Milo showed how to construct his realistic-looking paper airplane design at Squidwrench, so I had to fold an airplane pattern I learned in fifth grade:
His plane flies fine, but “my” airplane has the virtue of simplicity. He had a snippet left over for a fourth engine, so I cut it in half and rolled a pair; the original pattern has none.
It flies best when made from a sheet of 8-½×11 inch (Letter) paper, but anything will suffice. Here’s how to fold one from a Geek Scratch Pad half-Letter sheet.
Start with two diagonal folds:
Push the sides in and flatten:
Fold the side tips forward, then again to form pockets:
I’ve always made those folds to leave a few millimeters of clearance along the centerline, but it probably doesn’t matter.
Tear the fuselage rearward from the nose, along the center line, back to the pockets:
Tuck the nose pieces into the pockets, flatten firmly, then fold in half lengthwise:
Fold each wing downward from the pocket, upward to put the edge along the bottom of the fuselage, then fold downward to align the edge at the previous fold:
Which is harder to describe than to do. The end result should look like this:
Crisp the folds, tear a square-ish vertical-ish stabilizer, fold a triangle into the fuselage, then un-flatten the airplane into shape:
Grab just behind the pockets, toss gently upward, and it’ll fly fine the first time. Slightly bend the rear edges of the wing and stabilizer to trim the flight path until it sails gently across the room.
It’s a glider, not a dart!