Introduction: Indoor Paper Airplane Walkalong Glider

What's a walkalong glider? Here's a video of this indoor paper airplane walkalong glider design flown a distance of approximately 400m:

Building and flying your own airplane has always been high on the list of dreams of adventurous souls. Learning to build and fly the indoor paper airplane walkalong glider is a first step, off the grid and constructed from reused materials.

This instructable incorporates improvements on the Paper Airplane Walkalong Glider instructable. The improvements are as follows:

-Lighter paper- phone book paper instead of copier paper for slower speed and increased maneuverability
-Change in dimensions of initial sheet of paper (22cmX27cm) for pitch stability
-Central fold adds dihedral for better maneuverability
-Leading edges folded downward for softer stall characteristics
-Wedge cut out of tail section for reduced tail weight and better pitch stability
-Wedge fold in tail section for increased drag and slower flight

Please see the web page on Controllable Slope Soaring for more walkalong glider designs.

Step 1: Construct Ballast Assembly

The first step involves cutting out a 22cmX27cm (or equal aspect ratio) rectangle of light paper. Here phone book paper was used but waxed tissue paper works even better. Waxed tissue paper is only slightly heavier than tissue paper but holds it's shape much better. Waxed tissue paper is used by florists because it maintains its shape when wet.

The ratio of dimensions of the rectangle are important for ensuring the correct washout angle in the wingtips (changing the ratio will change the distance between the leading and trailing edges relative to the width of the wingtip).

Step 2: Finish Construction From Ballast Assembly

From the ballast assembly, a central fold is added for dihedral. The wing tip washout angle is determined from the leading edge to tail distance (a result of the initial dimensions of the rectangle of paper used). The leading edges are folded down, tail wedge section cut from the tail and a wedge fold added to the center tail section.

Step 3: Trim Paper Airplane to Fly Straight

The winglets are adjusted so the paper airplane flies in a straight line. If the paper airplane tends toward a turn in one direction or the other, it will have trouble flying in the opposite direction in flight.

Step 4: Indoor Flight

Find a room or area where there are few drafts. Any wind other than what you generate with the controllable slope will make the glider fly off course. For instructions on how to fly the paper airplane walkalong glider, see the step 4: Powering and Controlling the Surfer Paper Airplane from the paper airplane walkalong glider Instructable. Launch the glider from as high as possible (as high as you can reach while standing up) so the glider settles into stable flight before it descends to the level of the controllable slope. Below, a piece of 96cmX75cm corrugated cardboard serves as the controllable slope.

Next try keep the glider from going down and make it fly for a longer time and distance. Secondly, try to steer the glider through a doorway. Ultimately, getting the glider to climb higher will give you time to maneuver better as the glider will lose altitude in turns.


LollyHaven made it!(author)2017-01-11


dullin made it!(author)2016-06-08

It works okay, but I didn't have a phone book so I used a regular sheet of paper!

babloo+chayal made it!(author)2015-09-25

goflyers03 made it!(author)2015-04-25

I failed miserably, but the one I accidentally made is pretty cool.

walkalongaviation made it!(author)2015-07-03

The indoor paper airplane surfer is a difficult design to trim, let alone fly. The easiest to build, trim and fly is the tumblewing type gliders:

AnshumanT made it!(author)2015-04-02

I have made it but , I can not fly it . please help

walkalongaviation made it!(author)2015-04-09

The next step is dependent on the trim. The plane is quite flimsy and just picking it up could upset the trim. I've tried the design again and Here's some more tips:

delonzo made it!(author)2013-08-10

Do you know slater harrison

delonzo made it!(author)2013-07-04

Do you have foam

walkalongaviation made it!(author)2013-07-06

Foam can also be ordered directly at

hope this helps.

walkalongaviation made it!(author)2013-07-06

Please contact Middle School Manufacturing at
science AT, replace the AT with @, no spaces, to foil spam bots

Mic100 made it!(author)2012-05-12

Good work :)

ultrabuilder7 made it!(author)2012-05-10

How do you fly the airplane??? I try but it just goes down!!

yapoyo made it!(author)2012-05-06

gotta clean up...

hugamo67 made it!(author)2012-03-24

all mine does is do flips

mbourhan made it!(author)2012-03-24

It works very instructions are all great

Edward+Nardella made it!(author)2012-02-17

I would really appriciate it if you updated this instructable so it can be completed without needing to see the video(s?).
Or if you uploaded the videos to instructables in WMV format.
I cannot complete this instructable unless you do this :(

i+love+aircraft made it!(author)2012-01-25

how to turn fast. i only can turn a little bit.

Higgs+Boson made it!(author)2012-01-01

Will the cardboard trick work with any paper airplane glider or does it only work with yours? It doesn't work with a glider I made.

walkalongaviation made it!(author)2012-01-03

There are several design considerations to get a glider to fly properly in the limited area of lift created by cardboard sheets. The flying wing design flies in a nice bar of lift and a friend has adapted normal looking stick and tissue models to fly (his technique is different from mine!). Another consideration is the wing washout angle needed to make the glider responsive to turn inputs.

Hope this answers your question.

Higgs+Boson made it!(author)2012-01-07

thank you.

jpawar made it!(author)2011-12-09

why does my glider always falls down????? answer please

hernandez101 made it!(author)2011-09-09

hey i did the air plane but it did not work, any advices

hocngiap made it!(author)2011-08-20

this is simply amazing

knexmaster12 made it!(author)2011-06-30

why in the flying video does he have cardboard in his hands?

walkalongaviation made it!(author)2011-07-05

The cardboard sheet pushes the air, creating a smooth updraft.

mr+BT made it!(author)2010-06-20

Where did you have 0.4km of hallway to fly this thing? I have three guesses. 1. the tunnels under the US Capitol Complex connecting Congress and office buildings to the Library of Congress, etc. 2. The Pentagon, 3. A particle accelerator. Am I close? BTW - my glider flies great. The plans were excellent. Thanks!

tqwerty made it!(author)2011-05-19

City Hall! duh... XD

Applebohn made it!(author)2010-06-21

I bet it's in some university

Thoth made it!(author)2010-06-21

I think it maybe the the Infinite Corridor that runs under the buildings at M.I.T.

Epimetheus made it!(author)2010-06-20

Looks like a dorm ~~

yztay made it!(author)2010-06-23

looks like a good way to keep in shape ;)

JohnJY made it!(author)2010-06-21

I built it, but just can't get the plane to fly right. And when I mean fly right I fly at all. Oh well.

MARIUSBMX made it!(author)2010-06-20

Oh! This is so cool, congratulations dude!!! I love the application of fluid mechanics in your airplane :P, plus I made one and it's so fun to chase it around my house :D.

mashedpotato13 made it!(author)2010-06-20

Not really. This is like an airplane while the sciencetoymaker one is like a glider.

culepet made it!(author)2010-06-20

maybe better or great if could fly outdoor hehe ^_^

Helder4u made it!(author)2010-06-20

Fascinating, seems You are very intelligent. Should work with the real big stuff!

aty made it!(author)2010-06-20

Great !!! TNX !

zanethebrain made it!(author)2010-06-20

haha this is cool!

LandMime made it!(author)2010-06-20

Good job, Man!

happybirthday made it!(author)2010-06-19

Wow, I made it and it works very well.

Shredder543 made it!(author)2010-05-23

Mine does a nose-dive when I start it.  What am I doing wrong?

spartan711 made it!(author)2010-05-19


cantrell8 made it!(author)2009-09-07

Wow 5stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

J%4050n made it!(author)2009-08-18

when you go "after" it with cardboard, do you run walk or fast walk? just curious.

walkalongaviation made it!(author)2009-08-20

This is a great question. If the plane is constructed from the lightest paper, waxed tissue paper, you can count on more walking than running. The bottom line, of course, is that you have to keep up with the paper airplane to have any effect on it. In the 3 minute flight above, the plane is constructed from lighter phonebook paper. There were definitely both head and tail winds during the 400 meter flight path necessitating walking and running to keep up with the plane.

J%4050n made it!(author)2009-08-20


Mothys made it!(author)2009-05-09


carlwylde made it!(author)2009-05-07

You are great, Thanx :D

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