Introduction: Best Paper Airplane... EVER!

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You could always learn a new party skill - just in case you ever find yourself in an airplane building contest.

This particular paper airplane is long distance glider and will for sure be a winner. As a bonus, even though it may look like many you've seen before, this one has a secret step which makes it soar above all the rest!

And even though this has been a makerspace secret for centuries - we will reveal it to you (and only you!). Enjoy!

Step 1: Pick Your Paper Wisely

To make a great paper airplane you'll need:

    1. A nice flat piece of standard 8.5' x 11' paper (we'll call this flat paper "starting position")
    2. Precision folding

That's pretty manageable.

Now, a few words about wording. To make this description easier we will name and define things so you can refer to them as you build (and understand things more easily. Starting with the following: you will note that on your paper, while in starting position, you have two long edges, and two short edges (see photo). Keep this in mind - we'll refer to these sides periodically.

Now follow along in the next steps to put it all together.

Step 2: First Fold - Making the Baseline

First: Fold the paper exactly in half (along the long side). We'll call this fold "The baseline".

As mentioned, you will need precise folds, the more careful you are with your folds the better it will fly in the end.

Step 3: So Far So Good - Making the Pointy End

Second: Open your paper back to starting position (i.e. a flat piece)

Next, choose your favorite side of the two short edges (it can be hard to choose favourites but you have to!)

Now, take one corner and fold it to the 'The Baseline' (and making it into a triangle)

Repeat with other corner so it symmetrical.

Great! You have now just created "The pointy end"

Step 4: Envelope-like - Making the Envelope

Third: Take the new "Pointy end" and make it point the other direction!

How? You will need to fold the "Pointy end" so that it will touch the baseline. You will want to make sure your new fold uses the WHOLE new "Pointy end". Also, when done right this new fold will be perpendicular to "The Baseline".

Awesome! You have now created "The envelope"

Step 5: Half Way!

Fourth: Now fold "The envelope" in half, along "The baseline".

This helps to reinforce "The baseline"

Step 6: TOP SECRET Critical Step!

Fifth: Now, open your page again back to "The envelope" position to get ready for this critical step,

In this sneaky critical step you now need to make a small tear on each corner to remove it. You've now made "Ripped corners"

You will want it to look like the photo.

Step 7: Coming Together - Making the NEW Pointy End

Sixth: Next take your two "Ripped corners" and fold them towards "The baseline".

You will be able to see just the tip of "The pointy end" and you will notice you've created a "NEW pointy end"

Step 8: Taking Shape - Making the Lock

Seventh: Fold "The pointy end" which was peaking through in the last step, so that it now points back in the original direction and in the same direction as the "NEW pointy end" (this will now be nested within the "Ripped corners". This is called "The lock"

Next you will invert "the baseline" fold so that it is inside out and will leave all the most recent folds visible. "The lock" will do it's job and lock everything together.

Step 9: Almost Done - Making the Wing

Eighth: Still with me? good! This is almost the last part.

Now, bring the short edge (of "the NEW pointy end") so that this short edge runs directly along "The baseline". This is "The wing". Since you will need 2 wings, repeat on the other side so it symmetrical.

Step 10: Gentle Toss

Ninth: This is the admiration step - you have made it! n You can add extra flair by trimming your wings slightly. They will also work well as is. Time to fly it!

A few notes about flying:

  • This paper plane is long distance glider. You don’t need to throw it hard. A gentle toss is all that’s required.
  • The flight characteristics will lead the nose to point up, which will result in the wings opening up for a long glide.

And remember, precise folds during construction are the key to success with this one. If you're having difficulty, revisit the steps and see if you can make your folds sharper.

Good luck in your upcoming flying competitions!