How to Make a Paper Zeppelin

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The Germans used zeppelins to drop bombs in World War One.
The Germans used zeppelins to drop bombs in World War One. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Blimps were once commonly used for warfare and for travel. They were also called zeppelins and utilized hydrogen gas cells to float in the air. According to the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, zeppelins were crafted by a German company run by Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin. In 1910, his Deutschland zeppelin was the world's first commercial airship, but on May 6, 1937, the company's Hindenberg zeppelin exploded, killing 36 people. It ended the commercial viability of zeppelins, but you can make a paper model zeppelin for pleasure.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper
  • Scissors

Cut a 2-inch strip of your paper lengthwise with scissors. This will become the main part of your zeppelin or blimp.

Place the strip horizontally on your table. Cut a notch on the left top side 1 inch from the end. The notch should be 1 inch in length, so it should go halfway down the strip of paper.

Cut a notch on the bottom right side of the paper, 1 inch from the end. Like the first notch, it should be 1 inch in length.

Bend over the strip of paper so the notches meet. Slip them together so they are secured. It should look like a fish if you look at it from above.

Drop the zeppelin off the stairs by holding it in the middle towards its nose. Hold it parallel to the ground and then slightly turn your wrist towards your body as you drop it. The zeppelin spins as it drops, making it look like an airship.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place a small pea-sized piece of reusable putty adhesive on the inside of the nose of your zeppelin. Throw it as usual but it should make the zeppelin spin faster with the weight.
  • The paper zeppelin will ride air currents if you throw it outdoors on a windy day.
  • Do not throw your paper zeppelin at anyone.

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