How to Make Sturdy Paper Airplanes in Study Hall

How to Make Sturdy Paper Airplanes in Study Hall

The ability to make good paper airplanes put you pretty high on the totem pole in junior high school. Making sturdy paper airplanes that could fly all the way across the room and do tricks made you the coolest kid in the room.

There are many varieties of paper airplane to choose from, but by far the simplest and sturdiest paper airplane is a design that paper airplane enthusiasts call “the Deltry.”

How to Fold the Deltry Paper Airplane

How to Make Sturdy Paper Airplanes in Study Hall

1. Start with a standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. For a sturdier paper airplane, you could use cardstock, though your folds would require a little extra elbow grease and without a strong tailwind the airplane may have trouble getting lift. Crease your paper along the middle. You’re folding it in half lengthwise. This is what paper airplane experts call a valley fold. Now unfold the paper. Congratulations, you’ve just made a crease.

2. Fold the top two corners of the paper inward to the center crease line. You’re essentially making two right-angle triangles at the top of the paper that touch at the center crease line.

3. Fold your big top triangle (the two smaller triangles you just folded form one big triangle) over and down so that the point is toward the bottom of the paper.

4. Fold the point of the large triangle back up. The tip of the triangle should almost touch all the way to the top, but not quite to the top. You want to leave about half an inch space from the top of the paper. This space is to help the plane’s flaps lock under with a tight fit and keep the airplane held together when you’re finished folding it.

5. Fold and unfold two new top triangles so that their edges line up with the center line of the plane.

6. Now you should fold the two large right angle triangles down again, repeating your first steps.

7. Tuck the two lower triangles underneath so they lock in place.

8. Now its time to tuck all the triangles underneath the flaps so the whole plane holds together.

9. Launch the Deltry gently. This isn’t a fast paper airplane–it’s built for sturdiness. Don’t throw the Deltry, just release it gently with the nose pointed slightly downward.

Paper airplanes were once the domain of the immature kid at the back of study hall. These days, interest in origami and paper-folding has brought paper airplane construction back to the forefront.

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