FINDING THE RIGHT PAPER - We have experimented with everything from
newsprint to high quality cotton bond paper. Believe it or not, photocopy
paper works the best. You may want to experiment with several types
to find which kind suits your needs.
FOLDING - Folding techniques are critical in the construction
of paper airplanes. It is very important to make accurate (straight)
folds or the airplane may not fly. Once I have made a fold, I use
a straight edge / ruler to "crease" the fold. To do this, fold the
paper as you normally would, then slide the edge of the ruler along the
top of the fold. Sliding the ruler along the fold secures the crease.
This also assists in giving the airframe strength.
FLYING - Always be aware of your surroundings when launching you
paper airplane. Watch out for others! You never know how an
airplane may perform on its first flight.
FLIGHT PERFECTION - There are several hints to utilize when perfecting
your aircraft's flight. Weight in the nose of your aircraft is what
causes it to glide. If your plane does not glide or just seems to
fall, place a staple or paper clip on its nose. This will help it
fly better. If you wish for your airplane to climb in flight, turn
the trailing edge of the wing up slightly. This causes the air leaving
the wing to be pushed upward, in turn pushing the nose of your aircraft
higher. If you wish for your airplane to dive, turn the trailing
edge of the wing downward. This will cause the air leaving the wing
to be pushed downward, in turn pushing the nose of your aircraft lower.
Try various combinations to perfect you plane's performance.
INDOOR -vs- OUTDOOR - Living in Louisiana, the humidity does not
assist paper aircraft performance. Moisture in the air seems to accumulate
in the paper, weighting it down, and limiting flight. Often an aircraft
that flies well indoors may not fly at all outdoors. Try both!
If you live in an area with low humidity you should do fine both indoors
HAVE FUN - Experiment and don't be afraid to show others. School
children are extremely eager to learn how to make new paper airplanes.
Share what you've learned and make a kid's day!