Make a World Record Paper Airplane and You Could Win $1,000
Flying a paper airplane ain’t just for little kids anymore.
John Collins is the world record owner for longest paper airplane flight. Now, he’s sharing his secret for creating the plane which did it, which he calls Suzanne, in honor of his wife. In this 35-minute video — yes, 35 minutes — Collins shows just how to make the plane. That’s about the same amount of time it takes to clear security before getting on an actual plane.
Collins is also putting his money where his mouth is. He’ll give $1,000 to anyone who can use the Suzanne to fly his plane further than he did. That’s a type of paper we’d really like to get our hands on.
Collins, who has written three books about paper airplanes, isn’t done there, though. He’s taking his expertise to a whole new level, if that’s even possible. He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to start a website promoting a national paper airplane contest, clearly filling a Dunder Mifflin-sized void in the world.
Here's the How To:
Step 1: Smooth out the paper and make a diagonal line by folding the top right-hand corner to meet the left-hand long edge. Line up the edges accurately.
Mr Collins suggests sharpening the creases with a ruler, or a tool called a Folding Bone.
Step 2: Unfold this crease, and repeat the step for the opposite side moving the top left-hand corner to the right edge.
Step 3: Unfold the crease. Take the long edge on the right-hand side and line it up against the diagonal running from the top left-hand corner. Mr Collins said to leave around a millimeter distance from the crease to prevent the edges ‘bunching’ up when the plane is finished.
Flatten creases throughout.
Step 4: Repeat this step for the left-hand long edge, taking care to make it as symmetrical as possible. Unfold both, and then fold back in again.
Step 5: Fold the top point down so the creases on the back of the paper line up with the folds on the front, keeping the layers as flat as possible.
Step 6: Following the long crease either side of the piece of paper, fold the top right-hand corner into the center, and repeat on the left-hand side.
Unfold both, and then fold together so the layers bunch in the same way, and the corners meet in the center.
Step 7: Pick up the paper and fold it in the center, to form the nose, before taking time to line up the ‘tail feathers’ on the top. Make the long crease on the plane once happy with how the sides and corners are aligned. Sharpen all the edges and creases.
Clip the plane to hold it in place, and with a 30mm long strip of 25mm by 35mm tape, secure the plane’s shape at various points
Step 8: Make the wings by folding the paper around 3mm up from the nose, keeping the layer below in place using a thumb. The long edge of the wing should line up with the bottom right-hand corner - not the bottom edge.
Flip the paper over and repeat on the other side. Smoothing the creases and ‘squashing’ the nose.
Step 9: Clip the plane to hold it in place, and with a 30mm long strip of 25mm by 35mm tape squared off at the edges, secure the plane’s shape.
- Cut two 2mm strips of tape. Place each piece on the two vertical edges beneath each wing, folded in half so one strip secures both sides at each point.
- The next tape strip is 3mm wide, and this holds the nose and fuselage together.
Take a small square to secure the top of the nose, place half of the remaining strip, cut vertically, on the front of the nose to secure the layers, and place the other half about a third of the way up to lock the nose in place.
- Cut another 2mm strip, cut it in half and secure each side of the wings on the underneath of the plane. The tape should be placed 30mm up from where the underneath layer hits the wing.
- Cut another strip and place it vertically on the rear of the plane, at the top and bottom. Each half of the same strip sits on each side of the tail.
- Take another strip and place it horizontally across the top of the tail, to secure the wings.
- Flip the plane over and place a 2mm strip on each underside of the short edge of the wings, where the layers meet in the centre, and at the edge of the plane.
Take a piece of card, cut with a point with an angle of 155 degrees. Measure another angle on the card at 165 degrees. Use this to check the wing angle, or dihedral, of the paper plane
Step 10: Flatten the tape and folds once more, using the edge of the table. Take a piece of card, cut with a point with an angle of 155 degrees. Measure another angle on the card at 165 degrees.
Use this to check the wing angle, or dihedral, of the paper plane.
The rear of the plane should raise at 165 degrees, the tip of the plane should be 155 degrees, and the nose should be 165 degrees.
Final step: After checking the dihedral, cut the last piece of tape in two.
Place one across the nose, on the top of the plane, and place the second piece about 10mm behind it.