paper Airplane

Picture of How to Fold a Long Distance Paper Airplane

Here is our long distance paper airplane. It's been in a few books and was featured in WIRED. This model requires precise symmetry in order to glide well and far, however it's a very easy glider to make.

Grab a piece of A4 or Letter paper (copy paper is good), and let's start folding...

Step 1: Fold Nose Section

Picture of Fold Nose Section

First, begin with a center crease. Make sure left/right symmetry is exact.

  • Fold top corners in as for a regular paper airplane.
  • In image '2' fold the side corners in to the center crease carefully. The upper left/right corner points are to meet the center crease, with the fold extending to the bottom left/right corners respectively. It is best to curl the paper first to align the fold before flattening.
  • Now fold the nose section. Make sure the length of the crease is equal on both sides. The photos below the diagrams show the nose section in detail.

Step 2: Fold Wings

Picture of Fold Wings

For image '4', fold behind lengthwise in half. Make sure the edges align for good symmetry.

  • Image '5' shows a rotated view of our model. Fold the wings down; the top shallow sloping edges are folded to meet the bottom edge. Crease well. Note: Be careful not to make this fold from the tip of the nose; simply align the outer wing edges to the bottom of the fuselage and flatten.
  • Align the wings near-level as you observe tail section from behind. Slightly curl the trailing edge tail corners if the craft dives but do not add too much or it will stall.

You are now ready for some long distance flying! Hold level and throw with moderate force. This design is ideal for paper plane competitions as many folks have won using this model at their schools/colleges.

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Bio: Electric car builder (cityofdomes channel on YouTube), engineer, technical writer, and published author of many paper airplane and origami books (Paper Plane Lab on YouTube)
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