About the Dart Paper Plane

  • 01 of 06

    About the Dart Paper Plane

    playing with a paper airplane
    Wikimedia Commons

    The classic paper airplane that most of us learn how to fold as children are called a dart plane. It's a simple model to fold, even if you have no previous knowledge of origami.

    This slideshow will explain how to fold the classic dart paper airplane and some of the different paper plane variations that have been inspired by this traditional paper toy.

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  • 02 of 06

    How to Make a Dart Paper Plane

    Dart plane diagram
    Wikimedia Commons

    A dart plane is made with a single sheet of letter sized copy paper. Plain white printer paper is fine, although children often like to decorate their planes with different colored designs.

    To make a dart paper plane, follow these steps.

    1. Fold the paper in half vertically. Unfold.
    2. Fold the left and right corners in to meet the center crease.
    3. Fold the left and right corners in to meet the center crease once more.
    4. Valley folds the paper in half.
    5. To form the first wing of your dart paper airplane, fold...MORE the open side down so it touches the folded center, leaving a 1 1/2 inch space at the nose of the plane.
    6. Flip the plane over and repeat Step 5 to form the second wing of the airplane. Make sure the wings are symmetrical so your plane flies properly.

    Sometimes, people will use paper clips or tape added to the wing of the plane to make it fly better. The extra weight makes the plane more aerodynamic.

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  • 03 of 06

    Dart Airplanes Made With Square Paper

    Plane with square paper diagram
    Wikimedia Commons

    If you want to use square paper, the process for making a dart paper airplane is similar. The only difference is that you're not folding the left and right corners in to meet the center crease the second time around.

    Alternatively, Logan's Simple Paper Airplane is a slightly modified dart plane that works well with square paper.

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  • 04 of 06

    Money Origami Paper Airplanes

    money origami airplane
    © Dana Hinders

    To make a money origami paper airplane, simply fold a dollar bill in half before completing the standard dart paper airplane steps. You will need to have a crisp bill for this model to be able to fly, however. A wrinkled bill will come apart when you try to fold it.

    A money origami airplane makes for a fun tip for your restaurant server or a special cash gift for a friend or family member.

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  • 05 of 06

    More Variations on the Dart Paper Airplane

    paper airplane
    Wikimedia Commons

    Once you've learned how to make a basic dart paper airplane, you can move on to folding more complicated airplane designs. Many designs for intermediate or advanced origami enthusiasts build upon the basic dart plane design.

    Paper Airplanes Headquarters has instructions for making five versions of the dart plane.

    • Hammerhead Paper Airplane
    • Barracuda Paper Airplane
    • Manta Ray Paper Airplane
    • Marlin Paper Airplane
    • Bottlenose Paper Airplane

    If sci-fi is more your thing, several of the planes in the Star...MORE Wars Folded Flyers book are inspired by the classic dart paper airplane.

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  • 06 of 06

    Fun Paper Airplane Trivia

    simple paper airplane
    © Dana Hinders

    Paper airplanes are more than just simple children's toys. In fact, paper airplanes were used by the Wright brothers as part of their research into their first successful airplane flight on December 17, 1903. During the 1930s, Jack Northrop is said to have used paper airplane models to test the aerodynamics of the larger aircraft he was building for the Lockheed Corporation.

    For more fun paper airplane facts, please review our History of Paper Airplanes article.