Step-by-Step for How to Build a Flying Wood Airplane

Written by emily retherford
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Step-by-Step for How to Build a Flying Wood Airplane
The lightweight of balsa wood makes it a good material to use on toy planes. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Made from balsa, a lightweight, bendable wood, small aeroplanes easily fly through the air when you hand-launch them. The tiny aircraft make good toys for small children, and making your own homemade wooden plane is an easy craft project. While making a plane seems easy enough for a child to do, using a craft knife to complete the project makes it important to have adult supervision.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Sheet of balsa wood
  • Craft knife
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Visit either NASA’s website or the Society of Women Engineer’s website to download an aeroplane pattern. Then print the pattern on regular printer paper.

  2. 2

    Use your scissors to cut around the template images. Then, stick the cutouts on the wood, securing them with tape.

  3. 3

    Carefully trace the outline of each image with your craft knife, making an exact replica in the balsa wood.

  4. 4

    Use the craft knife to create the slits in the fuselage to hold the wings and tail in place. Follow the lines drawn on the template to get the positioning correct.

  5. 5

    Sand down the edges of all three pieces. Make sure to remove all of the rough spots that you made while cutting the pieces out.

  6. 6

    Slide the wings and tail into place. Secure with a couple drops of glue and let the glue dry thoroughly before you fly the glider.

Tips and warnings

  • Give your aeroplane a personal touch by painting the exterior.
  • If your plane doesn't fly properly, slide a paper clip or glue a penny onto the nose of the plane to add weight to it.

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