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Fun facts about paper airplanes

Updated July 19, 2017

Paper aeroplanes have fascinated children and adults alike around the globe for generations. A simple toy to some, an aeronautics research tool to others, paper aeroplanes can be folded into a variety of designs, from basic darts and gliders to intricate stunt planes and World War II aeroplanes. Turning paper into a flying machine may seem simple, but paper aeroplanes use the same principles of flight as aeroplanes. Whether they are made to set a world record or design a better aeroplane, paper aeroplanes can be educational, interesting and fun.

Inventor

The invention of the paper aeroplane is mystery, but Leonardo Di Vinci is often given credit for the feat.

Fun Fact

According to the Paper Aircraft Association, a paper aeroplane thrown in space will not fly; it will float in a straight line. Unless it hits an object, it could literally float forever (see Resources).

Wingspan

The record wingspan of a paper aeroplane is 40 feet and 10 inches. The craft flew over 114 feet before crashing into a wall.

Education

Scientists, engineers and students use paper aeroplanes to study aerodynamics. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent a paper aeroplane to space on a space shuttle.

Shapes

Paper aeroplanes can be made in many shapes. According to world record holder Ken Blackburn, aeroplanes in the shape of an "X," a hoop and a "futuristic spacecraft" can all be made to fly (see Resources).

Weather

The humidity outside can affect the performance of a paper aeroplane thrown inside.

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About the Author

Mary Flinn is a veteran court reporter specializing in technical and medical testimony. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She has written articles on her career and interests, which include travel, healthy living, and outdoor activities.