How to Make a Very Interesting Kind of Paper Aircraft

About: Figured it was high time to give this a quick edit. I was an active part of the K'Nex community from about '08, I still occasionally lurk. I did a lot of dumb stuff on here but I'm past it now. I'm currently...

This paper "plane" was an idea first conceived by my dad. It flies spectacularly far ranges and travels at a slow-medium speed. If you watch it in mid flight, it dips, then goes up, then drops, then comes up again. It generates a lot of upward force, then goes up higher and glides for a while, every so often ascending for more lift.

Being in a ring shape, it has very little surface area in contact with the oncoming air flow when in flight, but its rear fin holds it up in place of a wing. I'm not truly sure exactly how it works, but I have given you what I do know.

I really recommend that you build it, because it flies so well. Unfortunately the video doesn't show how it flies, just the ranges. (It took me 6 total takes to get it to go in the right direction, and when it did it hit the door and bounced off about a foot).

I'll show you how to make one of your very own in this Instructable. I hope you like it, enjoy!


Step 1: Equipment and Materials

To make this aircraft, you will need:

  • One piece of A4 paper. Thin paper works best.
  • A pair of scissors.

Step 2: Making a Perfect Square

Here, is where you need the scissors. Have them ready.

1) Fold the paper down diagonally so that the edges of the paper line up. Only do this one way.
2) Cut along the line at the bottom of the diagonal square.
3) Unfold. The crease will come in handy later. The scissors and the slab of paper you just cut off are no longer needed.

Step 3: Finding the Centre Point

You need to do this in preparation for the next step.

1) Bend the paper over in half so that the halves of the fold meet up (but do not crease the fold) and where the middle line is, just crease in the middle. Follow the pictures if you don't understand what I mean.

Step 4: Final Folds

Here you will make the final folds before you finish.

1)Fold one side so that the corner meets the centre point that you just made.
2)Fold this whole thing over so that it meets just short of the line.
3)Do the same again.
4)Fold the centre line over so you are left with a triangle and a thick edge.

Step 5: Finishing the Plane Off

One more step to go!

1) Crease gently across the thickest edge to round it off.
2)Make a circle shape with the corners touching.
3)Put one corner on the inside of the other side. It is complicated, but if you are building it, you will understand how it works.

To see how to properly fly it, proceed to step 6.

Step 6: How to Fly It

Watch the video to see my technique. You should hold it parallel with the ground, and you should move it forward reasonably slowly, but with enough force for it to carry. You should hold it with 2 fingers and 1 thumb, in the position shown in the picture.

Thank you for reading this Instructable, and making the plane if you did. I hope you enjoyed it either way, and give me as much feedback as possible!




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    30 Discussions


    2 years ago

    i wonder if somebody could make a k'nex gun that launches this...

    Mommy, can we go buy more k'nex? A LOT more k'nex?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    this thing SUCKS! i held just like you said and it just goes strait to the left or right

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Love it! My room isn't big enoug to fly it properly, and it's raining outside. But I get the idea, so thanks for the instru!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Ah yes, this old design. Good to see it still popping up in instructables, a sign that people are still making it :) It flies quite well, but there's a knack to throwing it from what I've seen.. Good pictures and presentation.. Get a video of it when you can hehe


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is also known as a bishop's mitre (there is an existing Instructable that mistakenly calls it a Pope hat) - it has been around for far longer than your father (although he could easily have worked it out for himself).