Paper airplanes can be fun to fly around the house or outside in the yard. You can decorate them with any color or patterns that you like. If you play with a friend, you can race your paper airplanes and see whose can go the highest or the farthest!
No one knows for sure when the first paper airplane was created. Sometimes, historians give credit to Leonardo da Vinci. However, paper folding and kite making were both popular in Asia hundreds of years before that, so it's likely the first paper airplanes may have been made long, long ago.
Paper airplanes are obviously lots of fun to play with. But did you realize that they can be more than just toys? It's true!
Since paper airplanes glide through the air, they can teach scientists and engineers a lot about basic concepts of flight, engineering and aerodynamics. In fact, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) once sent a paper airplane into space on a space shuttle!
If you're wondering how a paper airplane would fly in outer space, you might be surprised by the answer. According to scientists, paper airplanes won't actually fly in outer space, because there's no atmosphere. Instead, paper airplanes would simply float in a straight line and could possibly float forever unless they hit another object!
The Wright brothers also used paper airplanes to test out their theories about flight before making their first flight. They built a wind tunnel and used paper airplanes to gain a better understanding of how their aircraft would operate in the wind.
So just how far can a paper airplane fly? On February 28, 2012, former college quarterback Joe Ayoob set the world record for the longest paper airplane flight. He threw a paper airplane the entire length of a warehouse, setting the record at 226 feet, 10 inches. That broke the old record by 19 feet, 6 inches!