How to Make the Raven Paper Airplane

About: I am someone who mass produces paper airplanes and am always developing new designs. I post regular updates on Twitter and Google+. Follow me there to keep up with the latest developments!

The Raven paper airplane is a fast, stable dart that can easily cruise the classroom with 5 points to sit upon at rest. It is a very cool looking plane as well, with its ventral canard fins and dagger shape.

TAA USAF Designation: A38-1


Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8.5 by 11 inch paper

Step 2: Begin Folding

Fold your paper in half length-wise. Then fold the corners in. After this, fold the corners down along their edge. Repeat that action along its diagonal line.

Step 3: Security Fold Preparation

Open your folds and it should appear as pictured. Fold the paper into itself so you can later make the security fold. Fold as pictured (it's kind of hard to explain).

Step 4: Fold the Wings

From each of the joints in the paper, fold down the wing along the wing root.

Step 5: Security Fold

Fold the triangle down over the wing root. Then fold the security fold down the center and over the wings after that, fold it down. Then fold the paper around the wing, it should be repeated then folded into the nose. Then taped together and to the fuselage.

Step 6: Fold the Ventral Fins

First, fold the nose's ventral fins. Fold the nose into itself putting the point of the nose in between the layers of paper. Fold the paper down toward and parallel to the wing root on both sides. Then tape the flap down. After being taped, angle the fins so they look like an upside down V. This will complete the Raven's inverted butterfly canards.

Step 7: Fold the Winglets

Fold the winglets up at the size that the fuselage is. After you repeat this on the other wing, fold them down. Then unfold them so they are perpendicular to the wing. They should now be below the wing and parallel to the fuselage.

Step 8: Flight

Your Raven is now ready to fly fast and high. Launches should be at moderate speed at a negative or neutral attitude. The Raven will normally fly with a slightly pitched-up attitude when thrown (owing to the extra lift of its canards). Enjoy!



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    16 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice looking plane. This instructable was a little harder to follow than some of your others. I needed to pause a lot to consider orientation and angle. I finally got it done and I will be giving it to my students this afternoon for test runs and critiques. Thanks for all of your great planes and instructables.

    2 replies

    I'm an esl teacher in Japan and I like to use the airplanes in the class room for games. For example: airplane basket ball. If the kids get the plane in the basket then they get a chance to answer a question for a point. The kids will tell me if they like the design and if it flew well or not. The plane flew great and gave its team many chances to answer questions. I would probably add it to the arsenal of good flyers =) ty

    Well, this fold is just folding between the two folds in the paper you have already made in previous steps. The wings are folded out of the paper that can be folded only in their shape. If you have tried the Kingcobra paper airplane (, it is the same type of fold (see pictures).

    Instructables pics 017.jpgInstructables pics 018.jpg

    8 years ago on Step 4

    I think I'm missing something... how do you get from the L-shape in the last picture of step 3 to step 4?

    5 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    Well, not really L-shaped, but the last picture in step 3. I don't know how to describe that shape.

    You pull the tips of the smaller "horn" at the rear of the paper apart, and as much as you can without ripping it. Then you flip the paper horizontally and repeat it on the other side. This should stretch the wings from one end to the other.

    No, my paper from step 3 can't physically look like what's in step 4. It's exactly like the last picture of step 3, but step 4 is like a completely different piece of paper. I'm confused.

    Actually yes, you can. The first photo of Step 4 features the paper slightly realigned, and the left wing folded down.

    Well, you just pull the inner two diagonal up so that each allows for a space between the other. The excess above will later become the counterweight and canards.

    Hope this helps! :D 

    Well, on that step, you fold the counterweight down along the wing root. Then you restore it and flatten it down so that the point is over the center line of the plane. After that you fold the counterweight over the two wings. Once you have folded them over, fold the counterweight over the leading edges so they touch the bottom side of the wing. When they are aligned with the fuselage you must tape the counterweight to it. Then step 5 is finished.