Paper Airplane Designs

Paper Airplane Designs



@felipesabino 4d
It has been a while that I try to find the design for this type of paper plane [1] that glides so smoothly and allows you to guide it.

I am not even sure how to search for it, even with this database in hands


@JKCalhoun 4d
Very cool. I always upvote anything about paper airplanes, ha ha.

Many, many hours of my youth were spent making paper airplanes and flying them. I also enjoyed modifying designs with my own embellishments to see if my changes were improvements or no.

Perhaps after catching "The Birdmen" (1971) on TV I became obsessed with building catapult-like paper airplane launchers using thread, paper clips and weights to drag the airplanes along the length of the kitchen table and send them sailing off the end.

I think part of this was due to a lack of toys to entertain myself with (my sister and I, growing up with a single mother who worked as a secretary — she stole office products so that I was kept in letter-size paper, pencils, pens). Perhaps too there were a lot of those months spent indoors in the either too-cold or too-hot/humid Midwest.

@hk1337 4d
Put this in the list of things I didn't know I needed.
@ktm5j 4d
I think it's really cute how they handled the case if the user unchecks all of either the "Type" or "Difficulty" filters hehe
@voynich 4d
Glad to see that paper airplane culture is still alive, haha. I was looking forward to this day for a while!
@standardly 4d
My cousin and I were particularly destructive children and used to build paper airplanes and fly them up into the ceiling fan. Sometimes they'd get caught on a blade and come flying off. Was playing a lot of Starfox 64 at the time, so we imagined we were attacking a boss. We'd try and see how many attacks we could get in before our plane was completely mangled and wouldn't fly anymore. Good times.

Another destructive game we used to play was lighting army men on fire and fusing their melted plastic bodies together to create a zombie army of plastic amalgamations. Half-green, half-tan grenadiers with bazookas for a heads, etc. God bless America!

@mg 4d
I tried a lot of paper plane designs and this one is by far the most elegant design and the best flying plane I found so far:

The simple flight path in the video does not relly do it justice. When you throw it outside, it will have a beautiful loooong curved flight. When there is some wind, it often goes to explore the sky for quite a while before it comes back down again.

If anybody knows a design that can compete with this one, I would be very interested to try it!

@m463 4d
Many years as a kid were spent reading through this old book my father had:

The Great International Paper Airplane Book

@dang 4d

Paper Airplane Designs (2013) - - July 2022 (96 comments)

Paper Airplane Designs - - Dec 2021 (8 comments)

Wake Turbulence from a Paper Airplane (2020) [video] - - May 2021 (29 comments)

Paper Airplane Designs - - June 2020 (8 comments)

Paper Airplane Designs - - Oct 2018 (206 comments)

Designing, folding, and flying the finest paper airplanes [video] - - April 2018 (11 comments)

Learn How to Fold a World-Record-Setting Paper Airplane - - March 2018 (14 comments)

Real Paper Airplane Designs - - Oct 2016 (1 comment)

The best paper airplane in the world - - Jan 2009 (30 comments)

@mysterydip 4d
Something I've been curious about, are there paper airplane designs that translate to usable full scale designs? If not, why not?
@dang 4d
We changed the url from to the home page, which is a better match for the title.
@drewtato 4d
There's 48 designs, so this isn't much of a database, more like a short list. For something completely different, my favorite collection of paper planes are those by Jayson Merrill: They're the most complex planes I've seen under the restrictions of no cuts and no adhesive. Here's a good one:
@jareklupinski 4d
Spent a lot of time throwing paper rings:

you get some really good distance if you throw it like a (american) football, managed to clear a couple city blocks once, thrown on a hot dry day from a high floor at school...

@yabones 3d
I'm surprised they don't have the "lock fold" or "Nakamura Lock" design. When I was younger, that was the most consistent design for a good plane. Not always the best, but never the worst. Somebody talented could fold up a dart to beat it on distance, or a glider to stay up longer, but everybody could make a decent "lock fold".

@jtr1 3d
I spent a very fun holiday break methodically working through these with my nephew and documenting how far we could get them to fly. Big takeaway is that simpler is better and the classics are classic for a reason!
@jhanschoo 3d
My childhood interest in paper airplanes was completely fuelled by the excellent , which you can now find on the Internet Archive by the link! The emulation is imperfect, though.
@whoisthis4chan 3d
the lock-bottom plane used to be my bread & butter in elementary school
@coin 3d
Many of those are from the classic Great International Paper Airplane Book published in 1967.
@rekoros 3d
When I was pretty young - maybe six - I spent about a month at a hospital in the USSR. I don’t know why I was there (observation?), and it’s not be point - the point is, while there, slightly older patients taught me how to fold beautiful paper airplanes, with unbelievable aerodynamic properties - I mean those things could fly.

Many years later, I was taking an aerodynamics course at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University taught by Bob Sweginnis (died in plane crash, while practicing aerobatics), who dedicated an entire class to a paper airplane contest. The winning criteria was “plane that stays in the air the longest wins”.

My plane came in second - I designed it to make an easy curve through the bungalow to maximise air time, and Bob Sweginnis did an excellent job launching it. He stopped the timer when my plane hit the wall of the bungalow, with plenty of altitude to spare.

The winner? A sheet of paper, basically, that pendulumed to the green carpet in a swinging motion, like a leaf, about a second slower than it took my Mona Lisa to commit suicide.

@selecsosi 3d
One of my favorite research projects on the subject. This research publication from the 2014 siggraph conference covers a ML backed design optimization approach to design novel paper airplanes designs, and simulate flight paths.



@ranting-moth 3d
Another brilliant site is "Toys from Trash":

A whole bunch of fun things you can make with stuff lying around.

@Fell 3d
When I was little (about 20 years ago) I found a website where you could download sheets to print out. They contained parts to cut out that would make an elaborate little glider airplane. You layered multiple layers of paper together and glued them. It included many different parts, but all of them were just paper in the end of the day.

I think the site is gone, I can't find it anymore. It had a blue background and about 10-20 designs available for download. It was either German, Swiss, Austrian, Italian or French, but I'm pretty sure it had multiple Languages.

Anyways, I found something very similar:

@tysam_and 3d
I made hundreds of paper airplanes as a kid.

This design scheme was consistently among the best (not on the website above directly):

You could also just do what I did and just fold only the top over itself, and use a bit of the back wing for the winglets, folded out. Tiny, tiny grip, enough to hold, deeper in the back than the front for stability, tiny y in the wings and winglets going out slightly. The wings need to make a y when you drop it in the air (you can simulate this while holding this so you don't mess up your shot at a perfect first flight!). Make sure to fold the front extraordinarily tightly. Otherwise it starts to tank.

Then it's a matter of how hard you launch it. As a child, I was getting shockingly long flight times, and on those special days where there was a breeze...oh boy. What a world.

Super stable, super easy to make, super easy to teach, the hardest part is the arm, the patience to keep trying, the luck that it doesn't catch in a tree, and the patience to adjust the winglets for a nice little spiral.

A lovely part of my engineering days as a child, definitely helped get the creative juices going for this field! I had a white trash bag at one point with all of these novel little designs I came up with just for funsies. :)))) :D :)))) <3

@amelius 3d
Kinda disappointed that the instruction video doesn't show the plane flying.

Yeah, I know, the internet made me lazy.

@furyofantares 3d
* * *
@cvg 3d
This is cool. If you're wondering about top performers:

Longest Distance: Longest Time Aloft:

@riansanderson 3d
One of my favorite gifts for kids in the 6-12 year old range is the [Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes](

It’s a great kick start for kids to inspire their inner maker. It has just ten designs, well laid out with good instructions.