Making a simple paper airplane is fun and easy for all ages, but we don’t usually learn why some paper airplanes work better than others. In this Wired video, origami enthusiast and paper airplane designer John Collins explains the physics that keeps five types of paper airplanes flying and why “paper airplanes can take as much from science as the newest car design.”
Learn about thrust, drag, gravity, and lift, Bernoulli’s Principle, the Coandă Effect, Newton’s Third Law, wing loading, glide ratio, Reynolds Numbers, turbulent and laminar flow, and more. Collins introduces these physics concepts while comparing five of his paper airplane designs: Dart, Phoenix, Canard, Tube, and the world record-setting Suzanne.
Watch this next: The Paper Airplane Guy: How to fold 5 paper stunt planes. Plus:
• The physics of why birds fly in V-formation
• How to make an Air Surfing Foam Walkalong Glider
• Fold ‘N Fly paper airplane instructions & video tutorials.