Step by step instructions, with illustrations and videos on how to fold all 50 paper airplanes. We don’t just show you how to make a paper airplane. We give easy to follow instructions to create 50 different paper airplane designs. Articles:
It is generally believed that the Chinese were the first to build paper airplanes and kites out of papyrus paper around 2000 years ago. Since the Chinese were early innovators and invented paper “as we know it today”, it follows that they would be among the first to find creative uses for the new substance.
One of the more interesting early uses of paper for flight occurred in France during the 1700s. The Montgovier brothers used paper to build hot air balloons. Later they used paper lined cloth to build the first human carrying hot air balloons in 1783.
Leonardo Da Vinci wrote of using parchment in building models of his ornithopter (helicopter). Read more.
The first paper in the world was made by wasps. Tiny bits of wood are chewed to a pulp, mixed with saliva, then smoothed to thin sheets as part of a wasp’s nest. The process is quite different but the materials are very similar to those in modern paper. Read more.
Since ancient days, people have longed to soar and fly like the birds. Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century believed that we could learn how to fly by imitating the birds. In fact, bird flight is very complex and not well suited to the study of human flight. Read more.
When you begin folding choose paper that is light to medium in thickness. Heavier paper works well for some airplanes, but is harder for a beginner to fold. Make creases that are accurate and tight using your fingernail or a ruler. Even the first fold must be exactly right for your craft to fly well. Read more.
Paper folding looks almost effortless in the animations, but it can be frustrating with real paper. Even a reverse fold on a rudder which looks simple requires patience and some practice. Expect to learn about a plane by folding it several times and save your best effort (and paper) for last. Read more.
The study of forces that affect an object moving through air is known as aero-dynamics. The same forces that allow kites and gliders to fly apply to paper airplanes – and real airplanes as well. In fact, all objects are affected as they move through air or air moves past them. Designers for airplanes, sailboats, race cars and even buildings rely on the same principles of aerodynamics. Read more.
When making paper airplanes, it is very common to fold something in half. Often it’s the whole sheet, but many times it’s a flap or a large diagonal. Fold things in half as accurately as you can. Most airplanes rely on each half being exactly the same for balance and straight flight. Read more.
Before we begin talking about launching paper airplanes and the different kinds of flights they make, a word of warning is needed. Some of the airplanes in this website have very sharp noses when folded properly. Please be careful when launching these or any paper airplane since their flights can be very erratic. When flying them indoors make sure to warn all people around you before launching. When flying them outside on a breezy day even by yourself, you should expect the unexpected. Read more.
There are several important words needed to describe an airplane’s flight and how to control it. These terms apply primarily to real airplanes but, are very useful when talking about paper airplanes as well. Read more.
We have divided the 50 paper airplanes found on this site into 10 groups each with 5 paper airplane designs. You can design your own paper airplanes by following some basic guides. You can use your imagination to create entirely new designs.
While instructions are freely available online, books are never outdated. Some books include printed paper that you can fold into colorful paper airplanes. There are several books available about folding paper airplanes. We list only the best ones.