I've learned that practically everyone that has ever made a paper airplane has a unique design for the BEST paper airplane in the WHOLE world. Today I feature two different paper airplanes that claim the title of "Best," and one that has actually won the Guinness Book of World Records title for time aloft. I called my son over to the computer to look at the plans for building the record-breaking airplane. His response? "That plane set a world's record? My plane is better than that one!" [Editor's Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Paper Airplanes]
During the summer of 1950, eight-year-old Michael O'Reilly watched in amazement as his sister's boyfriend made the best paper airplane in the whole world. "When he started folding the paper, I knew this was something different, something special. He never explained how he did it but every move, every fold, every detail was burned into my memory." Today, Michael shares the secrets of the DC-3 paper airplane: how to build it and how to fly it.
For fourteen years, Ken Blackburn's paper airplanes held the Guinness Book record for time aloft (18.8 seconds). It all started at age thirteen, when Ken created a paper plane that could fly over a quarter of a mile. He kept refining the design, and while in college won his first world record. It takes Ken "three months of working out and airplane-tweaking" to prepare for a record breaking. He might try later this year to regain his title, currently held by two Englishmen for 20.9 seconds. And yes, he does share his plans on how to fold the record breaking plane. Look for the link towards the bottom of the page.
"The most important thing when making a plane is not making the folds in exactly the right place, although this is important. More important is making each fold well." The Paper Airplane Hangar is filled with good advice on how to fix common flying problems such as veering left, right, or flying into the ground. It also includes safety rules, things your mother always told you like "Never throw planes at people." Since most of the danger lies in the point of the plane, Ben Yeomans recommends the sharp nose be either cut or folded down for kids.