Floating Wing Glider
What you will make:
In this paper airplane project, you will learn how to fold a glider
that floats through the air and can be thrown gently or hard. This paper
airplane glides on a long and steady path, and can also do stunts.
The Floating Wing Glider is very similar in shape and size to other
paper airplane gliders, but it flies somewhat differently. The major
difference is that it has more weight in the nose. This changes its
center of gravity and balance characteristics.
Experiment: Use a paper clip to add weight to the
front or the back of the glider—this moves the center of gravity
forward or backward. See how the position of the extra weight changes
the flight characteristics of the glider. For a details flight
experiment on balancing flight forces, see
Paper Airplane Experiment: Balancing Lift and Weight.
Related craft: Explore balancing points in the
Here's what you need:
- Computer paper, letter-size
- Optional: Scissors, markers or colored pencils,
This project is rated AVERAGE to do.
How to Make a Floating Wing Glider Paper Airplane
- Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It (optional)
You can make the Floating Wing Glider from a
piece of letter-size paper—no pattern is needed. However, for
a guide in folding or a printed design, choose one of Aunt Annie's
patterns. The Trial Model pattern has all the fold
marks printed on it. Just download, print, and cut out the pattern,
then follow the instructions for folding. Or select from the
patterns with printed designs for the wings—colored or black &
white. Just download, print, cut out, and color the pattern, then
follow the instructions for folding the glider.
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The
Adobe Reader is available for free.
All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4).
When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.
- Step 2: Start Folding
Start with a letter-size sheet of paper about the weight of
computer paper. You can leave it plain or color it. Or, start
with the cut pattern from Step 1. This first set of folds adds
extra weight to the front of the glider.
- Fold the paper in half the long way. Fold it so any marks or designs
- Open the paper flat with the inside of the fold (and any
design) up. Fold the top corners over to the center fold. Turn the
- Fold the tip down to the center line. Make the crease at
the bottom of the folded corners.
Tip: Be sure to make all of your folds carefully,
neatly, and very sharp.
- Step 3: Fold and Tape
Next, you'll fold the glider's basic shape.
- After folding the tip down, there is a rectangle shape again.
Fold the rectangle's top corners to the center fold.
- Turn the paper over and fold the sides together along the
center. Any designs/marks are on the inside.
- Tape the loose corners to the airplane body. Use one piece of
tape folded along the bottom.
- Step 4: Finish Folds
Now the final folds for the glider.
- Fold each side back along a diagonal line from the tip to about
1½" (3 cm) up from the bottom edge.
- Move the wings up into flying position.
- The Floating Wing Glider usually flies nose
down. To correct this, use your fingers to curl the back corner of
each wing up. Experiment with the amount of curl until the glider
flies steadily and smoothly.
The Floating Wing Glider can be thrown gently or hard, and
you can do stunts with it. Planes with wider wings
are more sensitive to adjustment. Slight adjustments in the wings,
in launch angle, and in launch speed can result in different flight
characteristics. This plane will fly in a circle when one wing tip
is curled up a little and one is curled down a little. Try a variety
of setups and see what happens.
That's it! Your plane is ready to
» » Keep up with Aunt Annie's Crafts on Facebook,
RSS feed or
with our newsletter.
Share this craft project with your friends and family