Introduction: How to Fold an Origami F-16 Plane

In this instructable, I will teach you how to fold the plain awesome origami F-16! This model is not nearly as hard to fold as it looks, so don't be deterred by its complex appearance. Despite the sad fact that this particular plane doesn't fly too well, it never fails to impress. If you want to see my youtube video on how to make this same model, just click How To Fold an Origami F-16 to see a tutorial that is slightly easier to follow. So lets get started!

Step 1: Take a Piece of Printer Paper and Fold It in Half Lengthwise, Then Unfold

Picture of Take a Piece of Printer Paper and Fold It in Half Lengthwise, Then Unfold

My printer paper is standard 8.5x11 inch. Fold it in half lengthwise, or hotdog style as some people call it, then unfold.

Step 2: Fold in the Diagonals

Picture of Fold in the Diagonals

Fold the top right corner down as shown in the picture above, then unfold. Repeat on the top left corner, then unfold.

Step 3: Fold the Top of the Paper Down at the Point Where All Creases Intersect

Picture of Fold the Top of the Paper Down at the Point Where All Creases Intersect

There should be one point where the center crease and the two diagonals all come together. Fold the paper down so that the new fold line crosses through this point as well. Then unfold again.

Step 4: Fold the Top Edge Down About a Quarter Inch or So

Picture of Fold the Top Edge Down About a Quarter Inch or So

Try to keep the fold straight. It doesn't have to be exactly a quarter inch, but that is a close estimate.

Step 5: Fold the Bottom Edge Up, Between a Quarter Inch and a Half Inch

Picture of Fold the Bottom Edge Up, Between a Quarter Inch and a Half Inch

Again, not exact. Just keep it straight and preferably bigger than the top edge fold in the last step.

Step 6: Squash Fold Along the Creases

Picture of Squash Fold Along the Creases

This step will seem kind of complicated if you have never done one before, but it is really pretty simple. The steps are shown in the images above. If you really cant get it, watch the video at the top of the page. It will be a lot easier to follow there.

Step 7: Form the Right Tail

Picture of Form the Right Tail

Move both wing flaps over to the left side to start. Then fold the right edge down to the center crease as shown in the second image.

Step 8: Form the Right Wing

Picture of Form the Right Wing

Take the first wing flap from the left side and fold its edge down along the center crease just like the tail in the previous step. Then fold both wing flaps onto the right side.

Step 9: Repeat Steps 7 and 8 on the Left Side

Picture of Repeat Steps 7 and 8 on the Left Side

Form the left tail just like described in step 7, then form the wing in the same way as instructed in step 8. When you are done, fold both wings over to the right side.

Step 10: Shape the Left Wing and Form the Left Tail

Picture of Shape the Left Wing and Form the Left Tail

Take the top wing and pull it out as far as it will go, just like in the picture. The angle under the bottom of the wing and the side of the plane should roughly form a right angle. Then fold out the left tail flap as shown.

Step 11: Shape the Left Tail.

Picture of Shape the Left Tail.

Fold the edge of the paper down as shown in the first image. Then fold down the flap on the bottom edge of the tail as far down as it will go. When you are finished, fold both wings over to the left side.

Step 12: Shape the Right Wing and Form the Right Tail

Picture of Shape the Right Wing and Form the Right Tail

Repeat steps 10 and 11 on the right side of the plane. Be sure that the wings fold out to a similar shape and size. When you are finished, open up the wings up so there is one on each side.

Step 13: Shape the Fuselage

Picture of Shape the Fuselage

Inside reverse fold the entire main body. This can be hard to visualize, so if the pictures above aren't working for you I would recommend watching the video. Once you finish this step make sure that your fold is very strong.

Step 14: Form the Tail Fin

Picture of Form the Tail Fin

Inside reverse fold the same section of paper, only in the opposite direction. This should be the same difficulty as the last step.

Step 15: Shape the Plane.

Picture of Shape the Plane.

In the first image, I drew two pencil marks: one just below the cockpit area and one halfway up the back end of the fuselage. Grabbing only the top wing and tail, fold them upwards along an imaginary line between these two points. This should be a very strong fold. Turn it over and repeat, making sure that both sides are folded almost identically. Symmetry is key when making paper planes.

Step 16: Finishing the Shape

Picture of Finishing the Shape

Gently bend both the wing back down until they are roughly 90 degrees to the fuselage. For a better flight, they should bend slightly upward. Next, pull both wings out away from each other to give the plane an even more realistic appearance. It should look like the final image when you are finished with this step.

Step 17: Fold Up the Winglets

Picture of Fold Up the Winglets

Fold up the tips of the wings into winglets. This greatly helps your plane fly and makes it look just plain awesome!

Step 18: Have Fun!!! (+flying Tips:)

Picture of Have Fun!!! (+flying Tips:)

That's always the best part about making a paper airplane. It is very difficult to get this plane to fly well. When you are complete, the plane should be perfectly symmetrical on both halves. Both wings and both sides of the tail should be completely identical in size and shape. Also, look at the plane head on. If you can see that one wing or side of the tail is bend slightly up or down in relation to the other side, correct its position. The tail fin and the winglets should all be perfectly vertical to the ground. When throwing this plane, through it hard and fast like a dart: it's so compact that it will fly like one. Again, have fun!

If you liked this istructable and want to learn some more awesome origami, check out my youtube at How To Origami!


AndréF63 made it! (author)2017-12-23

Most beautiful origami I ever made!

nah2965 (author)2017-04-25

really awesome

ShadowDroid (author)2017-03-25

The plane's design is nice. What did you use to hold the camera?

redgallows (author)2017-01-01

Very clear instruction and easy to make. My 9 years old son can do it.

Thank you.

asad_inst (author)2017-01-01

But if with a two-color paper Evert you were doing it was much higher
Thank you

Spartan117Legendary made it! (author)2016-08-31

I did it...YAY!!

clavonschia300 (author)2016-08-14

Really, I made it. and thank you.

jepitie made it! (author)2016-03-09

muuuuy top

Doru Vasile Puscas made it! (author)2016-01-30

Awesome! Thank you! :D

djee94 made it! (author)2016-01-30

Awesome! Thanks for the instructions! I never dreamed it was actually doable :)

Xieda made it! (author)2016-01-26

"This is pretty tricky to start out but once you learn how to do it, it's pretty easy." No kidding, that fold was a pig of a thing! I actually found it easier to bend from the tail end, bringing the sides slowly up, rather than folding the nose down and bringing the sides slowly down. Didn't turn out too bad in the end despite there being a few small tears and some crumpling. Biggest point of difference in my plane is that standard printer paper here is A4 not US Letter. So instead of 8.5" x 11", I had 21cm x 29.7cm, a bit longer and thinner. Not sure you can really tell once it's all folded up though. I did worry a bit in the middle when my base looked a bit different (before I figured out I we have different standard paper sizes).

Xieda (author)Xieda2016-01-26

Actually, now that I look at all the others, the A4 plane has quite a detached looking tail, comparatively.

arkufahl88 (author)2016-01-24

Fun project, and it looks amazing. Thank you for sharing!

HOSSEIN_GH made it! (author)2016-01-16


tuanlong (author)2016-01-14

oh - very good - Thank

famfilho (author)2016-01-14

very, very nice origami.


Brian996 made it! (author)2016-01-14

Cool quick project. Thanks!

studleylee (author)2016-01-14

Wow I could see a mini RC plane made this way.

rschneblin (author)2016-01-14

Well, got about to step 13 and it all went to pot (unfolding the wings for the tail). I love oragami, but find it really tough sometimes.

ShekharSahu made it! (author)2016-01-14

I loved making this origami. The steps are little hard to remember. I hope I am not the only one ;)

JerryM28 (author)2016-01-14

Don't be too sad, the real thing doesn't fly too well without around 25k or more pounds of thrust. ;)

soeuhrghhs (author)2016-01-12

Regular printer paper is way to think for this. I had a hard time bending the wings in the end because of how thick the folds became. Origami paper would be much better.

LeslieGeee (author)soeuhrghhs2016-01-14

Hi Soeuhrghhs, there are different grades of computer paper, I have thicker and thinner stock that I use :) I think for those just starting out with Origami a thinner grade computer paper is best, will be less expensive also. :)

Joe_Tutorials (author)soeuhrghhs2016-01-12

Yes, that is true. Unfortunately to make the plane correctly proportional, you need the same size of paper as printer paper (8.5 by 11 inch). It's hard to get origami paper to that ratio, especially if you want the plane to be of a decent size. When you bend the wings up, just put some muscle into it :) Good luck!

chienline (author)2016-01-14

Awesome F16. I love the last photo, and the second last.

LeslieGeee (author)2016-01-14

Beautiful!!! Well executed. Is this your design? Always amazes me what folded paper can make. :)

Just4Fun Media (author)2016-01-12

That looks awesome! How long does it take to fold?

Have a great day! :-)

It's hard to say if its the first time you're doing this kind of origami, but it takes me just under ten minutes. Thanks you too!

soeuhrghhs made it! (author)2016-01-12

Gonna try with different type of paper next time.

Joe_Tutorials (author)soeuhrghhs2016-01-12

Nice! This is definitely a harder origami model to make.

The Answer Guy (author)2016-01-12

Wow that's cool I might try it :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello! My name is Joe and welcome to my instructables page! Here I will have tutorials on a wide variety of things any DIY lover ... More »
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