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Nakamura lock plane

By David, 14 November 2019 Activity

Paper plane.

See which modifications work the best.

This is a fun design to experiment with! You can give the plane bigger wings to float more, or fold over the front edge to make the nose heavier. Make a few adjustments and see which modifications work the best.

You will need

  • A4 paper


What to do

  1. A white piece of paper.Rotate your paper so it’s tall, not wide.
  2. A white piece of paper with a fold down the middle.Fold it in half down the middle, and then unfold.
  3. A folded piece of white paper.Fold the top corners down, so the top left and right edges of the paper meet the crease down the middle.
  4. A folded piece of white paper.Your paper should look a bit like a house, with a triangle ‘roof’ folded on top of a rectangle. Put a fold between the triangle and rectangle sections, so the triangle is on top of the rectangle.
  5. A folded piece of white paper.From the point of the triangle, go up about three centimetres, on the centre fold. You might want to mark this spot. Take the top left corner of the plane and bring it to the spot and then flatten the fold.
  6. A folded piece of white paper.Take the top right corner and bring it to the spot too, to make the plane symmetrical. Flatten the folds.
  7. A folded piece of white paper.Time for the lock! Take the point of the triangle, and fold it upwards to lock the last two folds in place.
  8. A folded piece of white paper.Fold the plane in half along the centre line, with all the folded paper on the outside of the plane.
  9. A white paper plane held in one hand.Fold the wings down then out. In the plane we photographed, the wings are folded with the creases about two centimetres from the centre line on each side.

Did you know?

This paper plane is named after Eiji Nakamura, who is famous for his paper plane creations.

Cover of Double Helix magazine featuring plane taking off

More paper planes!

Love paper planes? Subscribe to Double Helix magazine by 30 November to receive our flight issue. There are instructions to build your own paper plane launcher! Plus, find out about the future of flight, make a pyramid kite and create a rubber band plane.

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