Final Planes

Here are some images of the final outcome from the Flying Circus project.

Top sides with wings together
Top sides with wings apart
Undersides with wings together
Undersides with wings apart





Plane #3 – Clownfish

For my third plane, I chose the clownfish, because they’re cute and also because I was really excited to do a coral reef scene. The top of the plane shows a clownfish from above, with a curve in its body going the opposite direct to the koi. The underside of the plane shows a coral reef with lots of details, including a blue tang (Dory!) and a jellyfish that appear when the plane is flattened.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And the A3 assembly – link.

Plane #2 – Flying Fish

Well I couldn’t possibly make a set of paper planes with the theme of fish and not include a flying fish! The biggest challenge was fitting those lovely long wings onto the plane’s surface… as the widest part of the fish had to go in the narrowest part of the plane!

The top of the plane shows the flying fish from above, with its body completely straight (to maximise wing space). The underside shows flying fish in the ocean, some swimming, and when the plane is flattened, a flying one is revealed above the water. Beneath the surface of the water lies a wrecked ship, complete with scary octopus monster.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And the final A3 assembly – link.

Plane #1 – Koi

My first plane will focus on the beautiful koi. The top of the plane will show the koi from above, with a slight curve in its body. The underside of the plane will show the koi in a pond inside a Chinese garden, as they are commonly used as decorative features in gardens.

(I didn’t get any time to update the blog as I was creating the plane, so let’s just jump to the end of the story!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And the folding instructions:


And the final A3 assembly – link.

Flying Circus – Initial Sketches

Below are some of my initial sketches for my first plane which will feature the koi.

The top of the plane shows a top-down view of the fish, and I’ve experimented with a few different body positions. The bottom of the plane shows a Chinese garden scene, and in each version, there’s something hidden in the fold. They are intended to work like a Mad Magazine fold in, where the image looks complete when both unfolded and folded.

Image source:–mad-magazine-art-designs.jpg


I think that my favourite of the four options is the second one on the first image, but I’m not 100% convinced that the fish’s body is going to look okay. When unfolded to reveal the skeleton, the body becomes super wide, and it looks a little weird.


For the underside, I really like the second or the third ones, and I think I will pursue the second one and see how it goes.

Flying Circus – Plane Design Part 2

I’ve been playing around with the Lift Off plane design, and have made a few modifications. I really want the top surface of the plane to be a single sheet of paper with no folds, so I have made a few test planes and have discovered that if the nose tip is folded after the wings (instead of before), the plane can be flipped before the wings are folded and then the original top becomes the bottom, and the top surface of the plane becomes flat.

I’ve put together a set of folding instructions which will eventually go with my completed plane design. Hopefully I will get time to add the design onto the instructions.

Folding Instructions.jpg

Flying Circus – Plane Design

Wow. Who knew that there were so many different ways that you could fold a paper plane?!

I have learned that the method that I’ve always used has a proper name, it’s called the┬áNakamura Lock. However I have always folded it so that the “lock” is on the inside of the top, not on the underside… so maybe that version has a different name?

Now that I have locked in a theme – fish – I need to figure out what kind of plane body would suit my plan. The Fold N Fly website has been a useful resource for this… it shows a top down view of different folding options and then you can click through and get step by step instructions.

From looking at this page, I really like the “Lift Off” plane (link). It has a long tapered body which will look great with the long fish body on it. The folding method is pretty straight forward and it results in a nice clear surface on both the top and the bottom for my design to go.