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How to Make a Cardboard Plane

Updated February 21, 2017

Model aircraft demonstrate the construction necessary for a plane to be aerodynamically sound so it can fly. You can make a plane out of cardboard that will fly, if only for a very short time, using the same aerodynamic principles as that of any aircraft. You will need a piece of cardboard, but no cutting tools, and the cardboard plane can be made within 20 minutes. The procedure is straightforward, but must be followed exactly if the cardboard plane is to be able to fly. Adult supervision is not necessary if you are underage since no cutting tools are used.

Put a sheet of newspaper on a table. Put the cardboard on the newspaper with the short end facing you. Fold the left side of the cardboard over to the right side. Crease down the fold with your fingers.

Unfold the cardboard. Fold the point of the bottom-right corner up toward the centre. Crease the fold down with your fingers. Fold the point of the bottom-left corner up toward the centre. Crease the fold down with your fingers.

Fold the point at the bottom of the cardboard that is facing you up to the centre of the cardboard to form a triangle. Crease the fold down with your fingers.

Fold the left side of the cardboard over to the centre of the triangle. Crease the fold down with your fingers. Fold the right side of the cardboard over to the centre of the triangle. Crease the fold down with your fingers.

Turn the cardboard over. Fold the right side of the cardboard over to the left side. Crease the fold down with your fingers. Fold the bottom of the cardboard toward the centre of the cardboard. Crease down the new fold with your fingers.

Turn the cardboard over. Place the cardboard so that the point is facing to the left. Fold the bottom of the cardboard over to the top of the cardboard. Crease the fold down with your fingers.

Unfold the two sides of the cardboard. Hold the cardboard plane you have now made by the tab at the bottom with the point facing forward. Toss the cardboard plane to see it fly.

Tip

You can paint your cardboard plane with model paint to give it a more realistic look.

Warning

Do not use model paints without adequate ventilation.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • 21.2 x 27.5 cm (8 1/2-inch by 11-inch) thin cardboard
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About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."