How to Make the DC-3 Paper Airplane

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The Douglas DC-3 was the first airliner to make a profit by carrying passengers alone, and since its creation in the 1930s it has become the workhorse of the aviation world. The DC-3 paper airplane utilizes folds that are progressively thicker where the wings join the fuselage to prevent flight distortion on windy days. Multiple folds at the front of the plane serve to concentrate the center of gravity in front of and below the wings leading to stable, hang-glider-like flight.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Fold the top left corner of a plain sheet of printer paper down at a 45-degree angle so the top edge of the paper lines up with the right edge of the paper. Crease the fold well and reopen it.

  • Fold the top right corner of the paper down at a 45-degree angle so the top edge of the paper lines up with the left edge of the paper. Crease the fold well and reopen it.

  • Fold the top edge of the paper down while using the creases as a guide to pinch in the left and right sides of the paper. The top of your paper should now resemble a triangle with flaps on the left and right side.

  • Fold the left flap of the triangle up to the tip of the triangle and crease the fold well.

  • Fold the right flap of the triangle up to the tip of the triangle and crease the fold well.

  • Fold the left flap straight down creasing it well. Fold the entire left edge of the triangle you just created up at an angle so it is even with the right edge of the same triangle.

  • Fold the right flap straight down creasing it well. Fold the entire right edge of the triangle you just created up at an angle so it is even with the left edge of the same triangle.

  • Turn the paper over and fold the pointed tip of the plane down about 1/2 inch.

  • Turn the paper over again. Fold the bottom edge of the paper up so it meets the folds you have been creating. Crease the fold well both ways, moisten it with your tongue, and carefully remove the strip of paper. This paper will be used for the tail.

  • Turn the paper over then fold the right edge of the wings to the left edge of the wings.

  • Fold the strip of paper you removed in Step 9 in half to create a tail. Tear short slits 1 inch away from the end of the tail and bend the sides down.

  • Fold the wings of the plane down leaving the tip of the wing as the highest part of the wing. Fold the edges of the wing up for better flight control.

  • Slide the tail under the flap on the top of the paper airplane.

References

  • Photo Credit aereo di carta image by DGAETA from Fotolia.com
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