Strong National Museum of Play

Miss flying? Make your own paper airplane

It will be a while until you can visit a United Polaris lounge and order the specialty cocktail that comes with a little cut-out of a paper airplane.

But you can use your at-home time to make your own paper airplanes.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport’s (RNO) Kindness Takes Flight Home Edition has this handy downloadable paper airplane design that includes numbered instructions.

The Fold ‘n Fly site offers a database of paper airplane designs, with instructions and videos, that can be searched by difficulty and type, i.e. acrobatic, time aloft, etc.

My favorite is the one that is designed to fly like a bee.

And, once you’ve made your paper airplane, you might want to download instructions for making a paper airplane launcher, courtesy of Scientific American.

And let’s take a moment to celebrate the fact that since 2017 the paper airplane has been a soaring member of the National Toy Hall of Fame housed at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

Here’s part of the Strong’s ode to the paper airplane:

… The success of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk in 1903 fostered renewed hope of powered flight and no doubt contributed to the purported invention, in 1909, of the paper airplane. The principles that make an airplane fly are the same that govern paper versions. Paper’s high strength and density make it similar, scale-wise, to the materials used to construct airplanes...

…Play with paper airplanes is far from formulaic and constrained. Where some toys require financial investment, paper airplanes start with a simple sheet of paper, coupled with dexterity, to produce a toy with infinite aeronautical possibilities.