National Paper Airplane Day

Written by on May 26, 2024

Every day, there are hundreds of people all over the world who are showing Wilbur and Orville Wright that their feat of creating an airplane wasn’t really all THAT impressive. After all, all it takes is a simple piece of paper and a few clever folds, and you can create an airplane all on your own as well! National Paper Airplane Day celebrates this humble bit of aeronautics and reminds us of the role it played in our youth, and can still play in our present.

Children and adults alike can enjoy making and playing with paper airplanes. There’s something magical in being able to make a piece of paper fly through the air, mimicking that of a real airplane. It’s a fun and enjoyable way to acknowledge all the amazing aspects an airplane has to offer and a chance to come together to celebrate this impressive invention. The act of flying a paper airplane is a stimulating, pleasurable, and inexpensive way to keep entertained. Take some time to learn more about the history of the day and how to celebrate it properly.

History of National Paper Airplane Day

We weren’t kidding when we said that Wilbur and Orville Wright’s achievements weren’t THAT impressive, at least when it comes to creating a craft that can fly. Ok, so it definitely wasn’t the same thing as their amazing machine and the impressive changes it made to the world, but the fundamental concepts may have been developed in the humble medium that is the paper plane. So just how old IS the art of the paper plane? Well, certainly you’re familiar with an art form out of Asia known as origami? It followed on the heels of the creation of paper in 500 BCE.

While we’re uncertain precisely where the first paper airplane was formed, what we do know is that for the next thousand years paper airplanes were the form of man-made aircraft that got the most attention. Even Da Vinci was inspired by this, as many of his models and sketches proposed for manned aircraft were suggested to be made out of parchment. The Wright Brothers were known to study paper aircraft extensively in their development of that first amazing flight.

Furthermore, during World War II paper airplanes became even more interesting of a concept to many. Due to rationing, it wasn’t feasible to make toys from plastic or metal. However, paper was a widely available resource in which children’s toys could be made. Also, Wallis Rigby designed some of the most sought after paper airplanes during this time. He was an Englishman who moved to the United States during the 1930s. Wallis took his liking to paper airplanes seriously and published his models as books or box sets. He was even kind enough to print some in the Sunday newspaper in the comic section for all to experience. There was a shortage of ink at the time, which led to some strange color schemes. Even today, his designs that had “tab and slot” construction are a prized collector’s item.

So while we may have thought of them as little more than simple toys and ways to annoy our teachers, they’ve actually played a vital role in one of the most important inventions in the transportation industry, the plane. They’re around for a good reason and continue to play a part in people’s lives today, both in the paper form and as a machine with the ability to transport someone from one location to the next. One could even say that ultimately, paper planes put us on the moon.

How to celebrate National Paper Airplane Day

Celebrating National Paper Airplane Day is simple and fun, and an activity that anyone can participate in no matter their age or skill level! Just pick up a piece of paper and fold it into one of many favorite airplane shapes and give it a toss! Challenge friends and family to see who can make the most remarkable paper airplane that can stay in the air the longest. Attempting to fold the perfect paper airplane can be tricky and will take time and patience.

Looking for something a bit more challenging? The typical wedge-shaped paper airplane is just the simplest form. There are books, clubs, and hobbyists who all engage in the past-time of creating complex paper airplanes that can reach amazing distances with surprising stability. Use this as a chance to read up on the subject matter and see what new creations emerge from putting some thought into the process.

There are contests to enter and people one can take on to see who can fold the best paper airplane. In fact, Star Wars fans from all around have taken paper airplane making to a new level by making paper models of the spacecraft from the film franchise through well-practiced origami skills. There’s even a Guinness World Record one can try to beat in their free time.

It may also be fun and enjoyable to perform research and practice folding and making the perfect paper airplane. There are websites, books, blogs, and resources out there worth checking out and taking the time to read. There are a lot of tips and tricks to learn about that will help anyone to increase their ability to build a paper airplane that will look remarkable and fly great distances.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gather friends together and see who can be the most creative when it comes to folding paper into unique shapes that mimic the airplane. National Paper Airplane Day is a chance to show up one’s younger self by creating the best paper airplane ever!

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