The 1st TRULEY Aerodynamic Paper Airplane

Introduction: The 1st TRULEY Aerodynamic Paper Airplane

Every one knows that paper airplanes would not fly if it weren't for lift. So one day while looking through a book of paper airplanes I saw a "twirly bird" you know those little helicopters that are just a crude propeller and a stick down the middle that you rub between your palms so it will fly? And it said to fold a piece of paper in half with a straw in the center, and then to glue the other side shut. This creates a very good airfoil for no trouble at all, and so I thought- Why not use that in a paper air plane? After a series of tests this is what worked best for me, but performance can vary big time with a few errors (don't worry though, I have plenty of fixes you can try).

BTW: I ran the math and this thing has an average 6 to 1 glide ratio, but my best is around 19 to 1

printer paper x1
your run-of-the-mill bendy straw x1

This takes five minutes so please try it out!

The videos are the final product

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My paper airplane is what most people call the "classic" paper airplane (long, slender, delta wings) so check the picture and if you know how to make it (and you probably do) go ahead and skip to step two.

If you don't know how to make it, just follow the pictures:


Step 2: Making the SUPER AIRFOIL (takes Like a Minute)

This is very easy- insert your straw into the edge of the a wing and make sure that it goes the length of the WHOLE WING, you might hit a piece of paper trying to push it in, and if you do just open up the wing and thread the straw above the obstacle.

Then make sure the straw is up against the edge of the wing and crease the wing along the INNER side of the straw (the side closest to the center to your center-fold)

Remove the straw

You should see a little bump a bit less than a centimeter in width running the length of your wing, if you do do the same to the other side, if you don't check the pictures and makes sure you understand the instructions

You should now have a wired looking paper airplane, toss it VERY gently and watch it's smooooooth, sloooooooooow decent

Or it could have spiraled out of controll, if it did (and it probably did) go to the next step.


Step 3: Tweaks, Tips, and Tricks

Alright, this is a very temperamental design, and so I ask you to try as many of these as necessary, and welcome you to try your own.

Vertical stabilizers (tail fins):
Fold the edges of the wings of the plane in by about a 3/4 inch

cut along the fold of the vertical stabilizer about 1/2 inch to allow you to fold it left or right

Elvons (aileron / elevator combo):
The most important thing to know is that this can ruin a potentially very good paper airplane, and should be used as a last resort. Along the rear of the paper air plane make two 1/3 inch cuts that are 1 inch apart into the wing, do this on each side the same distance from fuselage to wing edge on both wings. Fold up, down, either side with any combination.

*do not make your folds for the elvons very intense, a little fold will go a long way

Hard Toss Design:

Now as you look at you plane you will notice a gap between the two layers of the wing that runs not too far off parallel to the wing edge, tape that down. WaLa! The plane is now balanced, and has more mass giving it greater momentum and tolerance to wind/ high speeds

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    My conclusions:-

    1. Use printing paper. its more sturdy. 2. give wings more area (more than 1.3 ratio concept), so fold the paper in landscape. 3. Dont add winglets, it will glide better without them


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I did a review of this guide, and have two conclusions.

    I made 5 paper gliders, and tested them all with and without straws, and then i cambered the wings, and tested again.

    My conclusions are:

    1. the gliders worked better WITHOUT the straws.
    2. if the leading edge of the wing was folded down slightly, or cambered, it increased the performance of all  of the gliders.

    hope this helps

    Inventor X
    Inventor X

    10 years ago on Step 1

    Would notebook paper work for this?
    Is it sturdy enough?
    Please answer.

    orun ultim
    orun ultim

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    in theory the empty tube of the straw should be lighter then the pencil. So physics disagrees with you


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The straw is intended to be removed, its just one thing I happened to have at my desk when I made this and didn't think to use a pencil (though the resulting airfoil would have been the same, as would have been performance when the pencil is removed). To Mattias Law: this airfoil has only been tested with this design of paper airplane, and im sure some designs benifit more than others. Also, there is EXTREME performance increases, in LOW speeds, if you chuck it the wing creates so much lift that it rises, stalls, and plumets to the ground. Note that in the videos the plane would go as far as it could untill friction slowed it to a crawl,and then would wobble almost in place before it fell. This is due to its nature of operating like a plane, and stalling, rather than like a glider and skimming across the gound when to low powered to stay aloft


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, but could you embed the video? I will be here if you need any help.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I like how the plan has different options at the end. makes it a bit more varied. looks sweet as well.