A round paper airplane? How can a paper cylinder fly like a paper airplane? Try throwing it like a spiral football. This tutorial from ‘The Paper Airplane Guy’ John Collins and Wired demonstrates how to fold a “Tube” paper airplane. He also explains more about how this “great indoor plane” works.
“It spins as it flies. It gets its directional stability from how quickly that it’s spinning. But more importantly, that’s how it derives its lift, from how fast it’s spinning.
The special boundary layer effect, the little gobs of air gets stuck in all the tiny imperfections, microscopic imperfections in the surface of this plain, and the faster it spins, the more it can interact with the surrounding air and develop lift.
The upshot is as it’s spinning this way, it can shove enough air off of that side and lift it up like that, so because it’s moving forward through the air like that.”
Collins designed the world record paper airplane design for the longest throw in 2012, as well as his super popular how-to books The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book and The World Record Paper Airplane.
He’s also previously partnered with Wired to create some excellent videos about his craft. Watch those next:
• How to fold 5 paper stunt planes
• Paper airplane aerodynamics explained by a world record-setting designer
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