Monday, May 27, 2013

World's Best Paper Airplane - Tutorial

When we have a holiday weekend like this and the girls have some extra time off of school, we like to plan fun activities to help keep them busy.  I had saved this Pinterest pin into my "Kids/science/learning" category a while back, and I am now so glad I did.  We had a blast making (and flying) these super glider airplanes.  When you see something claiming to be "The World's BEST Paper Airplane" you really want to test that theory out and see if they will live up to the hype.

Our Patriotic Paper Airplane:  Cue "Highway to the Danger Zone" music here....
This idea and tutorial came from Christine over at her "I Dig Pinterest" blog.  A step by step tutorial and link to her post will be at the end of this blog entry.  At first we tried the design with plain, blank white 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper.  The first toss had our plane gliding (no joke 25 feet).  What?  Maybe this WAS the world's best paper airplane!

This thing just took off!  We were so impressed.
All three girls got really excited and wanted to color some paper to make "designs" on their plane.  This however turned out not to work... the coloring or weight of the crayons actually made our planes take an immediate nose dive.  No Bueno.

All that beautiful hard at work coloring for nothing.  Boo.
So then we thought of Plan "B".  It was hubby's idea actually but what if we printed off some cute swirl designs on the computer.  That way the airplane would have some color, but no extra weight would really be added.  (Genius I tell you, and that's why I keep him around).  Each girl got to pick her own color and we found a JPEG online (we googled swirls and tried to find large picture files - over 800x800 each).

This ended up working perfectly!  Pink swirls make a pink swirl plane.
Techie tip:  Once you find an image, right mouse click and save it to your downloads folder on your PC.  Once saved, double click on the image and open it up.  Right mouse click and hit print, which will open photo printing wizard.  Hit "next" a few times at the window prompt.  When you get to "layout selection" make sure "full page fax print" is selected and you will see a print preview with your image stretched across the whole page.  Then hit next and it will print out on most of your 8.5x11 printer paper.

Purple swirls made a groovy purple airplane
Now with our newly folded and decorated planes, we headed out to the parking lot to see if they would fly...

On your mark... get set... FLY!!
Those worked great!! They really do float and fly for a very long time.  Here a quick tutorial I did if you're dying to make one of these right now!

First, get a blank (or design printed) piece of 8.5x11 paper and fold in half the long way.

Next, open up your paper and fold the top two corners into the center line to form triangles.


Next you want to fold the entire triangle you made down to make a new triangle.

Next, take the outer corner point of the triangle, and fold it into the center line at an angle.

Do the same thing with the other side. (I flipped it over so you could see they matched)

Next you want to take the little triangle tip that is sticking out of the bottom and fold that up to "seal" in the other folds.

Here's another angle of that

Now you want to fold the whole airplane in half, making sure all the folds go on the outside of the plane.

All that is left is to fold the wings down.  You want the top edge to fold down and line up with the bottom of the plane.

Fold down the other wing the exact same way

The "nose of the plane will have a flat tip.  Here is a shot of the plane from the under side.

After that all you have to do is straighten out your wings and your are ready to throw!

I quickly took these pics for this entire blog post with my cell phone, so I apologize for the lighting/quality . If you want another clear picture tutorial check out Christine's blog where I got the inspiration.  Have fun flying these things.  My girls did not want to stop throwing them.  Great for distance contests at family gatherings, picnics, BBQ's, or even a fun way to spend a rainy day inside.  Enjoy flying the friendly skies.  This really might be the world's best paper airplane design!!

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