A lesson in flight

Posted May 13, 2003
Last Updated Oct 31, 2011

Well we waited all winter for it to get warm so we could head out to the great world of adventure. And on one of our first yearly forays out, the family and I decided to go to Big Run Park to launch some airplanes.

But it wasn't your regular trip to toss airplanes. No, this one took preparation. First I had to build the planes, then search for shoes and socks and all that fun stuff for the kids. It took me a while because I had to make the boys some of the fancy designs from The Ultimate Paper Airplane. See, I found this book back in middle school, and I can't waste my time anymore with just any airplanes. And, my boys seem to feel the same. (Unfortunately, they seem to feel more inclined to these high-tech paper gizmos because they pawn off the construction phase to their old man.)

To build these things you need to have scissors and tape and paper clips and paste and a ruler... it's not always a walk in the park. Half-way through a few I always find myself calling May-Day...

Why do I like these planes so much? Well they fly well, and I'm amazed at how well the planes tend to land. They can rocket into the sky or loop gracefully and dive acrobatically with much more stable motion than a normal paper airplane.

My boys love these planes.

If you have kids you should pick up a copy of The Ultimate Paper Airplane by Richard Kline and Floyd Fogleman. It will give them (and you) a creative and educational way to spend your time.

Further Reading & Links

Paper Airplane links page
Paper Airplanes by John P. Crotty
Aerogami Paper Airplanes

Comment

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Dick Kline

Apr 4, 2009

Shawn... I'm so pleased that you have shared a terrific experience with your children flying paper airplanes. You might like to know that our airfoil is now being flown all around the world in the RC communities. It has taken over forty years to gain acceptance because the experts felt very negative about the concept. If you Google KF Airfoil, you will see many videos that have been posted. You have a beautiful family and the important thing to emphasize to them is that they are creative. Creativity is problem-solving and you don't have to be an artist, writer, musician or poet to be creative. Everyone has creative problem-solving abilities. People just need to be made aware of this ability they were born with.

Dick Kline
Angry Teapot Level Design Awards
Voyager Paper Plane

A sample of the \"Voyager\", a paper airplane model designed with the Kline-Fogleman airframe.

Launch Preparation

Alysa, Chris and Ethan prepare to launch their planes.

Launch Time

The planes are off and flying, as are the spirits of the kids.

Paper Plane Alysa

Alysa holding her standard bird plane (not designed with the Kline-Fogleman airframe). She was intent on a safe lift-off.

Ethan launches plane

Ethan launching \"Ethan Strikes\" on a mission somewhere in the middle of Big Run Park. Accodring to Ethan, this mission went well.

Paper Plane Chris Launch 2

Chris showing some superb follow-through on this launch, not to mention a great expression.

Ethan watching plane

Ethan watching his plane soar and loop in the sky.

Ethan Searching

Well not all missions go well... as Ethan learns as he tries to find his plane in tall grass.

Paper Plane Alysa Posing

Well some people are made to be pilots and others are made to be show-offs. Then there\'s Alysa... who seems to be a bit of both.


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