Card Stock Flying Dragon




About: Hobbyist that's crazy about card stock airplanes.

Print, cut, fold, glue, fly! This is a simple design for a flying dragon that is perfect for flying indoors or outdoors in a light breeze. From the first cut to the finished dragon, expect to spend 50 minutes. If you have no prior experience making paper or model airplanes, it may take over an hour.

Step 1: Download and Print

Print the PDF onto card stock (or onto plain paper, then photocopy it onto card stock). Use approximately 80 lb. card stock. Use any color that strikes your fancy.

If you intend to print double sided (so bones will be visible on the top of the wing) you may need to experiment with the photocopy machine or printer to get good alignment between the two sides.

Step 2: Get Materials

Here are the materials. The green paper is simply a work surface that prevents glue from getting on the table. The matte knife (utility knife) is not entirely necessary. If you are a child or adolescent and want to use a matte knife, ask an adult for assistance and use it with caution. Put a cutting board or other durable material under the card stock before cutting it so that you don't damage the table.

Step 3: Read the Directions

Read them carefully.

Step 4: Cut Out the Pieces

Cut them out very carefully. Be patient with this step.

Step 5: Follow Along With the Video Instructions

The instructions are covered in this short video. Here are some parts of an airplane you'll need to know in order to best build, fly, and adjust the dragon.

(1) dihedral—describes a type of wing with an angle at the center line, resulting in a slight v-shape when looking at the plane from the front or back

(2) drag—the force of resistance that slows a plane down as it moves through the air; planes, automobiles, and even some boats have carefully designed shapes that are sleek and try to minimize drag

(3) elevators—the back part of the horizontal stabilizers; the position of the elevators influences the attitude of the plane (nose up or nose down)

(4) fuselage—the main, central body

(5) fin or vertical stabilizer—the single fin at the tail of the plane that sticks up

(6) horizontal stabilizers—the two fins at the tail of the plane that stick out left and right

(7) lift—the force the pushes the plane up, counteracting the downward pull of gravity; a plane must be moving forward in order to create lift with its wings

(8) rudder—the back part of the vertical stabilizer; the position of the rudder influences the yaw of the plane (rotation to the left or right, as seen when viewing the plane from above)

(9) undercamber—the slightly convex shape of the wing that is characteristic of some planes and gliders, especially smaller RC planes; undercamber increases both lift and drag

Step 6: Finishing Touches and Flight

The dragons pictured in this Instructable are color designs that I sell online. The PDF you downloaded is black and white. If you wish to color your dragon (which would be fun and totally worth it) be weary of using markers. The moisture in the markers may cause the paper to ruffle and warp. Colored pencils are probably the safest option. Like a good engineer, you can do tests with markers and pencils on your scrap material.

Look down the nose of the dragon and make sure there are no twists or bends in the fuselage. If there are any, gently straighten them out. Check the wings, too. Make sure the left and right sides of the wing are raised to the same height. Check the vertical and horizontal stabilizers for warps and symmetry. Check the dragon and make adjustments after every few flights. This will ensure proper flight. Avoid water and damp ground.

Put small paper clip (no. 1 size) if you are flying the dragon indoors, or if you want the dragon to do loops and turns. Use a large paper clip if your want a longer, straighter flight, or if you are flying outdoors and there is a breeze. You can adjust the rudder and elevators to change the flight characteristics of the dragon. Note that the elevators should never be set at a downward angle, as this will cause the dragon to pitch down and crash.

WARNING— The glider can cause eye injury. Advise those around you before you throw it, and consider wearing glasses to protect your own eyes.

Step 7: Show Some Appreciation

If you enjoyed this Instructable, you can support my creative projects by going to and liking my shop, or by liking the YouTube video you watched. Thank you!!



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    27 days ago

    Very nice, we love dragons in this house!