Airplanes of Paper

Or as they are sometimes known, paper airplanes. As an editor, I can’t say I disagree with the decision to put this project under “airplane” rather than “paper”, but I feel like there has to be some less awkward way to title this.

Paper airplane folding, 70s style.

Of the admittedly small number of projects we’ve done so far, this section is really up there in completeness of instructions, for which we have the very jovial-looking Captain Ralph S. Barnaby to thank (click to enlarge).

Paper airplane folding, 70s style.

I also really like Captain Barnaby’s positive, encouraging attitude toward experimentation with the paper airplanes.

Don’t be disappointed if your first model makes a beeline for the ground on its initial flight. This can happen.

Putting a little more bend on the wings or a little more weight on the tail or simply changing a curve or fold can have a marked effect on the way a plane flies.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Become an inventor, and design your own planes. With a little experience you will be as good as any other paper-airplane engineer.

Isn’t that great? This is a version of what I’m always telling my kids when they get frustrated with whatever project I’ve got them working on. Many of our projects involve copious amounts of duct tape, and our shorthand for sticking with the project and not getting frustrated has become, “Don’t let the duct tape win.” I may introduce a corollary to my duct tape maxim along the lines of “Just try another fold” when a first attempt fails. Frankly, I could use that reminder on my own projects from time to time.

After dealing with janky truck stencils and messy poured resin, I have to say it’s a relief to hit a project as straightforward as folding a paper airplane. My plan for this one is to just sit down with my kids and some paper and start folding. I’m assuming the hardest part will be getting them to hold still long enough for the photos!

Paper airplane folding, 70s style.

Check out our kid-designed paper airplane project here: Jedi Paper Airplanes

source: The Family Creative Workshop, Volume 1: Airplanes of Paper (1974)