How to Make an Aerobatic Paper Airplane

Introduction: How to Make an Aerobatic Paper Airplane

In this Instructable, I will show you the steps for how to make the aerobatic airplane known as the "Floating Frog".  The name comes from the fact that the first few steps are very similar to the more common origami jumping frog.

How this paper plane performs in the air is based on how well it is folded, and how it is thrown.  It can do very large loops, it can fly for quite a long distance, and it can perform a series of float-stall-dive-floats.  I leave it to you to figure out all of the design's tricks.  Have fun!

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Step 1: Making the X Fold

Step 1:  Make the X fold

     1a)  Use a standard sheet of printer paper (8.5" by 11") and fold from one corner to the opposite side, making sure to line up the edge of the paper with the edge of the fold.

     1b)  Unfold and repeat with opposite corner.  The paper should now have an X shaped crease.

     1c)  Turn the paper over, so that the middle of the paper is popping up.

Step 2: Making the Arrow

Step 2: Make the Arrow

     2a)  With the X fold pointing up, press down on the center of the fold to "pop" the paper fold down.

     2b)  Now fold the top half of the paper down, so that the corner of the folds line up.

     2c)  Turn the paper over, so the new half fold is pointing up.

     2d)  Now "pop" the paper one more time by pressing in the center of the X again.

     2e)  Form the Arrow by bringing the top of the page down to the middle.

Step 3: Making the Kite

Step 3: Making the Kite

     3a)  Fold one of the corners up to the tip of the arrow.

     3b)  Repeat with the opposite corner.  This makes a square shape in the middle of the arrow.

     3c)  Now fold the corner of the square into the middle, making sure to line up the bottom right edge with the center of the middle of the square.

     3d)  Repeat with the opposite corner of the square.  This turns the square into the Kite.

Step 4: Folding the Nose

Step 4: Fold the Nose

     4a)  Open up the Kite.

     4b)  Fold the top right flap into the center of the Kite, making sure to line up the edge of the flap with the inside fold line.

     4c)  Repeat with the top left flap.  This gets the flaps out of the way for the next fold.

     4d)  Now close the Kite, with the flaps safely folded away inside.

     4e)  Fold the Nose of the Arrow down over the top of the Kite.

Step 5: Tucking the Nose

Step 5: Tuck in the Nose

This is the only tricky step in folding this Paper Airplane.

     5a)  If you look into the folded Nose, you can see two pockets, on the left and right.  Tuck the right corner of the Kite into the Nose pocket.

     5b)  Repeat with the left side.  Now that both corners of the Kite are tucked into the Nose, the only thing left to do is the wings.

Step 6: Folding the Wings

Step 6: Fold the Wings

For a more acrobatic aircraft, we want to fold the wings downward.  This creates the slight instability required for loops and other tricks.

     6a)  Fold the right Wing to the center of the body, making sure to keep the bottom edges aligned.

     6b)  Now fold the tip of the right Wing back and line up the right edge with the body.

     6c)  Fold the left Wing to the center of the body.

     6d)  Just like before, fold the left Wing tip back to the left, lining up the left hand side with the body.

Congratulations!  Your aircraft is now complete!  Grab the bottom of the Kite between your thumb and forefinger and give it a good toss!  You might want to do this last part outside though.  Have fun!

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