Aluminium Aeroplane

6,739

40

43

Introduction: Aluminium Aeroplane

About: Find me on TikTok, Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX.


A simple paper aeroplane became the most dangerous Instructable I've published for some time.

Seriously.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Requirements & Part 1 of Safety


I made this plane from an aluminium drinks can, using a heavy craft knife, scissors, a piece of scrap timber and a mallet.

There are serious risks during this Make, because the cut edges are very sharp.  You may want to consider wearing gardening gloves to protect your hands, and make sure you know where your first aid kit is, because cuts from jagged metal can bleed quite profusely.


Step 2: Cutting


With the sharp knife (in the UK we'd call it a "Stanley" knife, in the US I think it's a carpet knife), cut the top and bottom off the can, then cut vertically with scissors.

Open out the can and press flat with the scrap timber.

I wanted to make a "standard" aeroplane, so I trimmed the can to the same proportions as A-series paper  - since the metal was 9cm wide, I trimmed it to about 13cm long.

Step 3: Folding


I folded the plane in the same manner as making a simple paper dart, but it takes a bit of extra effort to make the important sharp creases.

That is, I laid the scrap timber on the bends and smacked it with a mallet.

As you go through the Make, the bends get harder to do neatly.  This is mainly because you're folding more metal, but also because the aluminium "work hardens".  If you fold and unfold at the same point too often, the metal may split.

A pair of narrow-nosed pliers is useful in folding at the pointed end.

Step 4: Flying and Part 2 of Safety

The plane does fly, and just as successfully as the same shape of dart made from paper.

However, this thing has a wicked point on it, which does not crumple on impact.

Do not throw it at or near friends, children or pets.  Do not throw it indoors. If somebody throws one towards you, do not try and catch it with bare hands.  It only weighs a few grammes, but look how deeply it embedded itself in the lawn when I threw it down the garden.

But, having said that, it would be cool to take this into an open field to see how far it will really go...

4th Epilog Challenge

Participated in the
4th Epilog Challenge

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Toys and Games Challenge

      Toys and Games Challenge
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge

    43 Discussions

    0
    awesomecreations
    awesomecreations

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    And here is the "sequel - sequel" of it:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/RedBull-Extra-330S-From-RedBull-cans/

    i have a feeling that at some point, someone will make one of these out of titanium...

    0
    Xthinker
    Xthinker

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I just made two, the first, smaller out of a Sierra Mist can, the second out of a Red Bull. They fly just like a paper airplane, but you have to throw them harder. The reason why the tips are broken is because they hit the concrete more than a few tines :)...

    IMG_2653.JPG
    0
    Kiteman
    Kiteman

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, that is awesome!

    Keep an eye on your PMs over the next 24 hours...

    0
    DaProject
    DaProject

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I'll do!
    I love how it sticks in the dirt :-)

    0
    Kiteman
    Kiteman

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Seriously, though, be careful - this is a genuine "it'll put your eye out" toy.

    0
    DaProject
    DaProject

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I keep an eye out for it ;-)

    Keep up the good work!

    0
    Kiteman
    Kiteman

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks - as a thank you for posting the photo, I've sent you a Pro code.

    0
    Kiteman
    Kiteman

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Cool - post a picture when you do.

    (These can also be made from steel drinks cans, possibly with more successful results.)

    0
    steveastrouk
    steveastrouk

    8 years ago on Introduction

    To anneal the aluminium, rub a piece of it with a bit of soap. Heat in a gas flame until the soap turns black - its now annealed again.

    Steve