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Making A Paper Airplane - Book Review

Updated on December 22, 2013

Making A Paper Airplane With Ken Blackburn

I've written previously about paper airplanes and even reviewed the Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes in my article Paper Airplanes for Kids. The reason is simple- they are so fun to create and build and the only real limit is imagination. When you consider the physics involved in flight, and the applied math that can used to design them, this is truly a craft that can create wonderful family moments, but also teach and inspire young minds.

The World Record Paper Airplane Book was written by world record holder Ken Blackburn and its no tiny effort. With over 70 pages of information, instructions and illustrations, plus an additional section with dozens and dozens of pre-printed pages that you can cut out and use to teach younger children... they're also printed with some cool designs.

What sets this book apart from others in the category isn't the sheer volume of plane designs that you learn about, but rather in the learning experience that Ken provides via his own personal stories and the history of paper airplanes. The author recalls receiving a Guiness Book of World Records as a child and how it inspired him to think outside the box and be creative in how he looks at things.

Then in Junior High School he decided to make his own attempt at a world record- flying a paper airplane for over 15 second (the time aloft record at that time). While he beat the record with 24.9 seconds that year, he was later informed that the flight had to be performed indoors. Ever persistent he finally achieved his goal while a Junior in college, flying a remake of his favorite "Old Bossy" design for 16.89 seconds.

As you'll read about in the book, Ken's drive towards creativity and his passion for physics (he majored in Aerospace Engineering) led to his eventual world record time of 27.6 second! Though his record has since been beaten, the lessons he's learned and his passion for the hobby shine through in this book, making it a must read for children of all ages, and anyone interested in crafting Paper Airplanes.

More Great Crafting Ideas!

Paper airplanes are fun, easy and so inexpensive. No wonder more and more people are rediscovering the fun. But there are so many other things that you can do with your kids (or your students if you're a teacher) that don't cost an arm and a leg. Here are some great starter ideas!

Photo Gallery

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The cover of the book gives away the quality of the contents. This book is in my home and our son has loved it!A quick look at the contents and you see that there is a lot of information being packed inside.Example section which teaches all about flight and paper airplane aerodynamics.Here's a great section that helps understand how important the throw is... even a great design will crash if not thrown properly.Speaking of design, its important for youngsters to understand the importance of good folds and this section does that, as well as fine tuning.The back of the book contains pre-printed sheets of heavy, glossy paper that you'll use when you follow along instruction pages like this one.Here's a look at the really cool types of planes that are detailed in this book, and which have printed paper in the back.Here's a sample of the type paper you find in the back of the book, which makes building paper airplanes so much more fun.Here's one more example of the paper sheets you'll find in the book... kids love them!
The cover of the book gives away the quality of the contents. This book is in my home and our son has loved it!
The cover of the book gives away the quality of the contents. This book is in my home and our son has loved it!
A quick look at the contents and you see that there is a lot of information being packed inside.
A quick look at the contents and you see that there is a lot of information being packed inside.
Example section which teaches all about flight and paper airplane aerodynamics.
Example section which teaches all about flight and paper airplane aerodynamics.
Here's a great section that helps understand how important the throw is... even a great design will crash if not thrown properly.
Here's a great section that helps understand how important the throw is... even a great design will crash if not thrown properly.
Speaking of design, its important for youngsters to understand the importance of good folds and this section does that, as well as fine tuning.
Speaking of design, its important for youngsters to understand the importance of good folds and this section does that, as well as fine tuning.
The back of the book contains pre-printed sheets of heavy, glossy paper that you'll use when you follow along instruction pages like this one.
The back of the book contains pre-printed sheets of heavy, glossy paper that you'll use when you follow along instruction pages like this one.
Here's a look at the really cool types of planes that are detailed in this book, and which have printed paper in the back.
Here's a look at the really cool types of planes that are detailed in this book, and which have printed paper in the back.
Here's a sample of the type paper you find in the back of the book, which makes building paper airplanes so much more fun.
Here's a sample of the type paper you find in the back of the book, which makes building paper airplanes so much more fun.
Here's one more example of the paper sheets you'll find in the book... kids love them!
Here's one more example of the paper sheets you'll find in the book... kids love them!

How Exciting Are Paper Airplanes?

Watch this video of John Collins' plane design setting a new distance record... your child can enjoy the same level of excitement and enthusiasm if you give them the spark of inspiration.

I've also included two of the great tutorials from the Paper Plane Mafia, a great site with picture and video tutorials.

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