For a combined total of 24 years between 1983 and 2009, Ken Blackburn held the World Record for the longest time aloft for a paper airplane. Blackburn says that his world record glider paper airplane accomplishes its feat of flight in two phases: the launch phase and gliding flight. The two phases have conflicting aerodynamic requirements for a plane to perform well. Shorter wings and heavier paper allow the plane to be launched at a greater velocity, but longer wings and lighter paper help keep the plane up in the air longer for the gliding flight phase. In order to build the best paper airplane glider, you have to balance wing length and paper weight to perform well under both phases of flight. The Champ design is based off of Ken Blackburn's world record paper airplane.
Things You'll Need
- 8.5 X 11 inch printer paper
Lay the paper on a flat workspace so it is standing tall with the long edges facing the left and right.
Draw two dots on the bottom edge of the paper with each dot exactly 2 inches from the corner of the paper.
Draw a dot on the right edge of the paper exactly 1/2 inch away from the top right corner. Draw a line connecting this dot to the dot on the right side of the bottom edge of the paper using your ruler and pencil.
Draw a dot on the left edge of the paper exactly 1/2 inch away from the top left corner. Draw a line connecting this dot to the dot on the left side of the bottom edge of the paper using your ruler and pencil.
Fold along the two lines just created. Crease the folds well.
Rotate the paper so the narrow edge is facing away from you. Starting at the narrow edge, fold the paper down 1/2 inch evenly along the edge. Repeat this seven more times for a total of eight folds.
Flip the paper over, then fold it in half. Fold the wings down 1 inch away from, and parallel to, the middle crease.
Tips & Warnings
- If the plane climbs too far, angle the rear of the wings up.
- If the plane dives, angle the rear of the wings down.
- Photo Credit paper airplane in flames image by IKO from Fotolia.com