Paper Airplanes

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]

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.

Ken Blackburn's Home Page5 stars

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.

Paper Airplane Hangar5 stars

"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.

Sabertooth: A Paper Airplane3 stars

Here's another one described as "the best paper airplane there is ... no hassles like paper clips, scissors, or tape." This is a straight-forward design, with easy-to-follow illustrated instructions.

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!

Building the Egret

Free Online Models

How Things Fly

Learn2 Make Paper Airplanes

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Paper Airplanes." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 3 Feb. 1998. Web. 4 Sep. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published February 3, 1998. Last modified February 3, 1998.

Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes
Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes
Price: $7.95
The World Record Paper Airplane Book
The World Record Paper Airplane Book
Price: $6.99
Kids Paper Airplane Book
Kids' Paper Airplane Book
Price: $4.16