Standard Paper Airplane (The Mercury)

Name: the Mercury | Difficulty: Medium

Synopsis: This compact little starship is a fun and versatile craft which can be trimmed for distance or for attacks. Start with a medium weight sheet of letter size paper.

INSTRUCTIONS (Flying tips at the end of the page)


1. Fold the paper exactly in half along its long edge. Unfold after the crease has been made.

2. Fold the upper corner down to hit the right edge of the paper. When folded correctly, the top edge should line up with the right edge of the paper. Unfold after the crease has been made.

3. Fold the upper right corner down so to hit the left edge of the paper. When folded correctly, the top edge should line up with the left edge of the paper. Unfold after the crease has been made.

4. Flip the paper over, keeping the existing creases at the top

5. Fold the top edge down so it hits the points formed by the diagonal creases at the left and right edges of the new paper. When folded correctly, a new horizontal crease is formed through the center point.

6. Unfold the crease just made and flip the paper over keeping the existing creases at the top.


7. Pop the left and right horizontal creases up, bringing the points at the ends of the creases in and down towards the center of the paper. When folded correctly, a new flap is formed sticking straight up from the paper's base.

8. Split the layers of the flaps apart bringing the points at the flap tips down towards the points at the edges of the paper. Bring the top point, where the flap meet, straight down and press the whole fold flat.

9. Fold the point at the left edge of the paper over so it hits the center line crease about three fingers widths from the tip of the nose.

10. Fold the point at the rigth edge of the paper over so it hits the center line crease about three finger widths from the tip of the nose. Be sure to line up the points on the center line.

11. Fold the point on the tip of the nose down so it hits the center line crease. When folded correctly, a new horizontal crease is formed just above the points on the center line crease.



12. Fold the paper in half about the existing center line crease. Be sure to line up the wing flaps for good balance.

13. Rotage the plane around so the nose is up to the left and the wing flaps are up.

14. Make a creasae for the first wing flap. The new crease should be even with the bottom edge of the fuselage and a little less than half way up the left edge of the nose.

15. Flip the plane over so the first wing flap is underneath and the nose points to the left.

16. Make a crease for the second wing flap. Be sure to line up the wing flaps for good balance.



17. Fold the point at the top of the nose flap down. When folded correctly, the new crease should be even with the bottom edge of the fuselage.

18. Fold the top edge of the wing flap down. The new crease should be about two finger widths down from the top and even with the bottom edge of the fuselage.

19. Fold the flap just made down over the top of itself keeping the new crease even with the bottom edge of the fuselage.

20. Flip the plane over keeping the nose to the left. Fold the point at the top of the nose flap up. When folded correctly, the new crease should be even with the bottom edge of the fuselage.

21. Fold the bottom edge fo the wing flap up. The new crease should be about two finger widths up from the bottom and even with the edge of the fuselage.

22. Fold the flap just made up over the top of itself keeping the new crease even with the edge of the fuselage.

23. Open the first two layers of the outer wing flaps. Adjust the angles so they are even.

24. Open up all the wing flaps and adjust the wing angles so they are even and have a pleasing symmetric appearance. Open the flaps on the nose so they stick straight up from the base of the plane. Keep the main wing flaps at a definite down dihedral angle.


THE THROW Launch gently at a slight up angle or try throwing straight up for long distance glides. Adjust the dihedral and the wing flaps if it tends to roll over in flight.

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