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Paper airplanes have never been so difficult
June 17, 2007 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Excellent instructions for building many different types of paper planes. All use one sheet of A4 8.5x11 paper. Some of these are quite advanced! Plus: tips from champion folders. With help from origami.me.uk.
posted by BlackLeotardFront (14 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
You confuse me! A4 is not 8.5x11... I find A4 to be a more pleasant proportion for most things, but you don't really ever run across it here in the states.
posted by Hammerikaner at 6:40 PM on June 17, 2007


I assume that's "A4 OR 8.5x11". They are of a similar size. In any case, the one plane I folded from Imperial paper came out fine.
posted by DU at 7:06 PM on June 17, 2007


TWO people beat me to it: A4 is 210 × 297mm.

(Yay, paper geeks....)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:08 PM on June 17, 2007


Since A4 paper has 1:2-1/2 (is that the right alternate way to write 1:"root2"?) ratio of its sides, would some paper airplane designs work better in A4 or letter since they won't fold out to the same length/distribution-of-weights?
posted by porpoise at 8:03 PM on June 17, 2007


I was totally ignorant of that. It says to use A4 but the dimensions are close enough that I think the American equivalent (8.5x11) will work fine as well. I definitely have done one of these designs for years with 8.5x11 and it's worked fine. It's a good question about the aerodynamics, though - I wonder if some of these are so fine-tuned that the stubbier version created by our Yankee copy paper will not fly right?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:50 PM on June 17, 2007


you don't really ever run across it here in the states

really? all our network printers at work are loaded with both A4 and 8 1/2 x 11.

Cool post.
posted by caddis at 1:23 AM on June 18, 2007


Paper size geekery!, previously discussed.
posted by puppygalore at 1:43 AM on June 18, 2007


Dang, paper geeks! What's up? How many current/former Kinkos employees are up in here? How many French Paper Dur-O-Tone Steel Gray fans? (That is one quality-ass paper.)
posted by thatswherebatslive at 1:49 AM on June 18, 2007


Well back to airplanes... my favorite design is sort of like this one, except you use regular paper and do the fold-overs only on one half. It comes out kind of like a pope's hat. The flight path is unique- it drops almost vertically for 10' or so and then glides a long long way. Perfect for flying out the window. (We're on the 4th floor here.) Haven't tried the napkin.
posted by MtDewd at 5:15 AM on June 18, 2007


1:2-1/2 (is that the right alternate way to write 1:"root2"?)

Close, just lose the negative sign. When you include that, it turns it into a fraction; eg. 2-1 = 1/(21) = .5. (At least I think this is correct.)

posted by inigo2 at 5:37 AM on June 18, 2007


Oh man, I love making paper airplanes. My first "real job" was in a converted warehouse with lots of open space. There were plenty of paper airplanes a-flying.

Here's jmy all-time favorite. It really is the best paper airplane in the world.
posted by slogger at 8:42 AM on June 18, 2007


inigo2: "Close, just lose the negative sign. When you include that, it turns it into a fraction; eg. 2-1 = 1/(21) = .5. (At least I think this is correct.)"

2-n = 1/2n
So 1:2-½ = 1:1/2-½

Which is, luckily, exactly the same ratio, but expressed in terms of long-edge-to-short-edge, not short-edge-to-long-edge. An interesting thing about ISO-216 paper sizes is that if you fold a piece of 1:√2 paper in half, you get 1:√2/2 = 2:√2 = √2:1 (the last step there is to divide each side by √2) What this means is that the new piece of paper has exactly the same shape as the original, but half the area.

A0 is defined as the area of one square meter, so with just a little math you can figure out the size of any A-size paper. (Round down to the nearest mm in case you're wondering.) B-size and C-size envelopes are only slightly more complex.
posted by Plutor at 11:05 AM on June 18, 2007


That should say 1:2-1/2 = 1:1/21/2. Sigh.
posted by Plutor at 11:07 AM on June 18, 2007


More ISO 216 fun. I love that page so much that it probably deserves its own FPP.
posted by Plutor at 11:11 AM on June 18, 2007


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