Introduction: Making a Gliding Paper Airplane

Tags: glider, gliding, paper, paper airplane, airplane, slow glider, far, far gliding

Hello and welcome to my first Instructable. I am going to show you how to fold a paper airplane, that I found glid quite well. Making this paper airplane (and testing it out) takes approximately 10 minutes. Here are the materials you will need:

A4-sized paper (office thickness)


Pencil or Pen

Scissor (optional)

You can use the thickness found in office paper, or you can use thicker paper. I found thicker paper makes step 8's 7-centimeter fold invalid, so you will have to experiment there to adjust the center of mass. The measurements given are in centimeters (cm) and inches (in). I apologise that the measurements given in inches are not so round, but I don't have a lot of experience with the imperial measurements.

Step 1: The Slow Glider: Step 1: Fold the Paper Across

Take your A4 piece of paper, and fold it crosswise (along the line in the pictures). Try to be exact on this step. What you see now is the bottom of the plane, and it will be turned around later. The line drawn here, or the fold, is the "line of symmetry", how I later call it.

Step 2: Step 2: Measure and Mark Along That Fold

Measure 8.7 cm. (3.4252 in.) along the fold, and mark with a pencil as shown.

Step 3: Step 3: Fold Corners to That Point

Fold the annotated corners which are farther away to the point you marked in step 2. Not the ones closer to the point as shown. Keep it symmetrical.

Step 4: Step 4: Measure and Mark for the Wings

Measure 4 cm (1.5748 in) from the first fold you made, like described by the picture. Do that for the opposite sides, as you are going to fold along there, and make it parallell please. You can measure for both wings, but it is not necessary.

Step 5: Step 5: Fold Along the Two Points Marked

You marked the two points now, so fold along them. Do this to both sides by folding the whole thing in half (along the line of symmetry), and adjusting the other fold to match with the previous. The line of symmetry you folded in the first step is going to be folded opposite to how I showed it in the first step, because this is the bottom side of the plane.

Step 6: Step 6: Mark and Fold the Stabilisers

Turn everything around, and mark 1 cm (0.393071 in) at the corners. These are going to be for the stabilisers. Fold them up so they will look like in the picture.

Step 7: Step 7: Mark From the Back

Viewing from the top, mark 7 cm (2.75591 in) in the middle from the back of the plane.

Step 8: Step 8: Fold the Front to the Point

Fold the front of the paper airplane back to that 7 cm (or 2.75591 in) point. In general, I though that 7 centimeters is the length you must at least fold, but to make it fly more stable, or in the case yours stalls, fold more material in the front so that less than the space you marked in step 7 (7 cm) to the back are present.

Step 9: Step 9: Fold the Front Together

Fold the front part into 1 cm segments to the front. This step will stabilise the wings through its thickness, and adjust the center of mass forwards. For optimum results, and adjusting the glide slope, (because I don't know which thickness of paper you are using) experiment with the length folded in step 8, where folding for more material will make it more front-heavy.

Step 10: Step 10: Let It Fly!

This is the type of paper airplane you just let go with some speed. If the airplane is going up and down, stalling a little, and you don't like how it looks, you might consider making it more front-heavy, as in step 9, or adjusting your throwing technique; really try to find its gliding speed. Generally, making it front-heavy will make it fly more stable. Mine flew slightly to the left, but you can adjust that be cutting some symmetrical flaps into the wings. Have fun :)