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National Paper Airplane Day: Celebrate by making these simply awesome paper airplane designs

Paper airplanes are the simplest aircraft to build and fly, and you can learn the basics of aircraft motion by flying paper airplanes.
Credit: kieferpix - stock.adobe.com

We've all made paper airplanes at some point in our lives.  Some flew great, others... not so much.

In honor of National Paper Airplane Day, we found some great paper airplane and glider templates provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that should make your next parchment plane a flying success.

The best part is, you probably already have everything you need to make these planes in your home:

  1. Paper
  2. Tape
  3. Ruler
  4. Printer (only necessary if printing templates)

Now that you've gathered your supplies, let's get started!

PLANE 1- Jet:

Credit: NASA

This is your standard paper jet. This type of paper airplane will fly fast and far. Learn more about this design on the Glenn Research Center website.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Download the PDF template for the paper jet.
  2. Open the file and print the template (two-sided printing recommended)
  3. To make the plane, fold along the template lines in numerical order (always fold to the inside).

PLANE 2 - Glider:

The second template is for a paper glider.  This type of paper airplane is designed to be highly maneuverable. It can flight straight or even perform loops and banked turns. Find more information on the Glenn Research Center website.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Download the PDF template for the paper glider.
  2. Open the file and print the template (two-sided printing recommended) 
  3. To make the glider, fold on the solid lines in numerical order (always fold to the inside).

PLANE 3 - Ring Wing Glider:

The paper jet and glider may be the most common paper airplanes, but the ring wing glider is definitely the most unique.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Download the PDF template for the ring wing glider.

2. Open the file and print the template.

3. Make a diagonal fold in the middle of the paper (along the dashed lines, if you're using the glider template) so that the corners of your paper are offset and make two peaks. 

4. Take the folded edge and fold it over half an inch more. On the template, this fold is represented by the dotted line. 

5. Bring the ends of the paper together to make a ring with the folded edge facing the inside of the ring. Tuck one end into the fold of the other to secure your ring wing. You can also use a small piece of tape to make sure the ring doesn't come apart.

BONUS:

Looking for some more great paper airplane ideas? Learn how to make some world record designs from John Collins, better known as "The Paper Airplane Guy."