History of Paper Planes
Paper planes have origins dating back to ancient China. The earliest known date of paper plane creation is around 500 BCE, where paper was invented and used for ceremonial purposes.
Leonardo's Aeronautical Designs
Leonardo da Vinci sketched a design for a man-powered aircraft around 1485. His extensive studies of bird flight influenced the understanding of aerodynamics relevant to paper plane designs today.
Paper planes rely on the same principles as real aircraft: thrust, lift, drag, and weight. Adjusting the plane's wings, nose, and body shape affects its flight path and stability.
World Record Flights
The longest recorded paper plane flight lasted 29.2 seconds, achieved by Takuo Toda in 2009. The farthest flight spanned 226 feet and 10 inches, set by Joe Ayoob in 2012.
NASA uses paper planes to educate about aeronautics. Scientists have even studied the flight of paper planes in microgravity aboard the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.
Competitive Paper Plane Making
Paper plane throwing is a competitive sport with categories such as distance, time aloft, acrobatics, and aesthetic quality. The Red Bull Paper Wings is the most famous global paper plane contest.
Making paper planes is an educational tool that teaches physics, engineering, and design principles. It also enhances fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity in both children and adults.