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Paper Airplanes That Will Fly the Longest

flying paper airplane

Have you ever wondered about the models of paper airplanes that will fly the longest? Gliders and airplanes are some of the most popular paper folding projects, and there are endless design variations. With these instructions, you can create paper airplanes that will amaze your friends and possibly even win a few contests.

Paper Airplane World Record

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Takuo Toda holds the distinction of building the longest-flying paper airplane. The Japanese citizen created his plane out of one sheet of paper and some cellophane tape, and in 2009, he flew it for 27.9 seconds. His plane, named the "Sky King," measured about ten centimeters in length and featured a snub-nosed front.

As the Japanese Origami Association president and a professional engineer, Toda had plenty of training and experience to help him create his design. However, you can make a similarly impressive plane using these instructions.

How to Build Paper Airplanes That Will Fly the Longest

This paper airplane is called a glider-style because of its relatively long wingspan and narrow body shape. Gliders are typically easier to fold than traditional paper airplanes, and this design is no exception. It's perfect for beginners. In the right conditions, you can expect this glider to fly for up to 25 or 26 seconds. In fact, the previous Guinness Book of World Records paper airplane champion, Ken Blackburn, used a similar design to hold the top record for many years.

Things You'll Need

  • Single sheet of letter-sized paper
  • Folding surface
  • Ruler

What to Do

  1. Orient your paper so the long side is facing toward you. Bring the long side up to meet the opposite side, folding the paper in half lengthwise.
  2. Unfold the paper, and fold the long edges in to the center. Crease these folds and unfold.
  3. Bring one corner in to the center line, creating a diagonal fold. Repeat this step with the other side. Your shape now resembles a trapezoid.
  4. Turn the trapezoid so the shortest side is facing you. Fold the short side in by about ¾ inch and crease the fold. Repeat this process eight times, rolling the short end of the paper around the folds you have made.
  5. Fold the entire paper in half, creating a good crease. You may need to use a ruler or other folding tool to create a crisp fold in the thick section of the shape.
  6. Find a spot about ¾ inch from the center fold, and fold the paper back on each side to create wings.
  7. Fold the paper up slightly on the outside of each wing.
  8. To fly the plane, grasp the fold and the bottom and flick your wrist.

Making the "Sky King"

If you're interested in making a copy of Takuo Toda's "Sky King," check out these instructions from Wired magazine. Using a single sheet of letter-sized paper and some clear tape, you can create this origami-inspired design.

More About Paper Airplanes

Now that you know how to make paper airplanes that will fly the longest, you may be interested in creating other impressive designs. For more airplane and glider ideas, check out these articles from LoveToKnow Origami:

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Paper Airplanes That Will Fly the Longest