Paper Airplanes


Barbara J. Feldman

What makes one paper airplane better than another? Should we judge our paper planes on ease of construction, length of flight or distance traveled? Personally, I vote for the fun factor. And hopefully, you’ll have plenty while visiting this week’s paper airplane picks.

  • Alex's Paper Airplanes5 stars

    From Alex's gallery of two dozen paper airplane designs, visitors have selected the Dragon Plane and Paper Helicopter as their favorites. The Dragon, an original design, flies "true and fast" and is "the best plane to hit your teacher with." The Helicopter is popular because it is both simple to make and simple to fly. You can peruse the rest of the planes by difficulty of construction (easy, medium, hard) or jump right to the fastest, longest flying, or most unusual designs.

  • Best Paper Airplane4 stars

    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.

  • Joseph Palmer's Paper Airplane5 stars

    Joseph Palmer's planes are "designed to fly," not look like real airplanes. As a paper airplane purist, none of his designs require cutting, taping or weights: just a single sheet of 8.5" by 11' paper and your fingers. There are only four designs here, but the illustrated instructions are excellent, and judging by visitor feedback, all of them are great flyers.

  • Ken Blackburn's Home Page5 stars

    In 1998, Ken Blackburn's 27.6 second paper airplane flight set a new Guinness Book record for time aloft. 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. And yes, he does share the plans for his record breaking planes. Look for them in Paper Airplanes You Can Fold, Planes From Workman.

  • By October 22,2003

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!



    Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes
    Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes
    from Klutz
    (Spiral-bound)
    Price: $9.32

    Kids Paper Airplane Book
    Kids' Paper Airplane Book
    by Ken Blackburn
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $4.89

    The World Record Paper Airplane Book
    The World Record Paper Airplane Book
    by Ken Blackburn, Jeff Lammers
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $5.49