old faithful

[Picture of plane]

I invented this plane years ago and it still remains my favourite. It can be easily adapted to vary the amount of lift it has, and almost invariable flies very straight. It can also handle wind (if thrown the right way into the wind) and has made it off Loughborough campus from an 11th storey window in the middle of the site.


Notes on the contruction

  1. Standard beginning. Use a piece of A4 paper (297mm*210mm) to make this plane, or a similarly proportioned size. If the lift is to be made different (see notes on stage 2) then do not make the vertical fold yet.
  2. This fold decides how much lift the plane will have. This model will fly flat. To get more lift move the fold so the point of the paper is further to the left. Experiment, but I find that moving it about an inch is usually sufficient. Make the vertical fold previously made in stage 1 so that it intersects with the point.
  3. Just crease the paper here - the diagonal creases should intersect with the horizontal centre line and the vertical crease.
  4. This looks strange, but I've tried to get some perspective it the picture. It should be obvious what to do, if the previous creases are firm, to make it look like the next picture.
  5. Fold the flaps under the large triangle on the left of the paper. It might be easier to almost unfold the other half of the plane to make each fold.
  6. As a rough guide I make the fuselage about 2cm deep, and the vertical flaps about 3cm deep. These fold ultimately decide how the plane will fly, so they need to be as parallel as possible to the sides of the paper. Fold to make all the corners 90 degrees.

Notes on throwing

Throw holding just under half way back from the front. If it doesn't fly straight then curl the back of the vertical flaps in the appropriate way. It is quite sensitive - generally if it flies badly it's your fault! If you throw it so one wing is higher than the other it will turn to the direction of the lower wing because of it's natural lift, so you can throw it round corners. I've managed to do a complete horizontal loop in my living room with this plane before now! All in all a very versatile plane. To only slight problem is that it does need to be thrown well, although you can adjust it to fit your natural bias.