Card Stock Vintage Racer Airplane




Introduction: Card Stock Vintage Racer Airplane

About: Airplane enthusiast and dream aviator.

This glider really zips along! To those that want to make one, experience with paper crafting and gliders is recommended. It'll take two to three hours to build.


-Sheet of light card stock (8.5" x 11", 65 lb. / A4, 175 gsm)

-Piece of chipboard (such as heavy food packaging approx. 0.5 mm thick)

-Scrap piece of white card stock or thick paper (approx. 5 cm x 4 cm) 

-Glue stick & liquid white glue 

-Scissors & hobby knife


-Chopstick (to use as a tool)

Step 1: Printing and Preliminary Steps

Print both sheets onto 65-lb. card stock. Cut out the grey boxes. Glue boxes and R onto chipboard. Cut out piece M and trace it onto white card stock or thick paper. 

Carefully cut out shapes A to P. Be patient and precise. 

Use a ruler to establish very mild creases on all dotted lines. 

Step 2: Start the Fuselage

Fully define the creases on A. Practice forming the piece into a fuselage shape.

Glue the larger chipboard nose pieces from Q to A. These braces will be on the inside of the fuselage when it’s finished. The pieces should match the curve of the nose. Glue the smaller chipboard nose pieces on top of the larger ones. 

Step 3: Finish the Fuselage

Use the stick to apply a thin layer of glue to the panel of A that is marked with a grey circle. Wrap the opposite panel over to bond them. With the two layers aligned, use a chopstick or other tool to press the layers together thoroughly, from nose to tail and back again.

Put a dot of liquid glue on the narrower end of L. Attach it to the top of the fuselage, 5 cm back from the nose. Pinching the sides of the nose together a bit, apply some liquid glue to the ends. Wrap L over the nose. Hold it tight for a couple of minutes so the glue can bond.

On the bottom of the fuselage, make a mark 5 cm back from the nose. Use a thin layer of liquid glue on the last piece. Attach it to the bottom of the nose, aligning it with the mark. Hold it for a minute.

Step 4: Start the Wings

Fully define the creases at the leading edges of the wings, B and C. Use a glue stick to apply a thin layer, fold the leading edge panels down and under, and press the layers together thoroughly. 

Use a glue stick to attach the wing braces and unite the two halves of the wing. E goes on the top, and K goes across the bottom, positioned 1 cm back from the leading edge of the wing.

Use the two tiny D tabs to cover the cuts on the leading edge of the wing. Place the wing under a heavy book and leave it while you work on making the tail.

Step 5: Stabilizers

Use a glue stick to apply a thin layer to F and attach it to the bottom of G, a few millimeters in front of the elevators. Glue the pieces to the sides of the vertical stabilizer, I. Allow them to bond, then apply glue to the tabs and use them to attach the vertical stabilizer to the horizontal stabilizer.

Step 6: Finish the Wing

Form the wing into an airfoil, referring to the undercamber curve in the plans. Form it by pinching along the leading and trailing edges while pulling them down slightly. Another method is to press down on the leading edge while sliding it over the edge of a table, then repeating with the trailing edge. Either way, repetition and a delicate touch are needed. Check the wing frequently for symmetry.

Make mild creases on the dotted lines, and to raise the wingtips about 8° above horizontal. 

Step 7: Attach the Wing and Tail

Hold the wing to the bottom of the fuselage, roughly halfway back from the front of the nose. Slide it forward until D abuts piece L. Use a pencil to mark the fuselage at the trailing edge of the wing (it should be 10.8 cm back from the nose). Glue and stack the small rectangles of R to make a spacer that will support the trailing edge of the wing. Once solid, attach the spacer to the bottom of the fuselage, aligned with the pencil mark, and hold it in place for a minute.

Use liquid glue to attach the wing to the bottom of the fuselage. Check from the bottom to make sure the wing is centered on the fuselage. Make sure the wing is perpendicular to the fuselage, and does not slide as the glue dries for several minutes. 

Glue piece J to the aft end of the fuselage. Wait a minute, then apply liquid glue to the bottom of the stabilizer and attach it to the fuselage. The dotted lines of the elevators should line up with the aft end.

Step 8: Make and Attach the Canopy

Make strong creases on the dotted lines of M. Practice forming it into the shape of a canopy. Apply dots of glue at the small triangle cuts, push the front part of the canopy back until it overlaps a bit, and pinch the layers together on both sides. 

Step 9: Test Flights

Inspect the airplane thoroughly from multiple angles to check for symmetry. Make adjustments by repeatedly and gently manipulating the card stock with your fingers. Make sure the elevator is raised by a few degrees.

Conduct test flights in a large indoor space, or outdoors in an area that has soft ground. If testing outdoors, the air must be still and dry. Throw the airplane gently and level. If it tends to turn left, adjust the rudder to the left side; do the opposite if it tends to turn right. If the airplane flies forward but tends to sink, raise the elevator by a couple degrees—make only miniscule adjustments when trimming pitch and yaw! If the glider is rolling, check the wings for symmetry and reshape them as needed.

This design has a somewhat delicate wing. Throwing it hard into loops may cause the wings to fold. If desired, they can be reinforced with additional strips of card stock, labeled T, to act as wing spars.

Due to variations in materials and construction, your airplane may be slightly tail heavy. If so, it will have erratic flights and crash rather violently. Add the optional S pieces on the sides of the nose to add weight.

Step 10: Video

Proof it flies, at the beginning and end of the video.

Anything Goes Contest 2021

Runner Up in the
Anything Goes Contest 2021

2 People Made This Project!


  • For the Home Contest

    For the Home Contest
  • Make It Bridge

    Make It Bridge
  • Big and Small Contest

    Big and Small Contest



1 year ago

Could I glue the words "Vintage Racer" on the side of the airplane?


Reply 1 year ago

And your logo-ZDE?


1 year ago

Wow! Such an awesome design. You could also attach a small hook on the nose of the glider and launch it with a rubber band. The dihedral is also a nice feature. Good job!