Flapping Paper Plane




Introduction: Flapping Paper Plane

About: Make it yourself if you cannot buy one!

This flapping paper plane folding method I am learning from a college student over ten years ago.

It happen at a Physics class, a paper plane competition. Tens of paper plane throw out altogether, one of them not fly too far but draw all students and my attention, because the paper plane flapping like a bird in the air!

I catch that student and teach me how to fold it. He say the folding method learn from the internet, but the page not mention it will flap. I have lost that web page but I guess this folding method designed before internet born.

Step 1: Prepare a A4 Paper

Any A4 paper should work, recycling paper preferred. In my experience, 80gsm is a bit too light, 100gsm or above is better.

Step 2: Fold in Half

Step 3: Fold in Half Again

Step 4: Same Fold in Other Side

Step 5: Turn a Right Angle

Step 6: Fold in Diagonal

This is the most difficult step, it can help by drawing a diagonal line with ruler before folding.

Step 7: Flip Horizontal

Step 8: Same Fold in Other Side

Step 9: Fold a Triangle at the Corner

Step 10: Same Fold at the Other Side

Step 11: Flip and Turn a Right Angle

Step 12: Fold in Half

Step 13: Fold 2 Upper Corner

The folding angle for the corner is a little bit arbitrary, but you can see a straight line from the upper and lower triangle after the fold.

Step 14: Fold Lower Triangle Up

Step 15: Flip Horizontal

Step 16: Fold the Triangle Down

Step 17: Fold in Half

Step 18: Fold Out the Wing

The fold out portion is arbitrary, just the size that your fingers that can hold the paper plane body.

Step 19: Flip Horizontal

Step 20: Same Fold in Other Side

Step 21: Done

keep the wings in v-shape

Step 22: Hold the Paper Plane Method

Use 2 fingers hold the paper plane body thickest part, check the wings in v-shape and at the same angle.

Step 23: Play and Enjoy!

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28 Discussions

It is awesome but it does not flap

I made it thoght

my only question is do the wings flap on its own?;)

4 replies

No. You attach a lawnmower engine to make it flap.

I couldn't find a spare lawnmower around so I just salvaged a V8 from my car....


2 years ago



2 years ago

A4 is a bit too thick for me, but this flies really well anyways


2 years ago

Pretty good flyer. I used a 8.5" x 11" letter paper so the proportions are slightly different. Also, flight can vary with paper weight/thickness. One way to adjust this is by moving the last two wing folds (#19 & 20) closer or farther away from center fold, making the center section shallower or deeper. If too shallow, the plane will stall - too deep, it will nosedive. It is the way to balance wing loading vs. deadweight. Also the flapping depends on flexibility of the center fold vs. turbulence from the wing surface?

Amazing, it works really cool. Thank you!

Very cool! I found that if you are standing about 30' away from your friend, aiming at their feet produced pretty good flights. Working the wings up and down really does help to loosen up the hinges for improved flapping. And after about 20 throws it starts to go out of "tune". All you have to do is refold the wings down and then reshape them back into a (sharp) "V" shape and your good to go for many more throws. Thank for sharing a very cool design.

my only question is do the wings flap on its own?;)

Try going to File, Print, and selecting whatever pdf printer your computer has. It will save the page as a .pdf.


2 years ago

What a lovely, graceful design. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Unbelievable ! The best ever

Great flier! Mine wasn't flapping at first, but I worked the wing folds back and forth a bit to soften them & now it flaps beautifully! Great i'ble. Easy to follow instrux. TY!

Great Contribution. Thank you.

Fantastic. Throw it softly and it glides great. Toss it harder and the wings flap. Definitely fold it more of a V as others said and it flaps better

Wow! This is incredible! Increstructables! :)
Cant wait to show off to my son..