Wonder Contributors

Today’s revisited Wonder was inspired by Ms. Moolji’s Students from Montvale, NJ. These students are Wondering, “How far was the longest paper airplane flight? Thank you for this WONDERful Wonder Submission, Wonder Friends!  

Do you like making paper airplanes? If you like origami, we’re sure you’d enjoy making paper airplanes, too. All it takes is some paper and a few simple supplies.

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.

In Japan, the art of folding paper is called origami. Some people call the art of making paper airplanes aerogami.

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!

46 Join the Discussion

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  1. No! :( I was wrong. Today’s wonder of the day is not about birds that can fly or bugs that can fly. However, I loved today’s wonder! :D I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about Once upon a time stories.

    TJ

    • Happy Wednesday, TJ! We really liked your guess from yesterday (WONDERing about birds and bugs is AWESOME), but we think paper airplanes are SUPER FUN to WONDER about, too! Thanks so much for being the very first Wonder Friend to visit today’s Wonder and leave us a comment…YOU ROCK! :-)

    • That really IS a cool coincidence, Logan! We like it when WONDERful things like that happen! We’re not sure what tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day® will be about, but we’re super excited to find out! Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis with us today! :-)

  2. I was wrong about the wonder, but I liked this one a lot! I have built a lot of paper airplanes before and they are a lot of fun. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about a fairy tale.

    • Thanks for sharing your personal experience with making paper airplanes, LKvolleyballGirl! They sure are fun to create and send into flight, aren’t they? We really like your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder, too! :-)

  3. Good morning,
    We had so much fun reading and learning about paper airplanes this morning. We liked the video about the world record. Wow, did Joe ever throw that plane far! Which design did he use? We are going to have a paper airplane making day on Monday and see how far ours go. We will let you know. We like the links to the instructions. They look pretty easy to follow. Thanks,
    Also, we think tomorrow’s wonder might be about Fairy Tales and are they really non-fiction or fiction.

    • Hello, Shelly! Thanks for sharing your comment with us today! We hope you and your WONDERful students enjoyed learning more about paper airplanes…we know we sure did! :-)

  4. This is really cool!! My summer school kids and I are going to have a contest on the last day of summer school to see who can make the a paper airplane to fly the farthest. We like the examples of airplanes to make, we are going to try making one of those.

    Today we are writing stories about super hero platypus’ and illustrating them on the app Story kit on our ipads. It’s really fun!

    • It sounds like you guys are having some WONDERful fun today, Alison and class! That makes us SUPER happy to hear! We think it ROCKS that you guys are writing your own platypus super hero stories and illustrating them, too! Let us know how your paper plane contest goes…good luck to all our Wonder Friend competitors! :-)

    • Thanks so much for letting us know you liked exploring today’s Wonder, Anna! We had fun learning all about paper airplanes and we’re glad you did, too! You are an AMAZING Wonder Friend! :-)

    • Hi there, pandakin24! Thanks for letting us know you thought today’s Wonder was cool! We think YOU are COOL for leaving us a WONDERful comment! :-)

  5. Hey guys, I almost got it right. I said airplane but it was a paper airplane, and guys can you tell me which state or country you live near please. The video was cool. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about fairy tales.

    • That’s AWESOME, Dominic! We think you were SUPER, SUPER close! There are LOTS of people who create and share here in Wonderopolis! We like to say we’re all residents of Wonderopolis…even YOU, your classmates and Mrs. Thiessen! :-)

    • We’re so excited to hear that you love learning in Wonderopolis, Julia! It’s a LOT of fun to WONDER, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder…it’s GREAT! :-)

  6. This wonder was fun. I got it wrong, but it was fun. I remember doing a science fair project on which type of material is best to make a plane out of. I make the best paper airplanes. Thanks so much again!!

    • We think it’s really cool that you did a science project about which type of material is the best for making paper airplanes, boyWONDER! We have enjoyed your comments this summer and hope you will continue to visit Wonderopolis and learn some interesting new things with us each day! :-)

  7. I am also from Mrs. G’s class. It’s amazing how the guy in the video threw the paper airplane 226 feet and 10 centimeters. How did he do it? It is amazing. I wonder how he made it. It is so cool.

    • We know from doing some extra WONDERing about the airplane in the video, that both the airplane maker and the airplane thrower practiced and tried their best, Connor! We thought it was WONDERful to see the excitement on both men’s faces when they broke the world record! :-)

    • Way to go, Kellie! That’s some AWESOME Wonder guessing! Thank you for hanging out in Wonderopolis with us today! :-)

    • Hi there, Carlos! Those planes sound really AMAZING! We can only imagine how that crazy plane flies! We be it’s fun to watch! Thanks for being such a COOL Wonder Friend…we appreciate your SUPER comments! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing that you liked this Wonder of the Day®, Julia…we think that’s GREAT! We like your guess for the next Wonder, too! Thank you for visiting Wonderopolis today and for being a SUPER WONDER FRIEND! :-)

    • We think your class is AWESOME, WONDERCLASS7! Thanks for leaving us a comment to let us know you guys enjoyed exploring this Wonder of the Day® together! Have a GREAT day! :-)

    • Hi, “Wonder!” We hope you are having a WONDERful week so far! Thank you visiting today’s Wonder…it was FUN to learn all about paper airplanes and see the world record plane in flight, wasn’t it? :-)

  8. Hi, I really liked the wonder of the day today and me and my school class made the arrow and they went really far…so thanks for the idea to make the paper airplanes..and the paper airplanes the arrow went really far if it was small, and we made one that was big and it didn’t go far…but the small one went the farthest.

    • Thanks so much for letting us know how your paper airplane throwing went, Jordan! It makes us super happy to hear that you and your classmates had fun trying that after you WONDERed about planes and explored this Wonder of the Day® together! You guys ROCK! :-)

  9. Good morning, Wonderopolis!
    We are excited to be making our own paper airplanes this afternoon and testing out their flight. We wonder how far they will soar? We can’t wait to share some pictures with you!
    Have a WONDERful Wednesday!
    Mrs. Phillips’ Fabulous 2nd Grade Class

    • Good afternoon, Wonder Friends in Mrs. Phillips’ Fabulous 2nd grade class! :) We think your airplane project sounds like a SUPER experiment! We hope you will share how far your planes soar! Do you have any hypotheses, or are you going to test and record your flight patterns? :)

  10. I think my hint for the next wonder is wrong, it talks about what keeps plants rooted to the ground, but I think it is about plant roots. Plus I love the airplane tutorials, very fun!

    • How WONDERful, Dustin! We hope you were able to make lots of paper airplanes with the help of this Wonder! Have a Great weekend, Wonder Friend! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How far can a paper airplane fly?
  • Are paper airplanes just for fun?
  • Can you make your own paper airplane?

Wonder Gallery

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-girl-holding-paper-airplane-image23717246paper-airplanes_shutterstock_43792207-800x460http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-paper-airplane-image6812662http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-girl-put-paper-airplane-little-image32938485Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Wasn’t today’s Wonder of the Day full of high-flying fun? Keep the learning soaring as you check out the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • For inspiration, take a trip to a local airport. If you live in a small city or town, you might not have a major airport nearby. However, you might have a small local airstrip. You could also probably travel to a nearby larger town with an airport. Ask an adult to take you to the airport, so that you can check out some real planes in action. Watch them take off and land. Isn’t it amazing how they can stay in the air? Enjoy your time watching airplanes. Use them as inspiration as you make your own paper airplanes in the activities below.
  • Ready to make and fly your own paper airplanes? All you need are a few simple supplies and some creativity! Check out the links below for step-by-step directions to make several different types of paper airplanes:

Which paper airplanes did you make? Did they fly far? Tell us about your experience and share some photos on Facebook. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • If you’re up for a challenge, why not turn your experience making paper airplanes into a how-to video. Plan out exactly what you will want your video to include. Write a script, if it helps you. Your video should show the materials required, as well as the step-by-step process of making a paper airplane, Finally, it would be cool if your video showed how well your paper airplane flew during its test flight. When you’re finished, be sure to upload your homemade video to the Wonderopolis SchoolTube channel, so that all your Wonder Friends can see what you made!

Still Wondering

In Illuminations’ Long Distance Airplanes lesson, children make paper airplanes and explore attributes related to increasing flight distances.

Test Your Knowledge

Wonder What’s Next?

Let’s take a trip to the Wonderopolis garden tomorrow to find out what keeps plants firmly grounded. 

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.