Picture of Mini Staple Sailplane
Mini Staple Sailplane 023.JPG
This instructable, inspired by the proliferation of micro-sized paper airplanes, contains instructions for building a miniature sailplane out of paper and a staple. It has a fuselage measuring 40 millimeters, a wingspan of 60 millimeters, and a height of 7 millimeters. Despite its small size, it has surprisingly good aerodynamics, which is due to the fact that it shares similar dimensions and attributes with full-size sailplanes. This includes:

- High aspect-ratio (long and thin) wings for increased lift with less induced drag
- Slender and streamlined fuselage for less drag
- T-tail empennage/stabilizers for effective pitch and yaw stability
- Dihedral for roll stability

Due to these attributes, this small glider can glide for substantial distances, perform tight aerobatics, and even gain some altitude on thermals created from heaters.

Much effort, time, and prototyping has been done on this design to ensure that it is easy to build, easy to trim, and flies well. If there is any flaw or area that could use improvement, do not hesitate to put recommendations in the comments section. In addition, I have designs for smaller and more complicated paper gliders, and these can be made into instructables upon community request ;-).

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
1) Paper
- Most paper or post-its will work.
- The piece should be at least 4x6 centimeters.
- The piece should also have about the same thickness and weight of computer paper.

2) Stapler
- Use standard staples. They are approximately 1.5 centimeters in length.

3) Scissors
- Use a small, sharp pair.

4) Metric Ruler
- Small, clear rulers work the best for this project.

5) Pencil
- Mechanical pencils or a well-sharpened wood pencil is ideal.
1-40 of 145Next »
MelodyP2 made it!28 days ago
Thanks!mine doesn't fly more than a meter or so but I loved it!
GofishRC0072 years ago
sweet idea,cool ible, but I took it to the next level by going "pro" added heat-shrinked to the front added tape for support and colored it.I even made my own box!
stuff 025.jpgstuff 026.jpg
That is so cute (:

This is amazing!!!!! (although mine did not really fly far, it turns right after a meter or something and it will land) Please make more cool paper plane tutorials, I really like making stuff like this......

PhilippeG17 months ago

great, ible perfect

pgamage made it!8 months ago
great...!!! :D worked fine.. bt didnt fly for long...


ketan.jeet.3311 months ago


zephyr141 year ago
Maybe you could lower the wing position to maybe mid wing or bottom wing and create a flair on the ends where the control surfaces are (wings and tail plane)
Plus a fuselage like a jet would make it more aerodynamic therefore faster

Awesome job
Jaxton Maez2 years ago
It's really awesome!!! It flies really well! Good job. I accidentally put the wings on backwards but it still works
oidion231232 years ago
the glider kept turning right after flying straight for about 1.5 meters and I can't figure out which wing or elevator to tweak. Any ideas?
pmet (author)  oidion231232 years ago
Bend the rudder left and it should flight straight. It is the little vertical surface in the back.
oidion231232 years ago
drooling...can't wait to make it....hope I don't mess it up.....but then, you can never tell with post its.
RAYMOND VON2 years ago
headdead3 years ago
Thanks so much for what I consider the best written Instructable I have ever read.
And the plane design is outstanding as well.

Ever thought about designing a mico-Post-It helicopter-ish device?

Would this and/or this be the type of micro-helicopter you had in mind? :?
RSV263 years ago
please do the F22 RAPTOR!!!!!!!!!
m1n1j1mmy3 years ago
top right - is that whtie one an X-Wing??
RSV26 m1n1j1mmy3 years ago
RSV263 years ago
why not try one like this ??? ( i made a instructable for it )
DrakerDG4 years ago
Very nice work,

I want to attempt it!
pmet (author)  DrakerDG4 years ago
Tell me how it goes! If there are any problems, please also let me know.
can some one tell me how to fly it
can some one tell me how to fly it
i can't make it fly will
sonofbelial3 years ago
With a 1280x1024 screen resolution, save the template image into mspaint and reduce the horizonat and vertical size by 38%. Print. Now you have the exact template size.
cj86754 years ago
just print out the template and fold it in half on the line
cj86754 years ago
da_man00074 years ago
thank you verry much i am just wondering how did you come up with the idea??
pmet (author)  da_man00074 years ago
I used to make really small paper planes, but needed tape/glue to hold them together. One day I used a staple, and it worked really well :)
Excellent... :) :)
jmcglue4 years ago
i threw it out my window and it glided for adges and then it hit a puddle :(
poor guy :(
Is it okay to use a 0.5mm pen, or do I HAVE to use a sharp pencil?
pmet (author)  LaffyDuck1874 years ago
as long as the lines you draw are accurate, you can use any writing utensil.
gtinnapob4 years ago
very small i even can't throw it
pmet (author)  gtinnapob4 years ago
Just put it in the palm of your hand and launch it upward. Works every time :)
lou14584 years ago
Concur with the wingtip post below. I'd say 50% better range and stability. Cut's down on the tendency to loop or spiral.
If the plane loops/spirals, just bend the little piece of paper in front of the staple in the direction you want the plane to go(opposite direction of the spiral). It works!
pmet (author)  lou14584 years ago
I've also tried the wingtips and have had good results. I'll try to incorporate wingtips in future models.
1-40 of 145Next »