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Imagine my surprise when I'm reading down the HN list like I do every day and I stumble upon my own website. Thats a pretty cool feeling! Im happy to answer any questions people may have. This was my Angular learning project back when Angular just came out. I think Angular ended up being the wrong choice for this project, but it works and I learned Angular, so its all good.

Am I correct to assume all the designs are for US Letter paper?

(And not the A4 size common in the UK and elsewhere. http://betweenborders.com/wordsmithing/a4-vs-us-letter/)

I remember the frustration as kid getting a book of designs from the US and having none of them work quite right.

> I remember the frustration as kid getting a book of designs from the US and having none of them work quite right.

"Not quite right" means even more fun. We used a non-standard paper format, the resulting planes were a little bit different than shown and this made them unique.

> a little bit different than shown and this made them unique.

Sounds like when I attempt a 1000 piece puzzle. It doesn't always have to match the box!

Yeah. Sorry :(

FWIW, you can simply cut 2 cms from the tall end and have the same ratio as US paper.

For the very same reason I wonder whether there might be a difference in taste between a metric recipe and an imperial one.

Fun story: when the Soviets tried to reverse-engineer captured B-29s bombers (into Tupolev Tu-4s) they had a lot of trouble because their production of sheet aluminium, rivets, etc. was done in metric sizes, whereas the B-29 used imperial-sized components, and thus extensive re-engineering was required to compensate the slight differences in thickness (and thus in weight and balance) of all components.

I wonder if this justifies the US adherence to the imperial standard - meaning it acts as a basic barrier to entry for other countries who use the "world" standard.

Compatibility usually gains you more than you lose. If you can't make US planes with parts from the rest of the world then that does mean other countries can't make US planes, but that also means that the US manufacturers can't import parts from elsewhere.

The F-35 has components made all over the world, but was designed in the US. Is that plane metric?

I would assume/hope so? Lockheed of all companies should be on top of that after the mars probe incident.

sort of like the use of analog comms on the Galactica right?

Not quite the same thing, but since you mention Galactica and her non-networked systems, I believe watching this show should be required of anyone even tangentially considering work in an IoT project.

Try making a paper airplane with Galactica’s octagonal sheets of paper!

And Airbus only uses imperial bolt sizes.

> imperial standard

The US does not use Imperial. It uses US Customary.

This differs from Imperial in many ways especially for volume measure. And of course Imperial is not a standard.

For one thing a pint is still (roughly) a pound.

Thanks for mentioning it here. I would have wasted a lot of time wondering why these designs didnt work as expected.

I've recently started running a STEM club for girls. One of the lessons is about flight: what makes an airplane fly, and can we design a better airplane than the standard 6-fold-arrow?

I've been searching the internet for a website that ranks paper planes both difficulty AND purpose. You just saved me a lot of time. On behalf of the girls in my club: thank you!

That's awesome. I have fond memories of similar experiments in physics, where the winning group used the "paper clip" trick to put some weight on the nose.

The world record paper airplane flight is just a straight up rectangle haha.

>just a rectangle

Haha, that makes sense though since it optimizes for maximum surface area resisting descent.

Hey, what do you think of Greatest Paper Airplanes?


Do you plan on doing something like that with your website?

A Demo of the gameplay for the ones too lazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx2cHmkqWZ4

I remember playing this with my dad and having it installed for a birthday party. Fun times.

this is amazingg!

My only problem with this website is that when I used it with a class of students, there were pornographic advertisements in between the plane types. That was really upsetting. Please reconsider your ads.

That is very odd and not what I want. It’s just google Adsense. You sure your computer doesn’t have spyware?

So, I just discovered that Adsense has an option to block ads that have "Significant Skin Exposure" so I turned this on a few mins ago.

Thank you! Now I can go back to suggesting this to all the physics teachers in the schools where I teach! Oh and regarding malware, we'd gotten the Chromebooks, brand new, from Dell, a week before.

I mean, I know this is probably not in your control and all (and I know I'm off-topic). But wouldn't an adblocker be appropriate for your school environment? I most definitely wouldn't want my kids to see any ads, but obviously and especially those with "significant skin exposure".

I applaud you for not recommending this site in the first take. But it seems like you should have more support, adblockers being the first line of defense.

Thank you for teaching, by the way. I feel teachers need the same thanks that we so commonly give soldiers and first responders. You are truly on the front line, and we all appreciate you.

But wouldn't an adblocker be appropriate for your school environment?

Maybe, but in general that boat sailed in 1989: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_One_News

Ad-blockers from the point of view of UK copyright would seem to be tortuous copyright infringement (unauthorised modification and/or unauthorised creation ofa derivative). I can't see schools here using them because of the legal risk.

So you're saying, adblockers in the UK are illegal due to copyright concerns? I don't think that holds. If I buy a magazine and rip the ads from it, that's perfectly fine. This logic even holds in a school setting.

Actually, it doesn't - you can't take the ads out (eg a clipping service) in any commercial setting. Using a tool that you put your newspaper in that removed all ads would be creating a tortuous derivative too. There's no general personal exemptions in UKCDA either.

Chances of being prosecuted for use are roughly zero.

Lawful educational use is highly restricted in the UK, but there are few prosecutions. For example if you show TV broadcasts you have to have both music licenses (as well as the TV license) to cover you for when they play music on the show (or in the adverts!).

Thanks for the reply. Very interesting stuff.

How do you feel about suggestions that people should ad-block your site?

You can control which categories of ads will be displayed in your Adsense account settings. It shouldn't be necessary in a civilised world, of course, but there you go.

I would strongly recommend an ad blocker or use a browser such as Brave which by default blocks ads and other nasties

Honest question: How would I do that when I'm on a rather locked-down school Chromebook?

Best to use Brave as your browser. Or even Opera. Both has built-in ad blocker.

Agree, sorry only saw your response after I posted mine. I don't know how I missed seeing it

Couldn't do that when I was using the school Chromebook.

The school doesn't have some kind of filtering proxy setup? A decade and a half ago I was having to end-run Bess to get to the Sun Javadocs - blocked for "hacking." Useful education, but it made studying for the AP comp sci test difficult...

I just wanted to say that your portfolio is amazing [1], and you've had the coolest career ever [2]! I was wondering, are you still the sole developer of Toodledo, or do you have some employees now?

I hope this HN bump has been good for Fold N Fly!

[1] http://www.jakeo.com/portfolio.php

[2] http://www.jakeo.com/about.php


looks like they are hiring.

I just noticed this one still shows up when I choose "no scissors" https://www.foldnfly.com/13.html#The-UFO :)

Thanks. I’ll fix it.

It would be great to have some data on these designs, for example avg time aloft, max distance travelled. May be users should be able to report this and you can do average or median?

I have had this bookmarked on my phone for years, so I can pull it up every time one of my kids asks me to make one. :)

Nice diagrams. Do you know the book "Kids' Shenanigans" by Klutz? [1] I grew up with it, and it has three paper airplane designs, corresponding to your "Basic Dart", your "The Square Plane", and one called the "Nakamura Lock"[2] (also mentioned elsewhere in this thread), which you don't seem to have but bears some resemblance to your "Tail Spin".

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Kids-Shenanigans-Approve-Whoopie-Cush...

[2] https://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Airplane-The-Nakamura...

Some of these look so similar to the ones I used to design. We used to call a single "swoop" where it would go down and glide back up a "neener-neener". The peak of our design was the "neener-neener 9", which I recall would do a full 9 neener-neeners on a blustery day.

Which one flies furthest? (I can narrow down by category, but not sort).

Its hard to say. I never did a test where I threw them all and compared distances. I should do this! A lot depends on how accurate your folds are, and how well you tune it by small bends to the wings. This can make a big difference. I would say that "The Buzz" or "V-Wing" probably are the best. Also the classic "Basic Dart" thrown hard is difficult to beat.

There is a ring design that will beat any dart for distance. Particularly when thrown gently from a height where its glide ability can be exploited.



Haha. Way back in my 2nd year at university (1985!), these were all the rage. Myself and a couple of friends made a giant version out of 6 university calendars. It had a diameter of about 40-50cm. We launched it one day (when the lecturer was facing the board) from the back of a math lecture. The slope of the lecture hall was a gentle 20 degrees, slowly tapering off towards the front. Initially it cleared people's heads with a few cm to spare, then about halfway it was clearing the backs of chairs - fortunately there were quite a few rows from the middle to the front with no one in them - until it finally found the back of some poor guy's head sitting in the 1st or 2nd row. The ring clunked him square and he ended up wearing it. We all exploded in laughter. It wasn't aimed at him mind - he was just in the wrong spot at the wrong time. I still smile when I think of that (does that make me a bad person?).

EDIT: got the year wrong (memory is fading...)

I first saw one back in the 70s as a kid at a summer activity. I had made a sharp double folded dart that I would throw furiously towards the rafters to trace a ballistic arc and land almost point down. I was easily beat by a ring an older kid gently launched from the elevated stage that glided and swooped well past where my dart landed.

I used to have a paper airplane book and this was one of my favourites.

The other was a plane made with a drinking straw and two paper rings. It always flew really far also!


I believe I had the same book when I was a kid, as I remember that one.

From tests conducted 30 years ago: the double dart can be thrown further than the basic dart. It's the same as a dart but you fold the wings one more time..

Cool website!

You might already be aware, but when toggling some of the tag filters, mixed in with the normal square images, I get several empty squares that don't link to anything.

Anyway, happy folding!

How did you get into the hobby ? How did you collected the designs ? You should add a little bit of history to make it more personal and engaging.

I used to make one like the square plane, except at step 4 I would fold the outer points on more time toward the center line then fold the tip while inserting the previous folds into the folded tip so it makes a thick triangle. You could then fold the wing tips up or down to make the vertical surfaces. I'm not sure I'm describing it well.

Would you ever sell the site? Been thinking about making one myself that you can print that has the fold lines and maybe some fighter jet graphics

Why do you think Angular was the wrong choice? This question is coming from a person with little knowledge on most front-end frameworks.

The main problem I ran into with Angular was SEO. With a single page app, I had a hard time getting google to index the individual airplane pages. This was 5 years ago, before good solutions existed. I cobbled together a solution, but its not perfect. And Google is better about this now anyway. It would have been better to use vanilla JS or jquery to do the simple home-page filtering. But I wanted to learn Angular, so thats what I did.

Ah yeah you pretty much have to set up server-side rendering to combat SEO difficulties with single page apps. Google says they'll execute your JS to index client-side rendered sites too, but they really don't do it nearly as often/well in my experience.

Might be a bit heavy for the use-case. That's all I can think of.

I was wondering how much time it took you to build the content?

Also is missing the most important thing. A video of the plane flying.

I just want to say thank you. Your site just made my teaching job a lot easier. PSA: am working with kids on some optimization stuff. Teaching not daily.

This is a great site! The Stunt Plane is a design I learned from a book as a kid and is still my go-to when my kids want me to make a plane.

Time to pick up a few more.

Very nice, although (and just a suggestion, not a criticism), from a design perspective, a little bit more padding in the cards would go a long way.

To counter that, I personally find the padding to be absolutely spot on. I often see designs where the designer has added lots of beautiful white space, and the result is that the actual content spans 2 or 3 pages instead of one.i personally feel that web sites that use less padding often feel more"real" and fit for purpose.

Thank you for an amazing website, it's so much fun! I really hope it is going to stay up for many years onward.

We did paper airplane design when I studied the Taguchi method in college.

I wonder, I wonder wether producthunt will love this too...

you can start selling the physical paper with dotted lines and instructions on the back, would be so cool for gifting

This is such an awesome project :)

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