How to Make Paper Airplanes- 4 Simple Designs

Introduction: How to Make Paper Airplanes- 4 Simple Designs

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How do airplanes work?

Airplanes fly because they can generate a force called Lift which normally moves the airplane upward. Lift is generated by the forward motion of the airplane through the air. This motion is produced by the Thrust of the engine. In the case of paper airplanes, you are the engine thrusting the paper airplane through the air.

Drag is the force produced by the resistance of the air to the forward motion of the airplane. Swish your hand rapidly side-to-side and you will feel that resistance.

Weight is the force created by the pull of gravity toward the center of the earth. You will feel the effect of this force if you jump up from the floor. Your weight will force you back down.

When the Thrust produced by the engine (or you!) is greater than the force of Drag, the airplane moves forward. When the forward motion is enough to produce a force of Lift that is greater than the Weight, the airplane moves upward.

Some paper airplanes can go longer distances, can stay aloft longer, or can even do tricks. In this project we will be looking at 4 simple ways to make a paper airplane. Each design affects the airplane’s distance, time aloft, and acrobatics.

The only item needed for this project is:

● Copy paper (8 ½ x 11 inches or size A4)

Remember these designs are basic designs that you can modify easily to make more complex. Each plane will fly a bit different depending on your folds as well as the amount of thrust and angle that you throw it with! Have fun! See which one can fly the farthest or stay afloat the longest! To learn more about flight fell free to check out the following links:

NASA: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/

Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/collections/wilbur-and-orville-wright-papers/about-this-collection/

Supplies

Copy paper (8 ½ x 11 inches or size A4)

Step 1: Airplane 1: the Classic- It Is Fast, Flies Well and It Quick and Easy to Create and Modify From.

Step 2: Airplane 1: the Classic- Fold the Paper in Half and Unfold

Step 3: Airplane 1: the Classic- Fold the Top Two Corners to the Center

Step 4: Airplane 1: the Classic- Again, Fold in Half

Step 5: Airplane 1: the Classic- Fold the Edges Down to Meet the Bottom of the Body

Step 6: Airplane 2: the Dart- Offers Both Distance and Speed and Is Also Easy to Fold

Step 7: Airplane 2: the Dart- Fold the Paper in Half and Unfold

Step 8: Airplane 2: the Dart- Fold the Top Two Corners to the Center

Step 9: Airplane 2: the Dart- Fold the Top Edges to the Center

Step 10: Airplane 2: the Dart- Fold the Plane in Half

Step 11: Airplane 2: the Dart- Fold the Wings Down So That the Edges Meet the Bottom of the Body

Step 12: Airplane 3: Stable- This Plane Can Fly Far and Is Very Stable. It Does Have a Tendency to Flip Upside Down During Flight and Can Be Modified for Tricks.

Step 13: Airplane 3: Stable- Fold the Paper in Half and Unfold

Step 14: Airplane 3: Stable- Fold the Top Two Corners to the Center

Step 15: Airplane 3: Stable- Fold the Top Peak Down to Form a Square

Step 16: Airplane 3: Stable- Fold the Top Two Corners to the Center About an Inch Above the Downward Facing Point, to Form a Triangle Shape on Top and a Diamond Shape on Bottom.

Step 17: Airplane 3: Stable- Fold the Downward Facing Point Up to Secure the Flaps

Step 18: Airplane 3: Stable- Fold the Plane in Half

Step 19: Airplane 3: Stable- Fold the Edges Down to Create the Wings

Step 20: Airplane 4: Glider- a Great Plane for Distance

Step 21: Airplane 4: Glider- Fold the Paper in Half and Unfold

Step 22: Airplane 4: Glider- Fold the Top Two Corners to the Center

Step 23: Airplane 4: Glider- Fold the Peak Down About ¾ Inch Away From the Bottom, Like an Envelope

Step 24: Airplane 4: Glider- Again, Fold the Top Two Corners to the Center

Step 25: Airplane 4: Glider- Take the Extra Piece at the Bottom and Fold It Up to Lock Down the Two Flaps.

Step 26: Airplane 4: Glider- Fold the Plane in Half

Step 27: Airplane 4: Glider- Fold One Wing Down About, So the Belly in About 1 Inch and the Wings Are Wide and Repeat With the Other Side

Step 28: Airplane 4: Glider- Fold Up the Ends of Each Wing About Half an Inch

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