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If you’re looking for hang time, this tried-and-true paper glider is just the ticket.
Step 1: Place paper
Place the paper on a flat surface in front of you, as if you’re about to write a letter.
Step 2: Crease paper
Fold the paper in half lengthwise. Make a crease, then unfold the paper and smooth it flat again.
Use the edge of a ruler instead of your finger to make your creases really sharp.
Step 3: Fold corners
Fold the top two corners down and toward the crease to form two triangles, creating a point at the top of the paper. Press the folds flat.
Leave a little space between the inside edges of each triangle and the crease. This will make folding easier as you go along. Just make sure your triangles are the exact same size.
Step 4: Fold top down
Fold the top of the paper down, making a crease where the bottom edge of each triangle starts. The paper will now look like a large envelope with a pointed flap.
Step 5: Fold top corners
Now fold your two new top corners in toward the crease, again forming two triangles, but before pressing down each fold, move the corners slightly upward along the middle crease. This will give the glider a blunt nose instead of a sharp point.
Step 6: Fold triangle
A small triangle will now be peeking out from beneath the folded flaps. Fold the triangle up over the flaps.
Step 7: Fold in half
Now fold the entire right half of the plane under the left half (along the original middle crease), so that the small triangle stays on the outside of your plane.
Step 8: Fold down wing
Fold down one wing, starting the crease where the blunt nose begins and angling it on a slight diagonal.
Step 9: Fold down other wing
Flip the paper over and repeat, folding the other wing down to match the first wing, forming a narrow triangle base that you’ll hold to launch the plane.
To make the glider arc up as it flies, fold the back corner of each wing so that there’s a small triangle sticking up—or fold one triangle down and one up to make the plane spiral.
Step 10: Position hands
Pick up your glider and hold it near the nose with one hand. Use your other to lift up the wings. Find some open space, and you’re ready to soar.
Did You Know?
If a paper aircraft were thrown in space, it wouldn’t fly—without the pull of gravity, it would float away in a straight line.