How to Make a Paper Airplane

how to make a paper airplane

Paper airplanes have been around for most people’s childhoods. From sending notes in class, to having contests to see whose plane goes the furthest, this easy craft is fun and scientific. But how do you make the perfect paper airplane? In today’s blog, we attempt to answer that question as well as look into the science behind what makes these aircraft fly. 

How to Make a Paper Airplane

Here are our tips for making a successful paper airplane.

Material

The first step is choosing the right material. You want your plane to be big enough that it can take flight, but not so large that it easily loses momentum. An A4 or letter-size harder paper like copy or colour paper is the best material to use. It provides enough durability while still being relatively light. 

Type of Paper Airplane

There are different types of airplanes you can choose to fold — each providing unique qualities and construction difficulties. 

Easy Difficulty
Medium Difficulty

All the planes in this difficulty are good at going the distance. 

Hard Difficulty

Planes in this difficulty are the hardest to fold but are great at spending more time flying than falling.

Instructions for a Basic Dart Airplane

Let’s live our airplane aesthetic dreams and make a plane that’s easy to fold and flies a fair distance, too!

  1. Fold your piece of paper in half. Unfold to show the line that you just created.
  2. Fold the top corners into the centre line. 
  3. Now fold the top edges to the centre. 
  4. Fold the plane in half. 
  5. Fold the wings down to meet the bottom edge of the planes body. 

And voilà! You are now ready to throw. 

The Science Behind Paper Airplanes

The reason paper airplanes fly has to do with aerodynamics. That is how the air around you interacts with objects that pass through it. The shape of the paper airplane has to contend with: drag, gravity, forces of lift, and thrust. 

Try playing around with different folds of plane to see what sort of aerodynamics you can play with! 

About the Author

Lydia B.

Lydia B.

Lydia B. is a Marketing Coordinator and Music Club Coach for Gooroo Clubs. Don't let after-school be an afterthought - join Gooroo's online platform centred around hands-on project-based learning!