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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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:)
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!