|from: The Paper Airplane Collector, the New Yorker|
This winter has been cold, cold, cold. So I've been on the look-out for fun things to do inside. So folding paper airplanes has become my thing to do when taking a break from writing (I have a nice, long hallway to aim them down). Paper airplanes come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors and kinds of paper. I build mine out of printer paper from the recycling bin - but I could just as easily fold them out of wrapping paper (also in the recycling bin) or out-dated flyers tacked to the post office bulletin board.
There's only one problem. OK - two: my planes are inelegant constructions that tend to wobble and crash. But some folks understand the secrets of paper aerodynamics - how to balance the forces of thrust and lift against gravity and drag. At least my dent-nosed attempts have pretty designs....
This week try making a few planes. If you are a beginner, check out these sites for some helpful hints on how to make a fast plane and a bunch of printable designs. More experienced aerospace engineers can check out these origami designs. And drop by on Friday for a book review that features paper airplanes, math, and a mystery.