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Origami Airplanes

Updated on April 20, 2016

How to Fold Paper Airplanes that Fly - Usually!

Have you been trying to learn to fold a paper airplane? Yet it flies more like a paper weight? Do you want to upgrade your paper airplane from school-boy to phenomenal?

Origami airplanes take the standard paper airplane that we all learn to fold and and take it to the next degree. Create planes that glide and fly, planes that don't fly but look real cool.

It's great to make a project and then be able to play or compete with your friends, see who can go the distance. My Fave!

Teaching Origami Airplanes

Sometimes I've been asked to come into schools and teach Origami. One of my favorite models to teach is the origami airplane. Generally I am teaching these folds to Jr. High students, so I need to choose something that will capture their attention, and is relatively easy.

This also tends to be a hit with the boys, who think they know everything about paper airplanes, and what is some woman going to teach them about airplanes. So not all the models that I've tried fly well, in fact some don't fly at all, but they look real good!

So in teaching these folds, not only does the student get something really cool looking (better than what they already know), but sometimes they even fly. So after they fold it they have a great time chucking them around to see how far they go. Try using different papers to add some character to the models. I love using old maps!

One book I found on Origami airplanes is excellent. "Origami Paper Airplanes" by Didier Boursin The last model in the book is the fighter squadron, and although it doesn't fly (and uses an odd size of paper for the nose) it looks really cool. I've created this one in larger stiff paper, and hung it up in a boy's room for a decoration. When it's done in the large scale it's very impressive. (I take it to the school to show as a demo, there are lots of oohs and aaahs from the boys).

But origami airplanes are not just for kids. They are making the news these days. Scheduled for early 2009, Japanese scientists will be releasing about 30 origami airplanes from the International Space Station. Each plane is expected to take several months to float down, and if any make it to the earth intact, it will have made the longest paper airplane flight ever (400km). Any successful airplanes to make it to earth may have a huge impact on the design of actual re-entry vehicles.

Airplanes as Art


Just found this wonderful installation piece made up of paper airplanes. The simplicity of the fold and the multiple pieces make this a very impressive visual. This installation by Dawn Ng was completed in 2009 "I Fly Like Paper".

My Recommendation

This is the origami book that I have made many models out of. It has the squadron at the end of the book. Although not "pure" origami, the book uses several sheets to create as well as odd paper sizes, but it's a good resource.

Not only does he go through some of the traditional airplane folds, but some new and improved models as well as other flying objects of sorts. This book could be the source for many flying toys.

Origami Paper Airplanes
Origami Paper Airplanes

Includes models like:

Delta Wing

Duck Plane






Sound Barrier

...and more


Other Books on Airplanes

These books I have not tried, but may have some simple folds that give great results.

Very Cool Origami Airplane - Mirage

I've folded this airplane, and it's really good. A bit hard to fold, I had to watch the video several times before I got it, and the paper gets real thick, but it's really worth a try. Not bad music too.

Please help me make this site great, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Soooooo, What Do You Think?

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    • JetAviator7 LM profile image

      John M. White 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      I love paper airplanes and found some really cool download paper airplanes that, once assembled, look better than plastic model airplanes!

    • karenbiko profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Wow, you must really like airplanes!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      10 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I love your pictures of the airplane line ups. Thank you for including links of my TBF lens on some of your lenses. Always, Sherry@paperfacets

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      So son will love that!


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