Standard Paper Airplane (The Ketch)

Name: the Ketch | Difficulty: Medium

Synopsis: This is a remarkably cool looking paper airplane that flies quite nicely. It's one of our favorites. This star cruiser is best when made with medium to light weight paper.

INSTRUCTIONS (Flying tips at the end of the page)


1. Start by making a mark 1/2 the way down the long edge of the paper. Now mark a point 3/4 of the way down the long edge. Bring the edge down to this 3/4 mark and make an even crease.

2. Flip the paper over and rotate so you can see the 3/4 mark you made earlier.

3. Make a crease which lines up the 3/4 mark you made earlier with the top edge of the paper. This crease will be exactly above the middle of the flap of the paper underneath.

4. Rotate the paper around so the flap you've created is near the top.

5. Fold down the left corner of the flap. It may help to make a slight crease at the base of the flap in order to line up this corner flap fold. Unfold this corner after making a sharp crease.

6. Fold the lower left corner over to the right making a new crease straight down from the top point of the previous corner fold. At the same time the corner flap will open. As the fold finishes, press the corner flap down flat.

7. Bring the flap just folded back along the vertical crease which you just created. This effectively "reverses" the corner fold which is now tucked safely inside the main flap.

8. Fold and unfold the right corner flap in the same way. Make sure you include as much of the main flap as physically possible. Again it may help to make a slight crease at the bottom of the main flap to use to line up this corner fold.

9. Fold the lower right corner over to the left making a new crease straight down from the top point of the previous corner fold. At the same time the corner flap will open. As the fold finishes, press the corner flap down flat.

10. Bring the flap just folded back along the vertical crease which you just created. This effectively "reverses" the corner fold which is now tucked safely inside the main flap.


11. Make a crease which starts from the top most point of the left corner flap down to the lower left corner of the paper. Depending on your first few folds, the edge of this new flap may or may not alight with the vertical crease.

12. Fold this new flap and the one beneath it over to the right along the vertical crease made earlier.

13. Make a crease which starts from the top most point of the right corner flap down to the lower right corner of the paper. Depending on your first few folds, the edge of this new flap may or may not align with the vertical crease.

14. Fold this new flap and the one beneath it over to the left along the vertical crease made earlier.

15. Fold the top edge of the paper down to meet the main horizontal flap. Make a tight crease.



16. Fold the new flap in half again bringing the top edge down to meet the main horizontal flap. Make a tight crease.

17. Fold down the upper left corner including the newly created flaps along the existing diagonal crease. If all is well, the left edge of this corner will meet the bottom edge when the fold is complete.

18. Now the same on the right side. Fold down the upper right corner including the newly created flaps along the existing diagonal crease. If all is well, the right edge of this corner will meet the bottom edge when the fold is complete.

19. Fold the top edge flap with all the layers of the paper down over top of the corner flap just created. There are many layers of paper now so press hard and try to keep everything lined up as you make the crease.

20. Fold out the left tail flap along a new vertical crease. This crease lines up with the inner edge of the left corner flap you folded earlier.

21. Now the same thing on the right. Fold out the right tail flap along a new vertical crease. This crease lines up with the inner edge of the right corner flap you folded earlier.



22. Flip the plane over and rotate so the nose is pointing toward your right.

23. Lift up the corner flap and all layers of paper up to the crease underneath. Make a new crease as you fold these layers over.

24. Fold the triangular flap back making a new crease which lines up with the existing edge.

25. Flip the plane over keeping the nose pointing to the right.

26. Fold the corner of the upper triangular flap down across the body of the plane.

27. Turn the plane over, again keeping the nose pointed to the right.

28. Now repeat the previous moves on the other side of the plane. Bring up the triangular flap and all the layers of paper up to the crease underneath. Make a new crease as you fold these layers down.

29. Fold the triangular flap back up making a new crease which lines up with the existing edge.

30. Turn the plane over again keeping the nose to the right.

31. Fold the corner of the lower triangular flap up across the body of the plane.


32. Fold the whole thing exactly in half by bringing the top edge down to the bottom. Try to keep everything lines up as much as possible.

33. Make the first main wing crease by folding up the top layer. The left point of the crease should hit the left end of the top edge. The right point of the crease is half way down the right edge.

34. Turn the plane over keeping the nose to the right.

35. Make the second wing crease to match the first by bringing down the top half to match the bottom half.

36. Open the plane to establish the main shape of the body. Make sure all angles are equal and that everything is as symmetric as possible. The rear wing flaps should be flat and the dihedral angle fo the whole plane should be flat or slightly up.

37. Open the front winglets along with the bottom straight flaps. The ends of the paper winglet should be almost vertical as should the straight flaps on the bottom of the plane.


THE THROW Launch with a had throw at any angle. If the plane flies upside down, increase the dihedral angle upward. If it dives, add a little up-elevator. Adjusting the front winglets can cause swoops, dives rolls and very starship-like flights.

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