Category Archives: Aerodynamics

Paper Aeroplanes and Wing-Tip Fins – A few things to consider.

When I meet other paper aeroplane enthusiasts (generally in smoke filled rooms, or dimly lit car parks) a debate I occasionally get into is whether putting wing-tip fins on paper aeroplanes is a good idea. As can be seen by a quick glance, some … Continue reading

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Aeroplane Paper: Choosing the right construction material

Generally, when making paper aeroplanes, I use standard 80gsm (grams per square metre) copier paper. It has a good balance of weight and stiffness and, all round, is a pretty good aeroplane paper; however, it is not the only option … Continue reading

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Directional stability 3: Swept or Delta wings

Directional stability 3: Swept or Delta wings Let’s add one more factor to our list of features that keep paper aeroplanes flying straight. 5. Design your plane so that it has swept or delta wings. Why does this work? Well … Continue reading

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Directional Stability 2: Designing paper aeroplanes so they fly straight

In the last post I discussed simple ways that you can modify most paper aeroplanes so they fly in a straight line. Those techniques can improve the directional stability of virtually any paper aeroplane with minimal modification to the fundamental … Continue reading

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Directional Stability 1: How to modify most paper aeroplanes so they fly straight

As far as paper aeroplanes are concerned in this article, a directionally stable plane means a plane that can keep flying straight in one direction without ‘slipping’ (moving sideways) or unintentionally yawing (turning) to one side as it flies. This … Continue reading

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Lateral Stability 2: Paper Aeroplanes & The ‘Keel Effect’

There are a number of ways to give paper aeroplanes ‘lateral stability’ – the ability of an aircraft to fly the right way up, and not to roll as it travels through the air. One method is to use the … Continue reading

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Lateral Stability 1: Paper Aeroplanes & The ‘Dihedral Effect’

In simple terms, ‘lateral stability’ means that a plane will fly the right way up and not roll as it flies. One easy way to give paper aeroplanes lateral stability is to make use of the ‘dihedral effect’. Now, to … Continue reading

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