Have you ever spent ages making a paper aeroplane, only to see it go straight up in the air, then dive headlong into the ground, or just generally not do what it’s supposed to do? Follow the tips later in this post to make sure that next time you make a paper aeroplane, it will be faster, more stable, or whatever you want it to be.

First let’s find out how a paper aeroplane actually works. There are four forces that keep a plane in the air. These are lift, thrust, drag and weight. Lift pushes an aircraft up. Thrust is the force pushing an aeroplane forwards. (It can also help give a plane lift. You can prove this by running along holding a sheet of paper. The paper will lift up). Drag is the force slowing an aeroplane down and trying to pull it backwards, and weight pulls an aircraft down towards the ground.

Now for the tips. First you will need to build your aeroplane. You can find details on how to make one here.

If, when you fly your aeroplane, it dives into the ground, you can make some half inch cuts at the back of each wing, to create flaps. If you fold these up, it will lift the nose of the plane up. If you fold them down, it will angle the nose down.

If the plane is not stable, fold some flaps on the side of the wings. You can also make small cuts at the back each flap, to turn the aeroplane left or right.

Do you have any tips or designs that work really well? If so, leave a comment below and I will try to reply to all of them.